Codename: Pilot X

The need, the need... (Aw come on... you know you want to!)

As I find myself surrounded by pieces of paper, notebooks, stickers, highlighters, a bottle of water, a half-drunken cup of coffee and what is an attempt to lunch; this seems an appropriate time to tell you about my Other Thing ( Not be confused with the Other Other Thing which will be revealed next week.)

A couple of weeks ago, I got a very excited phone call from Sura. She and her sister Lina had come up with a concept that they’d like to have translated into a television-script and whether I wanted to have a brainstorm with them. ( Or mind-map whatever you kids call it these days.) Twenty-four hours later, the process of Pilot X had started.

It all went a bit quicker than expected: the rough idea is to write a script, shoot a pilot and attempt to sell it. A week after I had emailed a first draft, I find myself in a meeting with Sura and Lina, as well as Mr Z and Miss DB who will lead our production-team. To add to the surrealism of it all: this is done over Skype. I’m in London and they are in Antwerp.

We have pulled in all friendly favours we could, to try to make this happen. All parts are cast and we are finishing up some logistics on the production side. Two things:  my thespian-friends if you are wondering why we haven’t approached you – everything will be in Dutch (well Flemish; more about that later) so having some knowledge of the language was a requirement. Secondly, when I say ‘we’ I mean ‘they’, I am in London for various reasons mostly because of the Other Other Thing (next week! next week!)

I hope you’ll appreciate that I cannot write about the content of the pilot we are developing but – what ever happens – I want to write about the process. The process is a qualified enjoyable, with which I mean that there are times that it’s enjoyable in a masochistic sense. One of the biggest challenges (apart from coordinating 20 people’s diaries) is trying to explain and translate our concept to the people involved. This is obviously a big issue, if you cannot explain it to people who want to get involved and are rooting for you: try selling it to someone who is only interested if it could be a success.

So after a tiny panic, we came up with a virtual moodboard to explain the concept ( Wahey! Experience in Contract Publishing Not Completely Wasted!) Hopefully this will make it easier for everyone to be on the same page. (‘Hopefully’ being the keyword in that sentence.)

I’m currently worried that the script is too scrambled and too full: the joy of a pilot means that you have to introduce all characters and give them enough ‘issues’ that you can play with and develop later on.

Hence, the pieces of paper, notebooks, stickers, highlighters a bottle of water, a half-drunken cup of coffee and what looks like a 3yr-olds attempt to a storyboard. Told you. Enjoyable. An absolute delight!

To Be Continued

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