Developing Stories for TV with Roland MooreBy Zoë Thomas
Roland has worked in TV, radio, film and prose, with some of his children’s TV including Peter Rabbit, Mike the Knight and Waybuloo. Our focus was to be on a very cool Jamaican (no, not Usain Bolt), who likes to ‘make a bad ting good!’ - but more about that later.
We started by highlighting the merits of both writing for an existing TV series and writing your own TV series. His advice…
Double your chances by doing both!
Mouseland + SCBWI = Inspiration
Writing for a series while working on your own increases your ‘air miles’ (air time). To do the first well: watch, know and love the show, and have LOTS of ideas.
Top tip - Consider providing stories for less popular characters.
We were then let loose on Mouseland, with only our wits and Da Easy Crew to help us foil a crime and bring redemption. We were armed with some rules and a list of previous ideas, and had ten minutes to come up with three new episodes - it was a tough call but SCBWIs love a challenge! There were mysteries on the golf course and pirate ships, in the laundrette and barber’s, and even a Bake-Off-style one, complete with baking legend 'Mary Brie'!
|SCBWI Wales Network Conference attendees Stephen, Zoë and Glyn|
Networking is key!
Ideas in hand, what’s next? Pitching of course, and often in a room full of other writers. All going well, they’ll like your writing and/or ideas but may make suggestions, so be adaptable. As ever, networking is key. IMDB is a good resource for finding out who’s who, i.e. producers and script editors. If things continue to go well, you’ll need to write a series proposal (one-page doc), and a detailed ‘bible’ (40-50 pages).
1) Don’t pick Mouseland for a quiet get-away, it’s all going on!
2) There are lots of opportunities out there - think internationally and online, e.g. YouTube, Amazon.
3) Writing for TV needs the perseverance and dedication all writing does - practice your craft.
4) Da Easy Crew make crime solving look, well… easy!
5) For more valuable tips, contact Roland on www.rolandmoore.tv or @rolandmooretv.
Zoë Thomas heads up the Wales network and this was her first conference. She’s been a member of SCBWI for two years and it’s been a delightful revelation. With all the support and skill sharing at hand, she’s determined that some day she will write the perfect picture book! You can reach her at: firstname.lastname@example.org