The International Writers
Careers in TV
name is Marc George. I am you fourteen years from now, the you
who has graduated and has left university full of vim and vigor.
I am the writer who has the talent and the skill but for fourteen
years has had nothing to say, nothing to give.
changed and part of that change is thanks to TAPS.
Seven months ago TAPS invited me to audition for a place on their Nations
Course. It came at a time where life had stopped me flat and made me
assess what the hell I was doing. Time and again I kept coming back
to my writing, time and again I walked away. But then TAPS wrote to
out of the blue. To this day it is still a mystery how I got
onto their contact list. Even to TAPS.
I didnt bother keeping up to date with contacts, the industry
low downs, the movers and the shakers, nothing - in fact seven months
ago I was abstaining from television altogether (literally not watching
the crap being aired) so I had no idea about TAPS and was shocked that
they even knew me.
No idea. Nada, Zip. Nothing. What the fuck?
What I now know is that TAPS (Training And Performance Showcase)
is a platform and opportunity for a new writer. They say themselves
that their main objective is:
seeking out, training and showcasing emerging talented
writers by putting their original voices in front of leading drama and
comedy producers and script executives
That equates into a competitive process of elimination, an ongoing assessment
of you as a writer. Not just your work but you as well; your attitude,
your professionalism, everything about you. Ultimately, are you as a
I do not believe in writing courses. You can waste your money attending
every course out there and still not get anywhere, still not improve
your writing. In short, writing courses serve only one purpose
taking your money by massaging your ego about being a writer.
I do not feel that about the TAPS Nations course. Dont get me
wrong, there are elements of a typical writing course present but they
soon dissolve once the seminars and exercises start.
From the start of the course you get a sense of professionalism and
competitiveness. Youre playing with the Big Boys now. Its
natural. Youve just been selected from hundreds from all over
the country for one place in sixty. From that sixty only ten are selected
to go onto the next round and from those ten only three will have their
play filmed. I was one of the three whose play was filmed.
I wont write about the exact details of the two-day course, suffice
to say it was educational and did improve my writing. Of note the writing
exercises with Bill Lyons (if you dont know the name its
worth noting) was amazing. What struck me about Bill was the huge gap
in skills and experience between us: Us being an industry titan (Bill)
and new writers (the people on the course). I now know I still have
a lot to learn but only experience can give me those lessons. It was
a lesson Bill gave freely and without scorn.
Another invaluable experience that TAPS also gave me was seeing my play
being filmed professionally. I dont have the words to explain
(without being too gushing) how it felt, the range of emotions that
you go through when the words and actions youve written are spoken
and acted out by real people.
It was mind blowing, especially as it was filmed on the Emmerdale set
in ITV Leeds. Yep, I got to sit in the café for the afternoon
soap fans!! Its very surreal to see people off the telly walking
around and saying hello to you while youre queuing up for lunch.
Without a doubt TAPS has been both an experience and an opportunity.
Already I have had meetings with the Head Of Drama in ITV Wales, Ive
been invited to pitch program ideas for a local production company and
some agents are expressing an interest in my work and me.
The best part of it all is that the whole process hasnt even finished
yet. Theres still the Showpiece to go and the meeting of industry
professionals to meet and hopefully impress. The play is in the final
stages of postproduction and we are expecting it in the post at the
end of March at which point a date will be set and the final stage will
I am aware that I have a lot more hard work to do before I make
it but thats the choice I made fourteen years ago that was
the choice way back when. You know, when I was but Im not you.
You are here and now. You are the writer with the talent and the skill.
Question is:Have You Got Anything To Say?
For more information on the TAPS Nation course please write to:
TAPS, Shepperton Studios, Shepperton, Middlesex, TW17 0QD
© Marc George
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