work, work, busy, busy…
I’m very happy to say I’ve been commissioned to write a script for a mainstream sitcom idea I pitched a month or so ago. My first proper original commission. Okay, so it’s not a series, it’s not even a pilot, but it’s a proper grown-up commission and I’m very happy about the fact. It feels like I’ve reached a personal milestone.
On a shelf at the far end of my office – which is a converted garage – there used to be a bottle of Champagne I’d been saving for when I finally get an original series commissioned, but as this script commission coincided with my mum’s birthday it seemed like a perfect time to crack it open. Plus it meant I didn’t have to go to the shop.
It’s not easy this script writing malarkey you know. The most difficult bit is coming up with good original relationships and characters who react in believable ways to drive the story forward. I know that’s stating the obvious, but it’s true.
I was lucky enough to be asked to write a script for an existing show a while back, it was a real seat-of-the-pants job and needed to be done in two weeks. But it was easy because they gave me a ‘series bible’ with an intricate breakdown of who all the characters were, the tone and theme of the show.
but coming up with original stuff… I always find it a struggle. I have already done a first draft of this new project and completely binned it. I honestly don’t think there’s anything I can use from it other than the opening scene. But that’s what they’re for. It gave me an idea for the structure of the storiesand I could see the characters starting to come alive.
I know the tone I want and I have a rough idea of who these characters are. From that point I find there’s nothing I can do other than write it, because it turns into a sort of symbiotic process of story and character feeding each other as I write them and slowly, coming alive.
I’m now working on a second first draft which begins about half way through the original first draft, has done away with a character and two locations. I am going to really go for it this week and try to get this finished by Friday.
My self imposed deadline for getting it over to the Beeb is November 10, because that’s when Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 comes out and I am genuinely excited about getting my hands on it.
Elsewhere what the commission means iis I’ve had to put the Big Bear script on hold for a while. I finished a first draft which I wasn’t particularly happy with – but not madly unhappy with, it was definitely getting there – and sent that over just to show willing. I’m looking forward to seeing their new sitcom Big Top when it goes out on BBC1 in December.
It’s been nice to start seeing my name in credits at last. the new Dragons Den online series on BBC2, Gigglebiz on CBeebies both had me in the same day last week. I know I’m the only person in the world to either know or care about that, but it was nice.
I sent some stuff over for Armstrong and Miller, which I haven’t heard back from and I’ve been very busy getting completely ignored by Funny or Die.
Anyway, must crack on. The dog is shaking – she can see a squirrel.