Invest­ig­at­ing Brit­ish TV: Seri­al Eyes in London

From March 4 to 10, Seri­al Eyes traveled to Lon­don to learn about the Brit­ish TV industry. The week star­ted with Abi­gail Gonda from the BBC Writers Room, a tal­ent devel­op­ment pro­gramme for UK-based TV writers. Abi­gail gave the writers use­ful tips on how to approach pro­du­cers and broad­casters. Later, The Agency’s Jonath­an Kin­ners­ley and Emily Hick­man dis­cussed the latest devel­op­ments in the UK TV industry. The day fin­ished with a well-deserved net­work­ing event organ­ized by our LFS col­leagues at cre­at­ive hub Hos­pit­al Club.
The vis­it to Marc Lorber and Steve Novem­ber at Lionsgate TV, the stu­dio behind series like Orange is the New Black, Mad Man, Nashville, was cer­tainly a high­light for all involved. Back at LFS’ Long Acre work­shop room, Simon Win­stone talked about his new role as Head of Drama at BBC Stu­di­os Wales (and tor­tured us by not divul­ging any­thing about Dr. Who!). Former SVT Head of Drama Chris­ti­an Wik­ander, now based at Brit­ish pro­duc­tion com­pany Twel­vetown, talked about the devel­op­ment pro­cess for Swedish series Jord­skott, a case study on the chal­lenges and rewards of work­ing with an emer­ging writer. Warp Films’ Head of Devel­op­ment Ally Gipps also walked us through the typ­ic­al devel­op­ment pro­cess for a Brit­ish TV show.
Anoth­er high­light, of course, was our annu­al vis­it to Big Light Pro­duc­tions. We were hos­ted by Asso­ci­ate Pro­du­cer Amira El Nemr and Script Edit­or Lucy Rawl­in­son, who listened and gave invalu­able feed­back on the pro­ced­ur­al group pro­jects from the participants.

On Thursday, the much-anti­cip­ated Writers’ Room work­shop at LFS took place. The SE par­ti­cipants and LFS MA screen­writers were div­vied up into six writers’ group and shared an entire day cre­at­ing new series con­cepts for Brit­ish TV. It was a great exper­i­ence for every­one, and we heard some fresh and inspir­ing new story ideas afterwards.
On the last day, we vis­ited Luke Frank­lin in his new office at Yel­low Bird UK, which spe­cial­izes in adapt­a­tions of Scand­inavi­an crime nov­els. Then, Scott Free Pro­duc­tions’ Kate Crowe car­ried us away into the cap­tiv­at­ing world of the BBC series Taboo and its mak­ing. Last but cer­tainly not least, Steve Mat­thews, EP and VP at HBO Europe, enter­tained us with the tale of his own career path and with HBO Europe’s plans for pro­du­cing ori­gin­al con­tent in loc­al mar­kets across Europe.

We had a fant­ast­ic time in Lon­don, and we want to thank all our guest speak­ers and our LFS col­leagues for their hos­pit­al­ity and sup­port. We’ll be back – no Brexit can stop us!