I have just finished adapting ‘The Rise of Serge and the Fall of Leo’ into screenplay format. When I say ‘finished’, I am still going to have to give it a final read through before sending it off – but the last thing I want to do with something I have just finished writing is to read it. I still have time for that later, as the BBC Writers Room has not yet published its open dates for the autumn Script Room submissions window.
Re-writing the story as a screenplay meant that I had to cut it down to its bare bones to keep the running time within two hours. This meant omitting any scenes that were purely for entertainment value; scenes that did not progress the story towards its conclusion. Serge and Fran’s wedding ceremony had to go, which I thought was a shame, but for the sake of the plot it was sufficient to see them living happily together. For elements that were essential to the plot but would have used up too much screen time, such as Leo’s developing relationship with his son, I resorted to a montage but regretted having to gloss over scenes that I would have liked to see played out in full.
My conclusion is that the story would make a better multi-part drama series than a film, and one day I might re-write it as such, giving it all the time that it needs … but not right now!
The BBC is not looking for ideas to produce – the script readers are looking for writers they can develop. They receive thousands of scripts each year so I mustn’t be too hopeful. Writing seems to have become so ‘closed doors’ that I am grateful to them for offering an opportunity for unknown/unrepresented writers to send in unsolicited scripts. After the closing date for submissions, if I am not contacted with two months, I must assume they are not interested.
Whatever the outcome, I get a little dream to float on during autumn …