Even though he’s sworn to a secrecy that even James Bond himself would find challenging, Comics Experiences’ Digital Content Editor Pete Rogers still found a moment to talk with us about what he can talk with us about regarding his big win with It’s My Shout and the BBC Writers Room. “The Package” begins filming in August, and the casting process is already underway.
Over 200 screenwriters submitted to their call for scripts for 10-minute shorts in English or Welsh, and after a heavy vetting process, the number was narrowed down to 50. Shortlisted contestants received a residential with the BBC, and a shot at getting picked up for a 3-day production.
“The first day focused on ‘What is a Story?’ and went through the five-act structure as a way to look at your script. We watched scenes from various TV shows and films and deconstructed them based on the theory we were being taught too and looked at some of our favorite mainstream films to see how they worked structurally, too,” Pete says of the experience.
“The second day was more individually focused, rather than a workshop. We were given notes on our scripts by two producers and we also discussed our writing careers, history and aspirations,” he continues. “We used the feedback we were given to start on our rewrites while in the writer’s room, then all wrote new drafts. These were the submitted and that’s when I found out my script was selected to be produced.”
Pete originally started out as a screenwriter, but he set it aside to focus on learning how to write comics. This opportunity took him closer to his roots, but his skills in a different medium helped enhance the experience.
“One thing I’ve learned from writing comics that applies to screenwriting in particular is thinking visually, but not calling the shots. You want your artist to picture what you’ve described but also to bring their own unique take to the storytelling, so what you write is a blueprint that can be adapted, evocative but not prescriptive,” Pete says.
“The same is true of a screenplay, as at some point you are handing it over to someone else to direct. It did take a while to remember that I was describing scenes to be shot, rather than a series of static panels, but it soon fell into place.”
We look forward to seeing Pete’s short once it’s complete! And, of course, what he’ll accomplish in the future!