NFTS Scotland: An Introduction to Adaptation Online
Duration 10 days
Course dates 01 Nov 2021 - 12 Nov 2021Begin your application
ADAPTATIONS of novels are today as crucial to the schedules of the BBC, ITV and Sky as they are to Netflix, Amazon Studios and HBO. They account for more than half of the drama output on global television, no longer depending on the works of 19th or even 20th century classic authors. A new wave of contemporary adaptations has arrived. Recent adaptations of novels such as Normal People (BBC 1), Big Little Lies (HBO), The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix), The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu) and The Underground Railroad (Netflix) are creating huge new opportunities for writers and producers.
AN INTRODUCTION TO ADAPATION is a new two-week course during which participants will be taken through the process of turning a novel into a relevant drama series or screenplay for today.
During week one, after reading the first chapters of the novel, you will learn how shows like Normal People, Tales of the City, The Camomile Lawn, Killing Eve and Elizabeth is Missing became successes on the screen. Guest writers and producers from selected shows will talk about the decisions they made in development; the use or non-use of voice-over; how to deal with the narration in the novel; and where to introduce new dialogue into scenes where there is none in the book. There will also be a session on acquiring rights, approaching a producer or broadcaster with your idea for an adaptation, and the relationship with a living author.
Week two will focus on developing an actual novel, of your choice, for adaptation. It can be contemporary or classical, without having to acquire the rights. You will work on an outline and treatment for the project, with actual sample scenes written overnight and then discussed in class the following day. At the end of the course you’ll pitch your idea to a Head of Development, and also an experienced practitioner of adapting novels for the screen.
The industry is aware that there is a need to locate and champion new talent in the art of adaptation.
The course is led by PETER ANSORGE, ex-Head of Drama at Channel 4 whose award-winning career includes: A Very British Coup, Traffik, GBH, The Politician’s Wife, The Camomile Lawn, Dance To The Music of Time and the Peabody-winning adaptation of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City. Several of the scripts completed on Peter’s established ‘Writing the Pilot’ course at NFTS Beaconsfield and NFTS Scotland are currently in development with leading UK drama independents.
The course will also be supported by guest speakers including Academy award-winning writer, and producer, Christopher Hampton (Dangerous Liaisons, The Father, Atonement).
Current or recent tutors
Peter AnsorgeCourse Leader, TV Drama: Creating the Bible
Ex-Channel 4 Head of Drama. His commissions included A Very British Coup and Traffik