Today I finished my entry for the Red Planet Prize, which is a screenwriting competition run by Tony Jordan and Kudos television, who were responsible for the likes of Life On Mars, Ashes to Ashes, and Hustle. The requirements were simple: to submit the first 10 pages of a 1 hour single drama or ongoing series, and a 60 word synopsis. Guess which was more difficult. Yep: the latter.
The project I chose to take forward was “Jump!” – a high concept comedy drama which stands absolutely no chance of winning but was very fun to write. I find writing scripts a lot easier than writing novels. They come together more quickly, and it’s much easier to do a big editing job on them. Since I first wrote the script a while back I’ve learnt a lot about storytelling, and the new version is leaner, meaner, and hopefully as fat-free as Kate Moss channelling Muller Lite.
Having never entered a screenwriting competition before, I fully expect to fail, but writing this stuff is all good experience regardless. “Jump!” is about a guy called Mark Weaver who loses his girlfriend and is subsequently offered the chance to save her by leaping through parallel universes, solving a dilemma in each one before he falls asleep and is trapped in that reality forever. It’s a cross between Quantum Leap, Sliders and 24, with a bit of Lost thrown in. It’s really enjoyable to write, as it’s pretty “out there”. That also means that it’s almost certainly not going to get anywhere, but when I read it back I really, really like it. It has a lot of heart and it appeals to my sense of humour. We’ll just have to see what the judges make of it.