Double celebration for first-class screenwriter
Possible Coronation Street work placement for Dominic Merrick
A budding screenwriter has cause for a double celebration after graduating from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) with first class honours and having the possibility of gaining work experience on one of the UK’s best-loved television programmes.
Dominic Merrick is in with a chance of undertaking work placement at Coronation Street after catching the eye of television bigwigs during a project delivered by UCLan in partnership with ITV Studios.
The 21-year-old from Preston was co-writer on UCLan’s ‘Soap in a Week’ venture, which saw 90 undergraduates work alongside 50 ITV cast and crew to write, produce, act and direct a 15-minute drama.
"I’ve really enjoyed the course and the Soap in a Week project in particular was amazing. The whole experience was a real eye opener and a great way to get noticed by people in the industry."
Dominic graduated from UCLan this week with a First Class BA (Hons) degree in Screenwriting for Film, TV, Radio and Games.
And the talented wordsmith even found the time to pen a short story during his studies. ‘The Wars of the Sun and the Moon’ has since been published and named runner up in a regional competition by Carnegie medal-winning author Melvin Burgess.
Dominic said: “I’ve always been interested in creative writing generally and it’s something that’s always come naturally to me. Screenwriting is a completely different skill though, one I wasn’t as familiar with. Because it’s such a specific discipline I felt it was something I could develop much more at degree level.
“I’ve really enjoyed the course and the Soap in a Week project in particular was amazing. The whole experience was a real eye opener and a great way to get noticed by people in the industry.”
Although looking forward to learning valuable skills as part of his work experience at ITV, Dominic’s true passion lies in scriptwriting for video games. He explains: “Gaming is the field I’d most like to work in. I really like the complete freedom involved, you could be designing a new world or creating monsters.
"You need to be able to adapt your writing cross-platform and I liked that this course gave me that opportunity. For my final year project I adapted the short story I wrote into a script."
“The gaming industry is on the rise and games are now like films in their own right, but with the player in control of the story. The industry is going to keep on growing because technology keeps progressing, and because things are moving so fast it’s less of a strict art form. It’s still working out the standard practice which means there’s a real opportunity to be an innovator.”
Dominic also believes that successful screenwriters need the ability to write for different disciplines, and it’s something he found most appealing about his course at UCLan.
He said: “Modern screenwriting is a conglomerate industry and people want to be able to have everything in different forms, whether that’s a film or a computer game. You need to be able to adapt your writing cross-platform and I liked that this course gave me that opportunity. For my final year project I adapted the short story I wrote into a script.”
Looking to the future, Dominic is hoping for a career as a writer in the gaming industry or as an author. He’s also keen to further his knowledge and would like to obtain a Masters degree.
Dominic is one of nearly 4,000 students who graduated in front of family and friends at Preston’s Guild Hall last week.