Matt and Kaleigh describe the emotional rollercoaster ride that was their trip to the New York Television Festival with BAFTA Rocliffe.
When we boarded flight BA0173 from Heathrow Terminal 5 bound for JFK New York, we had every intention of causing a storm, but little did we know just how literal that would become. In fact, scrambling to catch the last plane outta there before they put the entire city on lock down was actually at the very bottom of our agenda.
But long before all of that, when we were still innocent and untouched by Sandy, we rode a Subway train to Tribeca one fine morning to meet the wonderful gang of women who had been cast to perform in the showcase of GREY. It was an emotional rollercoaster of a day, continuously swinging from nerves to excitement to fear to anticipation like a grating jingle stuck on repeat.
But our fears were unfounded, because under the guidance of our skilled and accomplished director, Susan Jacobson, and a team of actresses who were treading the boards back when we were nothing but a tickling sensation in our father’s scrotums, the overall experience and resulting performance was one of utter joy. Seeing so much life being breathed in to our script was an experience to savour. There was one point during the rehearsals when the women just executed a scene so perfectly and so true to how we had envisioned it, that all I could do was turn to Matthew with tears in my eyes mouthing “I LOVE THEM!”
Our main challenge prior to arriving in NY was the task of “Americanising” the script. Along with Susan, we spent a lot of time beforehand and on the day, working with the women to help adjust the dialogue to something that felt natural to them, and which flowed in their dialect. But again, we needn’t have worried. Being such a seasoned and experienced cast, the women would turn lines on their heads – evoking laughter where we had imagined none.
It’s been three months since we wrote the first sentence of GREY, and frankly, it’s been a bit of a whirlwind ever since. We’ve met with countless commissioners and executives, travelled halfway across the world, had our show performed at the New York Television Festival, dined with the Exec Producer and show runner of GIRLS, the producer of the Sopranos, and the icing on the cake? A bidding war between five of the top independent production companies for GREY, which has resulted in a sale to Company Pictures (makers of shows such as Shameless, Skins, The Shadow Line etc). We are now developing the project together and are in ongoing discussions with BBC1… Watch this space!
And our advice to anyone considering applying to Rocliffe? DO IT! It’s a golden ticket in to the industry that money simply cannot buy… and you almost certainly won’t be caught in the eye of a hurricane!