CME Content Academy student - Maggie Drahovská
“Slavic Buffy.” That’s the TV series Maggie Drahovska dreams of creating. It’s one of the reasons she was accepted into the CME Content Academy. The Academy is designed to develop talented newcomers into the scriptwriters, showrunners, and TV producers of tomorrow. TV Nova and TV Markíza created CME together with The Television Institute to train students in the television industry and allow them to work long-term for the two broadcasters.
Maggie, 32, earned a master’s degree in Marketing and Mass Media and then moved to London to spend a year learning scriptwriting at the London Film Academy. While there, she worked in continuity – the art of making sure all the details in a scene remain the same during multiple shoots.
“It’s not just details like the clothes,” Maggie said, “It’s making sure that things will cut well together. It’s editing and knowing what the director wants. I always asked the director – ‘what is happening afterward? How does this scene make sense?’ They really appreciated that.”
Maggie could have immediately worked in production after that, but she wanted to better her screenwriting. So she worked in child care while writing scripts. Maggie wrote some shorts and earned some feature film credits at that time.
But Maggie also wanted to return to her family in Pezinok, Slovakia. That’s when she learned about the new Content Academy.
“My dad sent me the link,” she said. “I thought maybe the universe was telling me it’s time to go home for a bit.”
“Maggie is creative AND business-oriented, with a knowledge that includes both script-writing and marketing,” said TV Nova CEO Klára Brachtlová. “We look forward to seeing how her fresh viewpoint adds to our team.”
And that leads to Slavic Buffy. Maggie is fascinated by the folklore of Central Europe. She has already written a feature film script about European witchcraft.
“Then I had the idea of turning folklore into a modern mystery series. A Slavic Buffy,” she said, referring to the famous series Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
“I want to tell stories from the places where I grew up and the people I know,” she said. “We tend to underestimate how interesting we are to the rest of the world. They’re fascinated by us.”
Maggie said World War II still looms large for a lot of Czechs and Slovaks. Her older relatives often told the blonde, blue-eyed children that “the Nazis would have liked you; they would have taken you.”
“I said, ‘you know this is generational trauma, right?’” adding that these are some themes she’d like to explore.
Maggie isn’t all about creativity. She is also interested in marketing and cross-platform promotions.
“At CME, it’s really good to hear what matters and why certain decisions are made,” she said. “I’m 100 percent sure that there are layers to it that I don’t understand.”
Maggie is interested in data: what information do the TV stations have about their viewers and how can the stations connect with those viewers and meet their needs. Also, how to use the cross-platform promotion to figure out which part of the content works for which users.
“You’ll make people turn on the TV if you’ve got them hooked,” she said. “But you have to make it easy for them. Why would they search for you if they could just press a button on their remote and Netflix appears?”
In five years, Maggie would like to be working in development at TV Nova and to have creative input in the shows she will work on.
“I love the writers’ room,” she said. “I love the conversation, the collective, the feedback process…”
Maggie’s main goal is to bring hope, optimism, and laughter to audiences. She believes that developing concepts should be fun – not too artsy or dramatic.
“I think comedy is underestimated – the happy endings, the optimistic view of the world,” she said. “When we see only the horrible stuff, we think the world’s a horrible place. And it’s not.”