So, Fair City.
I’ve blogged about this show before, here, here and here. Basically, if you don’t want to go read those, the short version is that it’s a Dublin-based soap produced by the Irish State Television broadcaster, RTE, and I’ve managed to blag a trial with them. The last time I spoke to them, the script editor told me to keep up with the show, get to know the characters better and get back in touch in a few months. So I did. I’ve watched all the eps, made some notes on the characters, did some background searches on the internet. Put in the work, basically. When I thought I was ready, I sent a nice email saying so.
So, yesterday the script editor got back in touch to say my trial scenes are go and can I come in to see them and meet the team. That way she’ll give me the low down on exactly what it is they’re looking for. And she’d also (here’s the best bit) SHOW ME THE SETS!!!
I dunno why, but I got all excited about that last bit.
Anyway, the way it works is that once we’ve met up and talked through what it is they need, she’ll give me some trial scenes to write (four scenes of my choice from one episode out of a week’s run of four. The Fair City episode documents are scene-by-scene breakdowns). These will be from episodes already broadcast and which I will probably have already seen. She’ll then tell me to go away and come back with the scenes in a week.
If that goes ok, I go on to the next stage, which is writing a shadow script. Basically, I write the script for an upcoming episode, going through the same procedure as the actual writer of that episode, with the same deadlines, feedback time, etc. As if it was the real deal, but they know they have someone writing the actual episode and that mine is just a try-out. It’s a great way for both sides to see how it works and whether you suit each other.
If THAT goes ok, then it’s the real deal. Hopefully. But that’s way down the line.
Anyway, they also said they’re looking for storyliners, which means that you go and work 9-5 but not full time. A week here, a week there. Which would be perfect for me. So, separately, they’re booking me in for a week during the summer doing shadow storylining.
They do blocks of episodes at a time (16 I think, which would be a month’s worth). A team of storyliners will work on that block, taking the already-established general plots for that period and fleshing them out. Yes, I get to kill all the characters. And make them have affairs. And find long-lost brothers/wives/sons. And someone may even have a comedy moment involving a small dog and a bike! And a balloon!
Ok, maybe not that last bit.
So, a bit chuffed with all that. I know soap is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I’ve always loved it. I think it’s what television does best – reflecting back the lives of the people watching, allowing the audience to live with characters and a community, following characters week by week for years through all the human dramas of birth, relationships and death.
And the occasional dog on a bike holding a balloon. But things like that are usually held back for special episodes, so don’t get your hopes up.
Anyway, the idea of sitting in a room and talking about all that stuff excites me as much as writing one of the episodes. It’s my bag completely. Couldn’t be happier.
Have a good weekend!!