Saturday, 26 November 2016

Sonnigsburg: Episode 3 - A Turning Point


Episode three of Sonnigsburg airs this Monday night. It was directed by Alex Scott and written by me.

The end of episode three came to us quite early in the plotting process. It’s the midway point of the series and Savannah’s story takes a turn… but no spoilers here. As we planned the series, we thought of the first three episodes as set-up and the final three episodes as pay-off. Everything that’s been put in place in the first three episodes, starts to tie together after the end of episode three.

The script for this episode, my first episode of television, went through the biggest changes of any of our episodes over its various drafts. It was a big episode in concept; it’s a pretty big one in its final form, too. But by the time we neared production, Fiona wanted a change in the structure.

I will also admit, after years of writing theatre, the first draft was probably a little dialogue heavy. A few too many lengthy scenes of two people in a room talking. The same information is revealed in the final episode, but in a much more visually interesting way.

Some of my favourite series are structured around conversation, but that’s not what Sonnigsburg is focused on primarily. And from a production stand point, given where much of the climax of this episode takes place, Fiona wanted more of the episode set in that same space.

It led to one of our biggest production days and perhaps the biggest in terms of cast; every character is in this episode and they all appear in and around the town fete and school play.

The first draft of episode three was completed in March 2014. Some additional dialogue (a voiceover) was written in September this year. This episode is a pretty big deal for me personally, and a key turning point of the series’ narrative.


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