Friday, 2 September 2011

First Gig

The last few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind - as if finishing my MA and working in Edinburgh's mental festival season wasn't enough, two other big things have happened. On August 16th I secured both an agent and my first TV script commission! I kept both things quiet for a bit as documents etc. needed signed but I also needed time to get my head around what had happened. They've (just about) sunk in now...

I've been asked to write an episode of the brilliant CBBC spy drama M.I. High! I was a fan of the show already so am delighted. I'm being represented by Lucy Fawcett at Sheil Land Associates. If you want to offer me a job she's your port of call ;)

Both occurrences are huge milestones for me on the road to making a living out of writing for TV - and things I've long dreamt of. I've always known I could write but to have someone employ me and someone working to secure me further gigs is a big boost. It's now up to me to put in the effort and make the most of these opportunities. I've in no way 'made it' - this is the start of a steep learning curve and a lot of hard (but fun!) grafting. A big thanks to everyone who's helped me get this far and wished me well.

A few folks have asked me how it all came about:

I got a call out of the blue. Unknown to me, my spec Starfall had been passed to M.I. High's producer. That script was a finalist in the 2010 Red Planet Prize which was co-run by Kudos (the indie who make M.I. High) and they were looking for new writers to join their team. While Starfall was aimed at older teens, the producer and script editor felt my style fitted with their plans. I had to send them two other examples of my work and then pop down to London for a chat before being offered the job. As a new writer without any broadcast credits I then had to have my appointment approved by the execs at Kudos and CBBC, so I had a tense few weeks waiting until it was all agreed on the 16th (which is my God-Daughter's birthday so the day was filled with much cuteness as well as excitement).

My agent came about through an introduction from a screenwriter friend. We emailed for a few months and got on well. She really enjoyed a number of scripts I'd sent her and we had a face to face meeting in June. As I was still undertaking my MA, she suggested waiting until I had completed my studies before she took me on as a client but offered to represent me straight away if any jobs opened up before then - which is what happened. Having got the news of M.I. High I got in touch and we firmed up our arrangement.

So here I am. I've had the first few meetings for M.I. High and begun work on that. I'll still have to juggle my writing with my day-job but I'm used to doing that so there shouldn't be a problem. It's easy to work long hours if you're enjoying yourself - which I absolutely am!