An Unlikely Chain Reaction

So, newsflash

Tomorrow I will begin my first writers room. To my understanding, a writers’ room is where a number of writers work on a TV show together, led by a show runner who is usually the creator of the show. They talk ideas for episodes, storylines, characters and those kind of things. The goal of the writers room varies dependent on the stage the TV show is at. The goal of the writers room I’m about to participate in is — by the end of it — to have come up with a thorough outline of the first series and each episode, which will also allow the lead writer to rewrite the pilot script, based on what we’ve decided on.

August 2016

I was invited to have a meeting with a development exec at a production company who had read a spec script of mine that she loved. The main advice she gave to me was that she felt that my next step should be to get in and around writers rooms, whether as an assistant, writer, whatever. She felt I was definitely ready to be in there and this would be a great step towards my goal. The problem with this, by her own admission, was firstly that writers rooms are very much an American thing. Other than soaps/continuous dramas, in the UK we love a single authorship when it comes to series. Where writers’ rooms did exist, it wasn’t something that was really publicised. Very much a ‘who you know’ situation. And then to make this all the more difficult, I also did not have an agent at the time. How was I going to get a look in?!

December 2018

Courtesy of playwright/director Lynette Linton, an industry colleague and friend, I was invited to the press night of Sweat at the Donmar Warehouse, which she directed. The play was terrific.

It goes down in the DMs.

August 2019

My debut full length play All the Shit I Can’t Say to my Dad is about to open a three week run at The Bunker. It’s a one-man play.

It continueth to go down in the DMs.

September 2019

All the Shit I Can’t Say to my Dad is over. It has been received terrifically by all who have watched it. I’ve also finished shooting my directorial debut, No More Wings and in post-production.

January 2020

As I’m walking out of a secondary school that I’ve just spend a day working in, I receive an excitable call from Alice. They are putting together a writers’ room. They’ve had me on a longlist for a while. They have now got a shortlist of writers and I am one of them, and they’d like me to consider the project. They initially sent a series treatment and 27 pages of research (it’s a historical drama) and if I like it (which I do) they’ll arrange a meeting between me and the lead writer. I like it so they also send me the 60-page pilot script to read in time for my meeting with the writer the following week. Whilst in theory a week is more than enough time to read, I’m weary of actually having the time;

Friday 7th February 2020

It’s Friday. I’ve been home all day, working on my series outline for Channel 4. At 4PM I start getting ready to leave the house; I’m going to see Kano later that evening (cannot believe that this is the first time I’ve seen him live, as an avid concert-goer and he an artist I’ve loved since I was a teenager, for shame).

Lastly

Remember the actress said “if I’ve learnt anything on this crazy journey, it’s that what I thought were rock bottoms gifted me more than my mountain tops did”?

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Abraham Adeyemi

Abraham Adeyemi

139 Followers

Abe is the founder of Creative Blue Balls and a writer of, but not limited to: screen, stage and copy. He refuses to suffer with creative blue balls in silence.