Thursday, 20 December 2007


So, series 2 is wrapped! I was on set last Friday to watch them shoot the last scene. Everyone; all the crew, the writers, the producers, those faceless BASTARDS at e4 (Joke!) are really pleased with and proud of what we've all accomplished this year. Though it's a few month's before we're truly finished editing, dubbing and grading, the hard graft is done for most (though not for our most excellent and diligent editors, dubbers, and graders) and the general consensus is that series 2 of Skins is harder, faster, stronger and fuck it, better than series 1. I hope that's not too much of an insult to all the work that everyone put in on series 1! (which is something we're all proud of too).

Before I forget, there's a new Skins website up now. It's quite funky. The Skins writers have contributed blogs and video diary's, which are all good fun, and are full of fun stuff.

Last couple of days, I've been shooting one of our online webisodes. Chris Clough, our producer, thought it would be fun to let some members of the team direct. I've done one, the 1st Assistant Director Adam Locke has done one (possibly the only person to really know what he was doing), the very able Mr Ben Schiffer has done two (he gets to do two because he's sleeping with the King of Telly), Ms Josie Long did one and Mr Nicholas Hoult (Yes! Him off the telly!) did one.

Now, I can't speak for the others, but I was fucking petrified when I did mine. It turned out well, but my dream of being the next Paul Thomas Anderson is further away than I thought, methinks. Mine will be shown before episode 6, Ben's excellent Christmas episode will be on the net on Christmas Day (same time as the Queen's speech).

Now, I'm not going to give too much away here, but series 3 is already being thought up. I'm going to piss off publicity by talking about this, but a couple of weeks ago, me and the writing team went off to a hotel near Newmarket to cook up ideas. Here's a photo of us there:

From left to right; that's me standing up, Lucy Kirkwood, Ben Schiffer, Daniel Kaluuya and Toby Welch (he came along to take notes).

As I say, I'm not giving anything away but we're very excited.

Oh, sorry about the commentaries - I couldn't get the technology sorted out in time and now the flatmate with the gear has moved out. Sorry. I'll try and get them done soon.

Keep the comments coming, and have a good Xmas.


Friday, 2 November 2007


Commentary coming soon...sorry for the delay...


Friday, 28 September 2007


Hope you're enjoying the Skins DVD that came out this week. Skinsonline mentioned that the music is different to that of the televised version, and speculated that it is due to rights. This is correct. Unfortunately, there was simply no way that we could afford to use the music we used on TV on the DVD, and so this was the only way that the show could be released. Sorry about that. Though I think that the music we had specially commissioned for the DVD is pretty good.

From the forums I can tell that people are also a bit disappointed that there are no commentaries on the discs. I'm going to solve that by recording some myself and posting them here in the coming weeks. If they prove popular, I'll try and get one done for every episode, and I'll do my best to involve all the writers/directors/actors and the what not.

The commentary for ep one should be here at the beginning of next week.


Sunday, 23 September 2007


Been having a read of some of the Skins fansites - really interesting.

A poster on one forum doubted my understanding of the term 'petit mort'. Laughed? I nearly had an orgasm. A small one.

Just to set the records straight, 'cos there seems to be a lot of speculation on the forums, there are auditions going on around the country all the time, but none of these are for the parts that we've allocated for the Skins community. I've said it once, I'll say it again, you'll know when its time to get your chance to audition. I'll announce it here, it'll be on the e4 website and myspace.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

...just one more thing

Very sorry I forgot to update you on the auditions. Are far as I know they haven't happened yet and wont be happening for at least a few weeks - it turns out that they're not for the parts I thought previously.

But trust me on this - when they arrive, you'll know. I'll post here as soon as I know (promise) and it'll be widely advertised on the websites. So stay cool guys - you're not gonna miss your chance to shine.

Info as I get it (let me do some poking tomorrow. I'll send an email to the producer.).



Sorry for the gap in updating - I've been working blah blah. But now I'm done! I've only gone and finished my script, haven't I? I'm not going to go on again about how hard it was (really hard) because I'm sick of hearing me say that. But it was fun and interesting and creative, and if your work is any of those things, I think you're really lucky - I know I am.

Two readthroughs last week - one where we all had a big talk about the scripts and one, more official one. Good fun - although I find hearing my lines read out again and again somewhat excruciating - when you've been working on them for so long it's both agonizing and wonderful hearing them - almost a petit mort - satisfying and terrifying. Will people like them? Will they go down well?

I think it all went well, though I spent all last week tweaking and honing. They started shooting on Monday, and I'm watching rushes (early clips) as I type. It looks like my director, Harry Enfield (for it is he) is going to do a great job - even though this is his first work as a director of a drama show - he really understands my material and is injecting real dynamism and action into what I agree is a difficult script for anyone to direct.

Anyway, enough self indulgence. Here's some secrets:

I'm going to give away who the first episode focuses on. You knew anyway, didn't you? It's Maxxie, of course? Why else would Bill Bailey be playing his Dad unless it was. There are some other juicy guest stars turning up in one besides the man Bailey, though. You'll have to wait and see.

The second episode is about someone we've never seen before.

