Manage episode 266573921 series 2643606
In this conversation I chat to screenwriter Mark Boutros (https://www.mark-boutros.com).
Mark co-wrote the one-off comedy drama about Muhammad Ali, The Greatest Of All Time, which was broadcast on Sky Arts as part of their Emmy nominated ‘Urban Myths’ season. He has had script commissions from numerous established TV production companies and his original sitcom Broken Beth was a silver award winner at the 2016 PAGE International Screenwriting Awards in the TV Comedy Pilot category. He has recently developed a new live action series idea with CBBC, and written on Romesh Ranganathan’s The Reluctant Landlord Series 2 for Sky and he is currently developing a pilot for Studio 71. He has also worked as a writer, producer and script editor in comedy entertainment on shows such as 8 Out Of 10 Cats and Through The Keyhole.
We kick things off talking about the pressure of feeling like you have to be productive during lockdown. Mark describes his career and how he went from being an edit producer to a scripted TV writer. And how he decided to drop the back up plan and do an MA in creative writing. He says his transition from working in TV to becoming a proper writer started in 2004 and only just finished and that he never thought it would take this long.
Mark describes the experience of writing on Romesh Ranganathan’s The Reluctant Landlord and dealing with imposter syndrome and how he got past it. And he talks about the pressure of having to say something and contributing in a writers room. Mark also explains how as soon as you get something you want, that’s when the pressure kicks in.
Mark talks about his process when writing his own projects and how the story always starts with developing characters. He breaks down his daily routine and describes the questionnaire he creates for all his characters. Mark explains that he usually writes what he cares about at that time and why he loves researching. We discuss why Mark doesn’t like to watch a TV show that everyone is talking about and why he prefers watching documentaries over sitcoms
Mark says he prefers writing solely rather than co-writing with someone else and describes the varying ways he works when collaborating with stand up comedians. He describes how doing the artists way has helped him develop his writing and loads more!
Mark's book ’The Craft Of Character' is out now on Amazon.
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Happy listening :)
Steve - @offkeysteve
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