I often work as a development producer and I’ve written pitches for most of the main broadcasters both in the UK and USA. Plenty of experience talent and idea spotting, formatting, shooting taster tapes and writing mock scripts.
Recent treatments include a large budget engineering series for Discovery (commissioned) a WW2 immersive history idea, a doc on airport security and a big studio idea on health and the modern world.
Several of my treatments have been commissioned or piloted. Feel free to get in touch and I’ll send you examples.
I recently shot a taster tape for the History Channel which involved Johnny Vaughn and an amateur archaeologist digging in the Thames Mud. It worked out brilliantly (we found all sorts) and the broadcaster took an eight hour series which has since gone to 3 series and specials.
Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge
A simple pitch to National Geographic for their ‘Megastructures’ strand was picked up immediately. I’d been scouring civil engineering magazines for ideas and was lucky to get in early, securing exclusive access to this incredible construction project.
Another ‘Megastructures’ for National Geographic which sold quickly on the back of a very simple pitch document. Access was secured via Virgin Galactic and by meeting the local businessmen and politicians responsible for the construction site in New Mexico.
World’s Toughest Cops
I wrote this for an Exec who took it round most of the cable and satellite channels. They all passed including Sky. Strangely Sky came out with a similar series shortly after, which proved very popular. It’s name? ‘World’s Toughest Cops’. It happens all the time, but it's still a very fustrating experience!
David de Rothschild eco-adventurer (and rather loaded playboy) decided he was going to sail the Pacific in a boat made of plastic bottles, to draw attention to pollution. Along the way he’d sail through the Eastern Pacific Garbage Patch where samples of the water prove plastic is more prevalent than plankton. Renegade Pictures were flight footed as usual and saw its potential as a Nat Geo offering. In three weeks I wrote this pitch, which sold and became 2x60 mins for National Geographic International. Interestingly there was no route set for the expedition, no design for the boat, nothing. So I bought a detailed map of the Pacific and improvised.
Nature Shock: The Monster of Lake Tanganyika
“Like Captain Ahab, the self-taught naturalist is preoccupied with one monster in particular: Gustave, the largest, most fabled crocodile in all of Africa — a demonic Loch Ness Monster of incredible proportions and, according to legend, appetite. Gustave is reputed to have devoured hundreds of villagers…”
High Speed One
“The biggest construction project in British engineering history. A 5.8 billion pound high-speed rail line cutting through some of the most heavily developed land on the planet to create a link between two of Europe’s major capitals – London and Paris. High Speed One’s design and construction overcome unprecedented obstacles to achieve what many thought was impossible.Get on board as we explore the engineering behind High Speed 1: the toughest train line ever built.”
A good returnable series and there are some great characters out there, though the legal issues are problematic. I also have another fire fighting series which could be the new ‘Axemen’, it just needs working up.
The Gorilla Doctors
Did you know the Mountain Gorilla population is so on the brink (and the gene pool so small) it’s deemed worthwhile to medically treat animals which would otherwise die, so the population has the best chance of staying viable. No, I didn’t either, but I thought it would make a great show for Animal Planet...
“These are the terrifying stories of people ‘Proven Innocent’. Time served men and women who should never have served time…” I figured there was a lot of folk out there who liked CSI and shows about how people are caught and put behind bars, but that was old territory. Looking at the flip side wasn’t and you got two stories for your money, how they were ‘caught’ and how they were freed. Not laugh a minute by any means, but if played right it could be uplifting.
The line was a killer - 'Jackass meets Mythbusters'. It was my job to research and write 45 'gags' which demonstrated you could combine engineering take out with humour. The concept proved returnable (always very appealing to Discovery) and a pilot is in production.
Brains VS Brawn
I developed this series from one liner to six detailed episode outlines, persauding Discovery to invest in a pilot. Led a casting team which trawled the UK and USA for big new characters, self shot tasters and managed the talent during the casting week. Off the back of the SFX heavy mini pilot which I wrote, produced and edit produced, Discovery greenlit a 6x60 series.