Friday, 27 November 2009


By Richard Jay Parker

Was interested to read this article about TV producers becoming increasingly reliant on published books for their drama source material. It appears it pays to have free in-store book promotion for their shows.

Nothing groundbreakingly new there but having just heard from my agent that ITV have been saying some very positive things about STOP ME and are still considering it obviously makes it all the more interesting.

I've been here before though - from the writing side as well as the other. Having been a BBC/ITV script editor and producer as well as script writer I've been lucky enough to be part of the process that has seen my ideas realised on the small screen. I've also attended a hell of a lot of meetings that have seen the initial enthusiasm about a project gradually abraded until it withers on the vine.

It's all part of the development process and, after a point, not a lot of it has to do with the quality of the writing. There are so many pitfalls that are beyond the creator's control. The TV production process is about filling specific slots, furnishing personalities and answering to a demographic. It's always been an eye-opener for me.

For instance, a series I produced was allotted a larger budget for its trailer than we had to shoot all thirteen episodes. Last year I wrote a script for a short horror movie fully expecting it to languish on a shelf and never see the light of day. The producer found a location, assembled a cast and had it shot within two months. That was August 2008. The score has been added but now we're waiting for an actor to dub one word on the soundtrack. So if it does hit the festivals in the summer of 2010 it will have taken two years to reach the screen.

But I keep going back for more and although I should know better by now I do still get excited when I hear somebody is thinking of my work in terms of the big or small screen. I suppose as a script writer it's always going to be a consideration when I write my books.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on the ITV interest, Richard. Given all that's said about UK TV drama at the moment, I hope the fact that you have scenes in the US does not prove prohibitive on a cost basis. But the fact that you do could open up the US market also?

    Whatever, all the very best for a positive outcome!