Sunday, February 05, 2006

So You Want to Write TV drama?

Last term writer-director Adrian Mead and his producer partner Clare Kerr were guest speakers at the MA Screenwriting course I'm dong part-time at Edinburgh's Napier University. Several of the other visitor speakers before them had been downbeat, verging on the depressive, but Adrian and Clare were sparky, energetic and positive - a real breath of fresh air. During the session they announced their company, Mead Kerr, sometimes ran one-day seminars in Edinburgh so I got in touch and aked to be included on the mailing list.

Fast forward to yesterday and at least 40 people gathered in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle for a seminar by Adrian entitled So You Want to Write TV Drama. My base competitive instinct immediately had me inwardly cursing all those around me, until I spotted several people I knew - three others from the MA course, plus crime writer Alanna Knight and Scottish comics institution John McShane. Helping run the day was Andy, a fellow scribe who was on the same radio drama writer's mini-lab in Dundee last summer. Every break was taken up with furious networking, much encouraged by Adrian and Clare. I disocvered a woman two seats along from me was a radio dramatist who was getting established as a writer with River City, so I swapped business cards with her and hope to pick her brains in the near future.

But how was the seminar itself? Well run, entertaining, and packed with industry insights that would take newbies like me forever to discover for ourselves. As a one-day primer about the inner workings of the business, it was like gold dust. The seminar was absolutely not about writing, but about breaking in and surviving as a writer. Adrian covered topics like how to get an agent, hwo to get usual feedback from family and friends, how to get the most out of meetings. Best of all, he imparted a lot of behind the scenes info he'd gleaned by calling round his contacts within the industry. The seminar content was bang up to date, not the ramblings of somebody who used to work in the field five or ten years ago. I had a great time and would cheerfully recommend the Mead Kerr seminars to anyone who's interested in writing TV drama. You can find their website at or by clicking the title at the top of this posting.

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