That Was The Year That Was: 2014 (part 3)

As summer moved towards Autumn, I made some exciting new contacts, received my first broadcast credit and September became on of my busiest months ever…

Preparations for my session on transmedia at the Children’s Media Conference were in full swing. I had added Amanda Punter from Penguin Random house and Anna Rafferty, the best new media guru I know to my line up.
Greg also gave me an exec for my session – Anthony Lukom who heads up the UK entertainment business at Turner Broadcasting. We had a good chat about the session and got on very well. Another great contact to make and a ice bloke to boot!
He suggested the final piece of the jigsaw. I had been trying to get someone from Mind Candy along – and when Divinia Knowles’ name came up, I know she would be the cherry on the cake.
Elsewhere, Alison let me know that I had missed out on the Doctors Shadow Scheme. Apparently there had been a LOT of interest and having spoken to my circle of writer friend I discovered that almost all of us had been in the frame but that none of us had got it! Still, it’s something I want to pursue…

Lovely weather ushered in the first London-based BBC Drama Writers Festival. This year was just a one-day affair but there were still a lot going on. The highlight for me was meeting Tony Jordan, who has been a writing (and creative) hero of mine since I first saw his name after the “duff duffs” on EastEnders. I spoke to hem very briefly but arranged to contact him later in the summer. Something I kept a reminder of in my calendar!
Afterwards, I headed out with some of the writers including Hayley November, Chris Lunt (Prey) and Debbie Moon (Wolfblood) for a lovely meal in Chinatown and thence to Chris’s club for some Maker’s Mark bourbon!

My Transmedia session at the CMC was well received.
My Transmedia session at the CMC was well received.

I managed to squeeze in my first meeting with the production company that had been waxing lyrical about my scripts. It was a breakfast meeting at St Pancras station before I hopped on a train to Sheffield for the Children’s Media Conference.
The event was great. So many children’s media luminaries: from BBC channel controllers to Disney executives, independent production companies and lots of creatives! Caught up with a lot of people from Mind Candy and the BBC at the big party in the evening. The next day I hooked up with Phil Ford and watched the amazing BBC children’s commissioning panel. Finally got to put faces to so many industry names. I can’t recommend this event more highly if you’re involved in children’s TV, publishing, comics, games or any other media.
Late that month, news came through about a new Go Jetters writers’ room, but having booked the family holiday six months previously, I couldn’t attend. Note to self: no more holidays in July!
The day before we flew to warmer climes, my first Tree Fu Tom episode was broadcast on CBeebies at 5pm on the 21st July, so at least that was a good note to end the month on.

Always a slow month in TV land and this one proved no different. Everyone is away or keeping a low profile, so trying to progress anything or set up meetings becomes close to pointless.
I did receive an invitation to speak at the Norwich Sound & Vision festival later in the year and was happy to say “yes”. Having stepped in for Phil last year when he couldn’t make it, it was nice to be there in my own right. 🙂
I also received a nice email from Penguin Random House asking me to pitch for the new range of non-fiction books that will tie-in with Mind  Candy’s new game, Warriors.

Maya Digital contacted me about writing on their new show “Eena, Meena, Deeka”.

Now they everyone was back form holiday, September became a massive month for me…
A lot of people say that LinkedIn isn’t worth it. I don’t agree. I use it avidly on a daily basis. My morning ritual is to check Broadcast and then to give LinkedIn a swift once-over. Often, these to activities are linked. For example, if I see a new show has been green-lit or a returning one renewed, I will check to see who is producing it and then see if I can track them down on LinkedIn. I’ll then contact them to throw my hat in the ring and/or ask to meet up. This has been very productive over the past could if years.
This time, however, it was the fact that I keep my profile up to date that paid dividends. I received a LinkedIn request from a chap from the Indian digital animation company, Maya. I’d heard of this company as they do the animation for Noddy and Octonauts (amongst others) over here. So I duly accepted the request and shortly thereafter got an email asking if I’d like to help them develop their own IP, ahead of a fast-approaching MIPCOM. A few emails with my agent and a couple of Skype calls to India later and the series bible and a sample animation pinged into my in box. I loved the show idea (and its name: Eena, Meena, Deeka!) and quickly wrote three synopses and sent them off.
In the meantime I had set up meetings with both Anthony Lukom at Turner and Tony Jordan at Red Planet. These went swimmingly and there are now potential things on the horizon with both companies. Still on the meetings front, I managed to secure one with NBC Universal out in LA – something I’ll be seeing through come February.
I went off to Cardiff to catch up with Phil, Derek and the composer of the fantastic WvA theme, Sam Watts – having a blast as the rain poured down! While in London, I caught up with editorial director Shannon Cullen and hatched interesting book plans with her. And speaking of books, Running Press published my 5th mini Doctor Who book – A History of K-9.
I also used my RTS membership to join the Hospital Club finally and managed to meet up with the producers of new CBeebies show Tee and Mo there.