Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival

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Me with Mel and Sue.

While I am a big lover of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, I found a deeper love this summer in the form of the Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival . Held annually and tucked somewhat discretely away at the EICC, the Television Festival is a DREAM for writers.

Why so you may ask? Well dear blog reader, It’s wall to wall Master Classes on everything to do with Television from the CREAM of television writing, editing, producing and performing.

Over the three days it runs, I was lucky enough to attend a live performance of ‘Great British Bake Off’, an audience with Breaking Bad writer Vince Gilligan, Keynote speech by Kevin Spacey and a writing for television master class, (given by TWO commissioning editors, writers of Fresh Meat, Luther and Broadchurch no less).

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Phil MacHugh with Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood.

During the Breaking Bad interview I sat next to comedian John Bishop, incidentally one of the nicest comedians I have ever met, (and I’ve met ALOT, so you have that on good authority) and we chatted a little about the effect good television has on you, case in point, my experience with The Sopranos.

Wow.

What an amazing few days. For once I skipped happily away from the fringe to fill my boots with writing chitchat and news.

I learned so many valuable tips and I would advise anyone interested in television to grab a pass for next years event with both hands.

Throughout the 3 day i found one thing astounding- everyone was so positive. Why did I find that surprising? Because, dear blog reader, I can sometimes find film makers a little bit ‘cliquey’. (There I said it) I was under the impression it went with the territory, but I was oh so wrong and happy to be!

From writers to producers the message was clear; keep writing, submit your work, make connections and never stop believing in what you do. There is always room for new work, new writers and new talent. Keep writing!

Worth noting that most screenwriters started out as stage writers, so get along to your local theatres for extra inspiration.

The Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival is a hidden gem in August, a real treasure, great work to all involved in making it so and thank you so much for my attendance x

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