Thursday, November 20, 2008

Chapter 17

"No one trains you for this." - Adrian Mead, "How to make it as a Screenwriter".

I spoke to the producer in the BBC today and arranged a meeting for next Wednesday evening, somewhere in London (venue to be confirmed). An informal " get to know you" type meeting, which roughly translates as "I like your writing but are you someone I can work with?"

Chapter 17 of Adrian Mead's monograph[1] is entitled "Meeting Script Editors and Producers" and contains the above quote as the second paragraph. He goes on to say:

This [meeting] is rarely about making your script. Most likely they are meeting you for
one of the following reasons:
  • They liked your work and are interested to see more ideas.
  • They are checking you aren’t a neurotic type to see if you’re suitable for one of their existing TV shows or film projects.
You will do dozens of these meetings at the start of your career and it will seem like nothing comes out of 99% of them.

Well, I'm certainly not neurotic - arrogant possibly.

The truth is that nobody trains you, until now. Adrian spends the rest of the chapter explaining how to prepare for, and how to be professional in, the meeting; thereby increasing the likelihood that something does come of it. (Is [less than] ten quid really too much for this sort of information? Especially when the profits got to Childline.)

So I shall prepare well and behave in an appropriately relaxed but professional manner.

[1] "Monograph" is a sadly under-used word nowadays, yet its definition perfectly fits Adrian's little book: "a detailed and documented treatise on a particular subject". I have been, over the last few months, on and off, been reading the complete works of Sherlock Holmes by Conan Doyle. And the word monograph pops up every now and then. I read the stories picturing the amazing, iconic and sorely missed, Jeremy Brett, who made the role his own in the 41 stories he appeared in.

What's on the turntable? "Suspended in Gaffa" by Kate Bush from "The Dreaming". Reminds me of this: You only need two things in this universe Gaffa Tape and WD40. Gaffa is for stopping things moving that shouldn't and WD40 is getting things moving that should.

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