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Most importantly, don't be boring," conveyed a significant British producer to the students

Most importantly, don't be boring," conveyed a significant British producer to the students

How to approach your producer, how to leverage support from those around you, and how to write a good series. Students received advice from Steve Matthews, who previously served as an executive producer at HBO Europe.

Matthews began his lecture by summarizing his career. The introduction was lengthy, partly because Matthews' creative beginnings date back to 1989. He collaborated with the BBC, Showtime, and the Irish public broadcaster RTE. For eight years, he was responsible for scripted content at HBO Europe, where he contributed to significant Czech series such as "Wasteland" and "The Sleepers."

As a dramaturge, he has extensive experience collaborating with screenwriters. He knows their needs and their concerns. Matthews reassured students that worries are a common part of working with screenwriters. "If you don't have them, something is wrong. Fear is your job. All screenwriters have a permanent fear," he said.

He also added that students don't need to be afraid to ask for help. "Don't be alone and use the support you have around you," advised Matthews. Moreover, students have the opportunity to consult not only with segment lecturers but also with their mentors, who guide them through the year-long journey from the initial idea to the final version of the script. The final project will be presented to a commission primarily composed of producers from TV Nova and Markíza.

The meeting with Matthews was very useful for the students. A month before the meeting, he offered to read their projects and consult with them after the lecture. To each student who expressed interest, he shared his thoughts on their series.

He urged students to be kind to people as screenwriters. "Not only to your producer, but also to the people you work with, be kind. Wish them happy birthdays, invite them for wine. Most importantly, please don't shout at them. It's not about who has the louder voice when yelling," he emphasized.

As a key advice for everyone, he mentioned the plea for students to avoid excess baggage when writing. "If you take away only one thing from this meeting, it is: don't be boring. I've seen so many boring series! Your thing must be authentic, it must come from you, and it must be interesting. When it has all these aspects, that's it," concluded the producer.

-Matěj Škop