Tag Archives: bbc casualty

Searching for inspiration

Candice: I have to admit to not feeling inspired today while trying to come up with ideas to blog about.  Keeping it fresh for our lovely readers each week means that by Friday I’m starting to rack my brains for ideas, looking for news stories and by Sunday really dredging through anything to come up with something interesting to write about.  You guys don’t want total tosh, you want something about writing!

I have to admit I have quite a good excuse this week.  On Friday I had a last minute call to see if I could do Casualty on Saturday, down in Cardiff.  Without checking the weather forecast I said yes.  I havent done any extras work this year so fancied a day out.  Anyway, got up at 5.30am on Saturday to find my car 3 inches deep in snow.  Off I went for my 110 mile drive, let us just say there were points where my heart was in my mouth as the traction control kicked in when I was slipping on snow.  After all that rushing, they didn’t use me until 5pm!

Had an interesting lunch break though, as they are currently filming Doctor Who at the same studio, so we lunched with some weird and wonderful creatures.  I shall look forward to seeing that episode!

Anyway, that plus now having a lovely cold means that my head is not in the right place for inspiration.  However, its got to get there by Friday as Phil and I have booked a writing day, utilising the Easter weekend and the fact the other half is not around.  And we plan to use it to tackle ‘The Book’.  Obviously said novel has been languishing in the back of a cupboard, and our minds, for over a year while we try to find inspiration to work out how to make it from good to great.  Once done we can start sending it out to Agents again, but we need to knuckle down to it.  Both Phil and I have ideas floating around in our heads but we need to sit down with a blank sheet of paper and give it one more go.   I’m excited by the prospect but also daunted as this is the ‘big’ thing, the thing that we think might get us somewhere, but is just frustrating as no one has picked it up yet.  Patience is not one of my virtues.

So here’s to lots of Beecham cold and flu tablets and hopefully a clear head on Friday.

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Creating a Buzz with the BBC

Phil: Last week, Candice posted about her day as an extra on the BBC Tv series “Casualty”. This seemed to generate a bit of interest in our blog and I thought readers who enjoy a bit of blatant self-promotion would like to know a bit more. Apologies for going a bit nerdy but the details are interesting.

The first thing I spotted was on a counter tracking visits to the site. It seems that someone using a computer at the BBC had looked at the post entitled “Casualty” followed by the tab “Meet the authors” and finally “Kate vs the dirtboffins”.

“That’s interesting”, I think, “I wonder if someone is looking for next years new 6-part blockbuster series ?”

Sadly not. Well, possibly not anyway.

A little more investigation shows that the Beeb automatically track mentions of some programmes using their “Buzztracker” system, which you can read about here: http://www.live.bbc.co.uk/buzztracker/buzz . Mentioning Casualty rang a bell somewhere and they spidered our blog, following up with a manual check which involved taking a look at the authors of the piece.

Casualty Home PageNolan obviously passed muster here because a link to this blog then appeared on tha Casualty home page: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006m8wd in the “Buzz about this programme section”

At this point, I was frantically texting and e-mailing the details over so madame could check it out for herself. Needless to say by the time she got there we’d fallen off the page again, but we were there !

Why did we fall off ? Well, I had just Tweeted our appearance and maybe the BBC check Twitter and correlate the results to avoid over-promotion from attention seekers. Alternatively, they might have decided that it wasn’t suitable for the main page after all – they prefer discussion on the latest episode that has gone to air, not moving scenery mentioning anything that might be coming up in the future. Not that anything was mentioned, what with there being an NDA document signed and everything. That and the role played wasn’t pivotal as far as our star was aware.

Is this information useful ?

Dunno. Maybe if you are a writer keen to comment on current telly, if you can work out which programmes the BBC is watching social media for then you could make your blog a traffic magnet for a while. I suspect the moral is you never know who is watching your writing on the web.

Anyway, if the BBC are still interested, I know a book that could be the next televisual Brideshead Revisited, Blott on the Landscape or Jewel in the Nile. Why not get in touch ?

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Casualty

ImageCandice: I was lucky enough to get a stint on BBC Casualty last week, down in Cardiff.  It happened to be the day after the Doctor Who Experience opened, shame because the day before I could have been hanging out with Cybermen.

Anyway, after a rather early start and 104 miles under my belt, I found BBC Cardiff.  Lets just say I had to sign a disclosure to say I wouldn’t take photos or tell story lines so I can’t tell you much, but its a nice place.  To be honest I don’t watch Casualty and I was only on set for 1 hr so I have no idea what was going on, but I’m keeping stum.

However, I met some very nice people on the day.  There was loads of extras, and in talking to them I found that alot of them were regulars.  And when I mean regulars, I mean people who have been doing it for 15 years!  One lady had started off bottom of the food chain, like me, and worked her way up to Doctor Someone (not Who – same building different extras). And another whose job it was to “meander” ie loiter in the back of shot as a Paramedic. These guys are the meat of a show like this, and you might not recognise them week in and week out, but they make the whole thing look real.  However, now I’ve met them I am sure I’ll be spotting them left right and centre.

I was a lowly visitor in waiting room, but I might get a nice shot if I’m lucky.

Part of the point of this day is to meet other people who expand my horizons, and on Friday I did.  I ended up spending most of my time with Scott, Paul and Steve, who entertained me greatly in those long hours between 9.30am (when we left set) and 5pm (when we were signed out).  We even ended up playing hang man out of boredom!  But the stories I get told are just as interesting as the day and I like to lodge them away for future writing ideas.

However, I had competition as there was another writer in our midst.  Paul, who writes articles and stories for a magazine called StarburstNow he was a proper “whovian” and we did have a nice chat about who was the best Doctor.

So, Phil and I might have to tackle SciFi at some point, because we might have a route to a publisher!

On a final note, as I was leaving, Russell T Davies drove past.  Now that was rather cool.

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