And so 2020 began. Back to being a full time freelance scriptwriter. Possibly not the best year for a return to the freelance world as it turned out but definitely nice to getting back to doing the work I love.
It actually began rather well. Not for the world as a whole, but for me professionally as a couple of really exciting projects kicked everything off. The first came about after a call out from the TriForce Creative Network. Have I Got News For You were looking to expand their pool of writers and so I submitted a number of jokes, headlines and had a stab at some topical humour. Some weeks later I got a call to say that I had been selected as one of 10 writers out of 1000 hopefuls for a day long workshop with the HIGNFY producers. Delighted to be selected but suddenly very aware of what that day would involve. Having to be competitively funny in a room full of writers trying to get one of the coveted slots. They were only planning on taking a few of us forward from the day.
The first task involved wading through a huge press pack surrounding the story of Sajid Javid's resignation and coming up with quick headlines. I managed to get most of mine on the board, although often with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that I may have just pitched something really cringeworthy. We then had to work in small groups to flesh some of the headlines out into jokes and fully formed stories.
This was followed by a 2 hour slot, on your own, trying to find headlines for the missing words round. That was super stressful as some were considerably easier than others. Was there really anything funny to be found in Prince Charles hoarding seeds or McDonalds bringing out a range of burger flavoured scented candles? Somehow I managed to write a headline for each story, submitted them and left with no knowledge as to whether they were any good or not. And then a week or so later I got the call to say I had been picked as one of the writers for a paid trial day on the next series. Again the joy of getting positive news was quickly replaced by the realisation that I would now have to be in a room with the regular HIGNFY writers. Writers who, in some cases, have been working on the series for years and years and for whom I expect this stuff just comes very, very easily. I have since been given a bit of a reprieve as the Coronavirus has now meant that the current series will have to be written remotely and, as there will be no writer's room as such, I will be working on the series after this one instead. However, I couldn't have asked for a better start as I genuinely am a fan and have been watching since the beginning.
Other great news has seen me working on a new and very much semi autobiographical sit com with Producer Simon Lupton and Director Matt Holt. For those of you who remember my 'arse issues,' you will be pleased to hear these have now been recreated in script form. A long way to go but great to be back working on an original sit com again.
Otherwise it's very much a case of applying to do trial scripts and watching hours and hours of long runners as well as numerous pitching meetings. All helped along by my fantastic agent Laura at Independant Talent of course. With the meetings now being done over the phone, very much with the sense that not much will happen until after we get through this current madness but hopefully lining work up for the autumn and beyond. Plus the creation of this new website, which can be seen as something of a minor miracle from someone as un-techy as me.
More updates to follow next month including the launch of some online scriptwriting workshops. Stay safe.