MA Screenwriting – reflective blog week 12.

So, week 12 has been and gone and this is the last blog post of the term. Pat on the back to myself for writing a reflective blog post every week so far. Actually, I think I’ve found a kind of pattern.

Each week, as the required reading list comes through, I decide to read those first. Secondly, I get on with the creative task for that week, ready to submit for feedback. Finally, I jump on the peer feedback thread to read and feedback on the creative work of my peers.

This structure seems to be working. Am I attacking the working week in order of importance? I don’t think so. I get the required readings out of the way so I can focus on my creative work freely, without worrying that there’s some academic text I need to get back to and comment on. And I get my creative work out of the way so I am free to feedback on peer work without my own creative agenda hanging over my head, like a pigeon on a ledge.

We might say, therefore, that the importance of the tasks is in reverse order. I mean sure, my creative work is the most important, which is the centrepiece of my week. Next, peer feedback is super important because, to my peers, that is their creative work, the most important part of their work that week. And if it’s important to them, it should be important to me, right? So where does that leave the required readings? Third place? Last but not least? It depends on the required reading.

One of the most valuable readings for me came late in the term and was an optional task on Vince Gilligan and the Breaking Bad writers room. The task pointed to this article in The Guardian which is an extract from Difficult Men, a book by Brett Martin, which, despite the title, is a post-feminist exploration of American television in the third golden age, from The Sopranos to The Wire, Dexter, Mad Men et al. It covers not only how the role of television has grown into what it is today – ever hungry for streaming content – but also how the role of the writer has changed and continues to change, even here in the UK as we enter, according to the BBC report today, a new golden age of television right here, right now.

And that’s not a cue for a High School Musical song.

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