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Writing for The Octonauts

Screenwriting is a topsy turvy world.

One of the writers of The Octonauts, Danny Stack, shares a glimpse of what it's like ... losing one job only to get a call about another (lucky for us, that call was for The Octonauts!):

I got asked to come in to pitch for a new kids’ show. This perked me up and I was determined to take the opportunity. Even attending the writers’ room was a treat, and seemed to boost my energy. But all my ideas were rejected. Now all my bustling negative thoughts overran my brain. My outlook took a real dip. I started making errors of judgement, and almost jeopardised an important working relationship with one slip of an email.

However, just when I thought everyone hated me and my work, one of the execs from the new kids’ show emailed me to say ‘hey, sorry it didn’t work out, but we really liked you, how would you feel about writing for Octonauts instead?’ I mean, WUH?! Whoa.

This business is bonkers sometimes. You don’t read this kind of stuff in any screenwriting manual; nothing prepares you for some of the funky realities of what’s actually happening on the production frontline of the biz. This one took me by surprise but I couldn’t say no. My confidence was an issue, though, and I wasn’t sure if I could do it. So I tried to slap myself around a bit, gee myself up, and I dived into the material they sent over about the show (and believe me, the material is GOOD, so that was an extra intimidation factor).

Luckily, I managed to do a good job (I really got into the characters and spirit of the show, and had great fun writing it, and that helps, I think), and they quickly commissioned a second episode.

If you're not already - head on over to Danny's site for more insight on scriptwring.

David Maybury

David works at Brown Bag Films and occasionally eats cake, lots and lots of cake.

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