There have been a few changes around these parts recently, the main one being that I’m now a student again, 20 years(ish) after the first time.
Writing of one form or another has paid my bills for the last 15 years or so, whether as a Digital Content Producer, a Communications Manager, a marketeer or a freelance journalist.
Over the years I’ve attended a few screenwriting evening classes, but when they finish I just go back to the day job. I’ve always wanted to put more effort into writing scripts, whether for TV, radio, games or films, but I can never find the time, particularly when I’m also trying to write a book in the mornings and weekends.
Until 2018 I worked in marketing and comms at a digital academy in Edinburgh, where we encouraged people to take their existing transferable skills, gained through years of employment in (usually) non-digital sectors, and to combine them with new programming skills that made them valuable to employers around Scotland.
I think seeing dozens of people changing their lives and careers every month probably does something to your mindset, and after taking a 22-week night class in screenwriting at Screen Academy Scotland in 2017/18, I applied to join the part-time MA at Edinburgh Napier University in 2019.
I was accepted and started in September.
I’ll be spending one day a week in class for the next two years, learning the ins and outs of screenwriting. The course is also aimed at those keen to get into script editing, script development and creative producing, all of which interest me.
By the end of it I’ll have a portfolio of scripts, from web series and short films through to TV pilots and a feature film, learning about the industry via tutors, through masterclasses and at industry events. With any luck I’ll have had one of my scripts produced, which would be another life goal achieved.
The other change is that to fund my lavish lifestyle of going to class and feeding two elderly cats, I’ve secured some part-time work with the brilliant Scottish Documentary Institute, while the other week I was invited back onto BBC Radio Scotland to review some telly for the first time in a few years.
As @JDWhitelaw13 mentioned in that last retweet, good to be back on @BBCRSAfternoons today – please watch @mark_bonnar in @mrneilforsyth’s brilliant Guilt on @BBCScotland soon, top twisty turny Scottish crime drama! https://t.co/hFX4rp8Pit pic.twitter.com/mPAPikEd9a
— Jonathan Melville (@jon_melville) October 15, 2019
I’m still looking for more work here and there, so if you know of anyone that’s looking for someone to create/commission online content, write press releases, record and edit video or audio, manage social media accounts, organise a film festival, or something vaguely in that ball park, just shout.