GS EXCLUSIVE: Hannah George Talks About New CBBC Show ‘Wolfblood’
Posted by geeksyndicate on September 6, 2012
So as the all new fantasy show Wolfblood is about to hit the CBBC channel next week (10th September) we caught up with one of the writers on the show, Hannah George who, along with her writing partner James Whitehouse, has written two episodes for the show.
How did you become involved with Wolfblood and what was it about the project that attracted you?
CBBC read one of our scripts (I write with a writing partner, James Whitehouse) and liked it, and it was just at the time Wolfblood was getting put together so we were in the right place at the right time! The show itself sounded right up our street, sci-fi, drama, werwolves – what’s not to love!?
How many episodes have you written for the show?
We’ve written two episodes, episode two and episode six.
Did you have a fave character or characters from the show that you enjoyed writing dialogue for?
We really loved writing for the character of Shannon, she’s really enthusiastic and funny but has real heart, and the actress who plays her, Louisa Connolly-Burnham, absolutely nailed it. She’s playing a new character in Nickelodeon’s House of Anubis this series, which we’re writing for, so it’s great to be able to write for her again!
Another favourite were the characters of the three K’s, who provide great comic relief!
When developing the script were you given guidelines as to what you could or could not do with the characters?
We’d have storyline meetings to make sure the series had a consistent narrative, like any show written by a team of writers there was a lot of backstory to ensure we were all on the same page. We couldn’t just suddenly make one character an expert in martial arts, which is a shame as I quite like the idea of a ninja wolfblood!
Did you get to go on location to meet the cast and see your scripts being filmed?
We live on the Isle of Wight and the series was shot in Newcastle, so our visits were sporadic, but we went up for the read-through and this week went up again for the premiere, so we’ve been up for the fun stuff!
What are some of the challenges of writing for children’s television as opposed to adult television?
There are obvious differences with children’s and adults shows – language, references etc etc. But kids are incredibly smart and when we’re writing we never consciously write ‘for children’, we just try to write interesting, funny and compelling stories that would appeal to kids and adults alike.
Are there any other genres shows on at the moment (adult or Children’s/Uk or US) that you would love to write an episode for?
Comedy is my first love, so the dream would be to one day write for the incredible US comedies as such as Parks and Rec or 30 Rock. I’m obsessed with those shows. In terms of kids stuff I wish Kenan and Kel was still on, or Sabrina the Teenage Witch as they were brilliant viewing when I was a kid. Oo, and I’d love them to bring back Byker Grove.
Are there any other mediums you would like to write for beside TV?
James and I would love to get into film eventually, it would be great to write an animation as you can really let your imagination run wild! Pixar and Dreamworks tell some wonderful stories that appeal to adults and children alike and as writers James and I seem to sit well somewhere in ‘family’ viewing.
How did you get into writing in the first place?
I started off doing stand up comedy when I was 19, did that for five years or so, then started writing for Radio 4. Over that period I wrote *loads* of spec scripts until someone eventually picked one up and then I signed to my literary agent.
If you could give one piece of advice to those looking to write for TV what would it be?
Relish rejection. There will be tonnes of it, but eventually something will give. It’s very easy to get disheartened, but after a while I got annoyed if I hadn’t had at least one rejection a week. Also celebrate the small victories – if a producer likes your script, even if they don’t pick it up, celebrate it! You know you’re doing something right. Although to be honest maybe that’s just because I like celebrating.
How would sum up Wolfblood in a single sentence?
Wolfblood is an action packed teen drama that bites back!
Woof! for the 21st Century
What’s next for you?
James and I are writing for Nickelodeon’s House of Anubis at the moment. We’ve got lots of our own shows in various stages of development, so hopefully something may happen with one of those at some point too!
Wolfblood starts on CBBC Monday 10th September at 5.15pm.