I recently paid for additional notes on my TV script "Monsters", I decided to splash out a bit and used someone with a huge amount of real TV & Film experience. I got the notes back on Wednesday and they were generally positive, and some nice compliments.
Although I don't assume people are "just being nice", I am a bit of a cynic and wasn't sure exactly how to take the compliments and positivity (was he just being nice, or did it really mean something?).
I'm not the sort of person who spends time in internal debates, it's a pointless waste of time. So I asked him: was he being nice or did it mean more? (I was slightly more diplomatic than that, I can do diplomatic if I have to.)
I'm still rather in shock from the reply.
Apparently it meant "more". He really did mean that I have talent, in other words I am writing as well as people who get paid to write for British TV*. And this is someone who knows (his resume is impressive, including being Head of Drama Development for a major British TV company).
It hasn't sunk in really.
Of course this doesn't mean I will ever get paid for scriptwriting (I'm a cynic and a realist), but at least I know. There is an additional bit to this which is that this gentleman (and he is nothing else) also says he will use his contacts to assist any good writers he finds. And in a business where contacts are everything that means a lot. So, being me, I specifically asked whether I would fall into that category, and once again he responded with an unequivocal yes.
Nothing like being sure about things.
Now what? I have some hard work ahead of me. I need to get a handle on the changes needed in "Monsters", as I shall be meeting him at the Cheltenham Screenwriters Festival to discuss it. Plus I need to get pitch documents sorted for all my other scripts and ideas, business cards I already have, though not 100% correct in what they say, they do have my contact details and that's the main thing. And I can be so much more confident, I know I'm sufficiently good to get paid work, now it's up to me.
With my 50th** birthday coming up in September let's see if I can't get a commission for something.
* My darling wife made a cynical comment at this, implying that British TV writing is not necessarily good. Harrumph.
** Why is this important? A survey of British writers showed that the majority of the successful ones are male and over 50. Clearly, my time has come.
What's on the turntable? "Mr Blue Sky" by ELO from "Out of the Blue" ... how apt is that?