Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Danny contemplates his next gem of advice.
Last weekend I spent a lovely couple of days at Kingston Lacy in the company of other writers, listening to the wise words of Danny Stack. The occasion - Writing for Children's TV, all thanks to the organisational skills of the lovely Rosie Jones.

After two days stuffing myself with the sweets, biscuits, coffee and fruit, I came away with a greater knowledge of the world of Children's TV, a bigger belly and ten A4 pages of notes. Some of the things Danny covered over the weekend were:

  • The UK Tax Credit for animation.
  • Which channel was looking for the most writers.
  • The one page pitch.
  • How to approach production companies.
  • How to get a commission.
  • The breakdown of age groups.
  • The breakdown of episode length.
  • Beat sheets.
  • Scene by scene.
  • Fees.
  • Series bibles.
  • Brainstorming ideas.
  • Pitching.
  • Writing an episode.
  • Get voice over artists on board to help pitch your show and characters.
Danny shows us they way.
It was a wonderful learning experience, in delightful company, and Danny even made time to listen to our ideas one-to-one and give feedback. If you ever wanted to write for Children's TV then it's really something you shouldn't have missed.

Luckily for you Danny is doing another course on November the 15th and 16th, again at Kingston Lacy. You can find the link HERE.

In other news from Danny, the Kickstarter campaign for 'Who Killed Nelson Nutmeg?', a children's mystery feature he wrote with Tim Clague, due to shoot later in the year, begins next week (keep an eye out for it). There are also auditions being held at Lighthouse, Poole's Centre For The Arts on Saturday 14th for the child parts in the film and you can find the details HERE.

While I was locked in a room with Danny over the weekend I took the opportunity to interview him
about his up coming feature and here's what he had to say.
DOM: Where did the idea come from for 'Who Killed Nelson Nutmeg'? 
DANNY: Tim was keen to do a kids’ film, and what with me writing a lot of children’s TV, it seemed like an ideal way to team up and make something. We brainstormed a few ideas until we came up with a murder mystery set in a summer camp where 4 misfits kid investigate the apparent murder of the camp’s mascot. Who Killed Nelson Nutmeg? was born! 
DOM: When are you planning to begin shooting? 
DANNY: We start at the end of August, and shoot mainly weekends over September and October, before finishing with a full week’s filming during October half term. This is due to children’s availability, plus our low budget needs. 
DOM: How much are you looking to raise and what will it be spent on? 
DANNY: Our Kickstarter target is £12,370 which is to cover our day-to-day production costs: transport, food, filming with kids, insurance, etc. We’ve got two stretch target goals in mind, one to cover our Kickstarter commission fees, and the other to secure a cameo from a well-known actor so that we can broaden the appeal of the film even more. 
DOM: Is the Nelson Nutmeg costume up for grabs for whoever donates the most? 
DANNY: Not at the moment!  But that’s something we could look into once the film is finished! 
DOM: Where can people go to be kept updated about 'Who Killed Nelson Nutmeg?' 
DANNY: We’ve got the main website and we’re on Facebook as well as Twitter 

DOM: Where can people go to volunteer to help out during filming?
DANNY: We’re lucky to have a great local crew helping us for the film so we don’t need any volunteers as such. However, if you’re interested in being an extra, then check out the Kickstarter page for that particular perk, or contact us for more info. 
So there you go. Good luck Danny and Tim.

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