‘How would you all like a commission?’ It wasn’t a bad question to be asked by Henry Swindell, Development Producer with the BBC Writersroom. As the other two writers in the room sat with calm, collected poker-faces, I felt the sudden urge to fist pump the air or pencil-dive into the Manchester Ship Canal. It was the first time that I’d been asked to produce something from scratch rather than to develop my own scripts and I must say – it felt good.
Working in a team was something completely new to me and at first the concept was fairly intimidating. I’d spent the last couple of years working solo and writing whatever came to mind in the early hours of the morning but now it dawned on me that my ideas would be scrutinised by other writers with much more experience than myself. Thanks to my English degree I’m a big fan of dystopian literature and as a result, the majority of my thoughts put forward in the brainstorming sessions were set in some form of repressive, science-fictional future. The web series turned out to be a little different…
InSecurity arose from a culmination of ideas by not just the Writersroom team but also by the students at Salford University who would ultimately be responsible for bringing our individual scripts to life. It was great to work on a project that was so freely open to input and within a few weeks we were all on the same wavelength regarding our characters, storyline and setting. My initial concerns about working within a group were long gone and after a while we were all bouncing ideas around the table, learning from each other and maybe most importantly, having fun!
Writing the conclusive episode of InSecurity brought new challenges and a drafting process that was completely new to me. To begin with, the mini-episodes couldn’t be over a specific page-count, despite an attempted coup d’état by Luke Bailey. The realisation that I’d also be responsible for rounding off everyone’s hard work was another consideration throughout the process. On paper you can write whatever you want and your imagination pays the bills but the reality of writing to real physical and financial limitations was something to which I had to adapt. The students at Salford did a superb job of scouting out all the possible locations and giving us feedback as to what props would be appropriate.
A few months on from finishing the web-series I’m looking forward to seeing all of our hard work brought to life when the episodes are released online. It’s been a brilliant experience and I’ve come away from it all with the confidence to share my ideas with other writers and a newfound attitude towards working within a group. I hope that the audience gets as much fun out of watching InSecurity as I did helping to write it!