Throughout the month of June we have been going Behind the Scenes with some of the wonderful people at Studio AKA who help create Hey Duggee.
Isn’t it time for… an interview with Jenny Landreth, a Script Editor at Studio AKA.
Can you tell us a little bit about your job?
Yes, I can. I’m the Hey Duggee script editor. That means I look after all the scripts, from the initial synopsis to the final draft. ‘Look after’ means allocating ideas to specific writers, making notes on everything they produce (from one-page beat sheets to ten-page outlines to final scripts) making sure it’s all as good as it can possibly be. Notes can be big structural points, or tiny tweaks to make sure every line or gesture is absolutely Duggee-ish. (Some of the notes end up being really daft.) And keeping an eye on deadlines too. Oh, and working hard with writers new-to-the-team so they’re totally up to speed with our way of doing things, which has evolved over the years. Basically, keeping everyone happy and everything on schedule.
What does a typical day as a Script Editor look like?
No typical day here. I can be making notes to go to a writer, or to go to Grant, chasing deadlines… The whole show starts with the script, and we have about eight on the go at any one time at various stages, so I’m always juggling, and it’s never boring!
What is your favourite episode of Hey Duggee and why?
I don’t have a favourite. That’d be like admitting I have a favourite child, out of 190 children. I always love most the one that is nearest the finish line!
If you could be any character in Hey Duggee, which one would you be and why?
Chew Chew. Mainly because of the biscuits.
What is the most exciting thing about working Studio AKA?
It is ALWAYS exciting when new eps come up on TV, however many times it’s happened. Partly because once a script has left my desk it goes through loads of processes with other inputs apart from the writers/mine, and it’s brilliant to see what happened next. And partly because that’s when we get viewers reactions, which is always great.
Are there any Duggee badges you came up with and then scrapped?
Yes, quite a few.
If you could earn any badge with Duggee and the Squirrels what would it be?
Can I earn one that hasn’t been done yet? In which case, I’d earn my Swimming Badge.
Why did you want to become an Script Editor?
My career path hasn’t been *quite* that straightforward. I’ve worked in the creative industries in a variety of roles for a very long time – script editing, writing, consulting, development producing, etc, in animation, live action and comedy, for TV and radio. I also have a career as a writer of non-fiction books and have written for national print media.
Where do you find inspiration when coming up with ideas for episodes?
Ideas come from all over the place – from Grant, from other people, from something you see or hear which lights a little spark. (And sometimes it turns out that those little sparks aren’t actually quite enough to make a story – see your question about things being scrapped, above.)
What’s the best thing about being an Animator/Writer/Producer /Editor at Studio AKA?
Well, it is undoubtedly utterly fantastic to work on Hey Duggee. Fantastic team producing a consistently brilliant show – I mean, what a dream gig!
What are the biggest challenges?
Constantly being original, over a long stretch of eps. Forgetting that you’ve already done this idea, way back in Series 1!
Are there certain animation styles and quirks for each character?
I can’t answer from an animation perspective but there are definitely character quirks that we bring out in the writing.
Is there anything you can tell us about season 4?
It’s as good as ever! IF NOT BETTER! There are some cracking eps coming your way.
What’s your favourite badge coming up in season 4?
See the answer above about favourite children!
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