When writing about contemporary issues, there’s always the possibility that the burning subject matter will be well out of date by the time it gets aired. This doesn’t apply only to stuff on screen, but this is the area I’m concerned with.
For example, we are one year into the current economic recession and the effects can be seen to be biting hard with more shops shuttered and boarded, rising unemployment figures, bundles of old coats dumped on shopping precincts with their scrawled messages on cardboard, and a general air of threadbare about life. If you’re a bank boss, though, it’s a different story.
And there it is – the beginnings of the premise for a drama about the extent of the recession and how it affects both the victims and those who brought it about. Hmm, it sounds a bit one-sided already, doesn’t it? Well, we could sort that out in Act 2.
Of course, after the months of outlining and scriptwriting, finding a producer, getting the backing and finance, and finally cobbling together the cast, crew, locations, studio and post-production facilities... we’re very likely to be well out of it and, basking in the new wealth of the twenty-teens, these harsh times of the noughties will be just a blip in people’s memories and the toss will have no value.