Just when I decided that my Romey Loves Jools script was reading too much like a one-off rather than a potential opener for a series, I had a call from Agent Ginny. Apparently the script had landed on the desk of a production company just as they'd had a call from BBC3 about the possibility of commissioning some modern-day takes on Shakespeare plays as part of an upcoming Shakespeare season. So we had a meeting, which is always fun. Early days yet, but you never know.
Also, this company are pretty keen on letting the writer take a stake in the production, which in the case of R+J is pretty important - I've got a very specific idea of the style which would best suit it, and the music I'd like to use (costumes and sets like a BBC Shakespeare production, directed like an episode of 'Friends' (but without the canned laughter) and with an electropop soundtrack going in and out like an episode of 'Spaced'). And once you've made what is effectively a pilot by the back door, there's a much higher chance of it being taken up as a series.
All this is extremely unlikely, to be honest - a more realistic but still optimistic scenario is that the R+J scripts acts as enough of a foot in the door to allow me to pitch an idea for a new script that's more suited to what they want. I'd love a crack at a modern-day Midsummer Night's Dream....
The other useful meeting I had whilst up in London Village (my hotel was just off London Street, which I particularly liked) took place at eight o'clock in the morning, in the snow. I turned up at Talkback only to find that whoever was supposed to open up had been incapacitated by either alcohol, or the snow, or both, leading to a small group of early-rising types huddled together on the steps while we waited for the Person With The Spare Key. One of the people I was talking to was married to a kid's TV producer, so he suggested I send off my CV to her on the off-chance, which, once I we'd gained access to the building, I duly did. Again, no idea if anything'll come of it, but it's always nice to open an email with "I was chatting to your husband early this morning while we were both standing outside in the snow....'. Has a pleasantly Spartan feel to it, lending a manliness that is so often regrettable in its absence in my communications. Most of which start with 'Hello Petal' and get increasingly whoopsie-ish from then on.
WAYS TO SPEED UP A MEANDERING WORKSHOP No. 1
Glare at actors over the lid of your laptop and say sternly- 'I came all the way in for Cornwall for this, you know.'
It went a bit quiet, and for a moment I thought I might have gone too far, but we did get back on track after that. It did slightly backfire the next day though, when I was trying to suggest some improvements to a scene in a vague and not-quite-making-any-sense sort of way, and one of the actors looked at me and said - 'I' came all the way from Camden for this, you know'. So it might have been sort of a one-shot deal.
Due to me deleting the old blog in a fit of grumpiness, the old links in the profile page no longer work. Fortunately I had backed everything up against me having one of my eppy fits, and have now uploaded it all to the james-henry.co.uk site. So the links in the sidebar over the right under 'old stuff' are still active, for what it's worth.