Masterclass interview: Kirstie Macdonald
World Productions has produced a range of critically acclaimed, award-winning dramas for the BBC, Channel 4, ITV and Sky, including; Ballykissangel, Line of Duty, The Bletchley Circle and The Fear. Kirstie’s role involves working with writers to take ideas from script to screen.
We caught up with Kirstie on her recent visit to Met Film School, where she provided a Masterclass for our MA Filmmaking students. She offered some tips for screenwriters trying to break into the film industry.
- What are the characteristics of a good script for you? Typically when I spot a good script, it has a clear sense of place and the characters have layers of complexity, there is a strong story present and you want to know what happens next.
- What advice would you give budding screenwriters trying to break into the filmmaking industry? You’ve got to have a spec script to share. In order to fine tune your script there are reading services available that can give you pointers on perfecting your spec script. It’s best not to go direct to production companies if you want to get your script commissioned. Production companies tend to work with agencies, who will have a sense of what scripts a particular production company might be interested in. Your first way into the industry needs to be getting an agent and they are constantly on the look out for new talent. Another way of raising your profile, would be through entering scriptwriting competitions. Not all competitions are well recognized, but a high profile one worth entering is “Screenwriting Goldmine”.
- What project at World Productions have you enjoyed the most and why? A key part of my role is working with screenwriters to get an idea developed from concept to broadcaster submission. This involves close collaboration with writers. In terms of the production I’m most proud of to date, I have to say working on “The Fear” with Rick Cottan as been my most rewarding experience so far. From the original idea to execution, the creative process of working with Rick was brilliant. He is very open to ideas and extremely collaborative.
- Finally, are there any upcoming World Productions series coming out that we should keep our eye out for? Yes! Bletchley Circle season 2 has just started on ITV and “ Line of Duty” is back on BBC2 at the end of this month. There’s a new case and it seems you can’t work out who’s good and who’s bad. It’s very exciting!!