I didn’t know whether to share this with you as I don’t know if it’s in any way useful to anyone, but I had an little experience that I found encouraging so thought I may as well post about it.
I’ve been adapting Kill ’em in the Brain for television (I know adapting one’s own work might seem a bit pretentious but hear me out!). I had ideas for the theatre play that were more suited for TV so thought I’d use what I learned in the Adaptation module to transfer the story across mediums.
Someone close to me has been encouraging (nay, relentlessly hounding) me to submit a pitch for the screen version to TV networks. I kept trying to tell him that that isn’t how it works, you must first get a producer, and more than likely an agent before a network will take you seriously or even read your pitch. This dear person in my life told me I was full of excuses and that nothing bad could possibly happen if I just sent 1 page to a bunch of people. He pointed out that Orson Welles once said that naivety was his friend. Welles didn’t know how things were supposed to work, so he just proceeded in the way that it made sense to him, and we all know how that turned out! Simply so that I would no longer be pestered about sending in pitches, I mailed out my 1 page outline for the series to a bunch of people.
I got a reply from Channel 4 just three days after I posted my pitch, advising me on the correct steps to take.
Now, whilst I realise that their response wasn’t the news that they are commissioning my work, I find it really encouraging. Now I know that someone DOES read what you send in, unsolicited writer or not (despite what their website submission guidelines tell you). Not only that, but someone took the time to sit down with my piece of paper and contact me. This has resulted in me managing to at least worm my idea into someone’s office, and I now have a much more clear set of instructions on how to get a producer on board, and where to find one.
I just wanted to share this with you guys because I think that we can all do this (write for a living). I really think there’s something to be said for ignoring the rules and guidelines once in a while and going with your gut (or someone else’s actually….).