27 July 2012
by GAIL RENARD, Chair of the WGGB Television Committee
Great news for writers! I’m pleased to say after discussions with the Guild, BAFTA has agreed to the introduction of a Television Comedy Writing Award to sit alongside their Drama one at their Craft Awards; creating two separate and distinct writing categories. No longer will Mrs Brown’s Boys have to go up against Sherlock; chalk against cheese.
The Digital Creativity category will also be changed to include eligibility of on-line material relating to a television programme entered in the Awards. This will all be finalised in time for the next Awards.
A misconception about the BAFTA Awards and the way they honour writers has also been cleared up. Guild members expressed fears that writers weren’t being represented at the main Awards, but were shunted to the Craft ones instead. Not true. At the main BAFTA TV Awards, there are eight awards for comedy and drama series, and when the series wins an award, the series’ writer wins one too. In addition to the above two new awards, that’s ten writers’ awards in all.
As for attendance at ceremonies, another bugbear of writers, BAFTA allows four tickets for writers per nominated series. The problem is making sure that the writers are invited on the night and not the producer’s date. BAFTA has promised to strongly recommend to production companies that their writers be present. If you feel writers aren’t being properly represented at any award ceremony (the RTS, etc) please tell the Guild. Only by making these practices known can we hope to change them.
Thanks to BAFTA for listening to Guild members. Good luck at the Awards.