There will be more episodes next year than last year, more online content, more games, more prizes.

Episode 3 of the new series is AMAZING. I can't wait for you to see it.

The Skins cast WILL be going on another trip this time. Will it top Russia? I hope so.

Riddle fans: The guest star in my episode is the son of a doctor.

Someone who made an appearance in Unseen Skins last year will be in the show proper next year. Will it be Cathy Barry, porn fans? Wait and see.

The Skins compilation album is out soon (or now). It includes some of the best tracks from the show, plus EXCLUSIVE NEVER SEEN BEFORE LINER NOTES FROM ME. That's right. Better than that though is an extended theme tune mix by my house mate Fat Segal.

Keep commenting guys. You give me strength.


Tuesday, 28 August 2007


Sorry it's been so long since I updated. I have no excuse other than being really busy finishing off my script, which goes into production in a couple of weeks. I'm terrified. At this point it's pretty much wall to wall intense discussion between myself and the team to make sure it's as good as it can possibly be - changing this, changing that, deleting and adding entire scenes at the last minute. Knackering work. I say knackering work, I suppose it's about as knackering as sitting in front of a computer can be. It's not as if I'm lifting weights or anything.

When I'm not writing I'm playing the new game Bioshock, which is awesome. Maybe we can do a crossover with Skins, where our cast are sent to dystopian underwater city in the 60s, and do battle with the zombified minions whilst smoking dope and making witty repartee with one another. Maybe not.

Visited the set the other day, watched Bailey do his thing. Then went out with the cast and crew, drank far too much and made a bit of a tit of myself - something I seem to make a point of doing whenever I go to Bristol.

Another day, more questions about auditioning. Now, without sounding like too much of a dick, I'm pretty sure what parts they are going to be auditioning for, and roundabouts when it'll be, but I can't say yet in case it changes. You see, if it does change, and I've said differently, I'll get in trouble with my bosses (the tyrants, the bloody tyrants). How about this. Promise you some sort of conclusive answer by the end of the week.


Saturday, 28 July 2007

Works in Progress

We're well into filming Skins now - finished block one (episodes one and two) and just about to begin filming block two (episodes three and four). It's all looking very good from what I've seen - building on what we achieved last year whilst retaining the original spirit of the show.

We've got some great guest stars in the first part of series 2 - I wont say who, as I don't want to spoil the surprise, but some top comic and telly talent have given some top notch performances.

As for my script, well, I wont pretend it hasn't been really hard. For a while, it felt like I had bitten off more than I could chew, but after some consultation with my script editors and my director (one H Enfield - who is lovely by the way) I feel it is finally becoming the story I set out to tell. We auditioned some people for it the other day, and it was great, as it always is, hearing my lines read out by professionals.

I'll try and do a set visit soon and take some pictures for you. Ben Schiffer is quite eager to interview a member of the cast, so hopefully that'll be coming soon. I'll try and update sooner this time round.

p.s. A lot of people are asking me about auditioning for Skins. Let me assure you, this is still happening, but just not quite yet. I'll see you what I can find out for you though.


Wednesday, 27 June 2007


So. We've started filming Series 2! Peeking through a doorway the other day I got my first glimpse at the rushes for day one. Looking good!

Last Thursday was the read through of episodes 1 and 2. It went really well, and what was really nice was seeing all the cast and crew back together in one room. Also exciting was the appearance of some new faces...I can't say too much, but if you look closely at the picture (try and look past Bailey's gurning mug) you might just spot the previously unseen protagonist of ep 2. Shh. Keep it quiet.

We've got a new production base, which is situated in a huge warehouse in Fishponds. A change this year (and sorry if I'm spoiling the magic, I'll try not to do that too much) is our use of sets for interior locations, hence the size of our base. I'll try and get pictures for you soon.

It was our weekly writers meeting today, which is always fun, bashing ideas around, arguing about swear words, drinking massive amounts of diet coke and a lot, and I mean a lot of laughing. Partly this is down to the presence of our two comedians in residence, Robin Ince and Josie Long. Here is a picture of them:
(also pictured on the left is Matt Simpson, aka Fat Segal, who among his other rich achievements composed the Skins theme tune). Robin and Josie are both favorite comedians of mine, who I feel really lucky to work with. I'm passionate about comedy (since you ask; Big Train, Bill Hicks, Chris Morris, Peter Cook) but sometimes I feel that stand up comedy in particular gets a bit stuck in a groove with constant discussion about sex and drugs (I'm looking at you, Brand). Not so with Robin and Josie's acts; go to a show by them and you'll see references to philosophy, Richard Dawkins, gluten free biscuits and arable farming. So it's great to have them writing for us, cos they bring a great sense of humor and originality to our writers group and the show in general. I urge you to go and see both of them whenever you can. Both gig a lot so it's not hard to see them live. Robin will be supporting Ricky Gervais in his upcoming London gigs.

Got to get back to Final Draft now but I'll update again later in the week. I might try and do an interview with someone for you.


Tuesday, 5 June 2007


Writing a script is hard. I sort of stumbled into it. Me and my Dad, Bryan, had cooked up this idea for a show about teenagers, and he'd got all these cool people in to write it. I never thought I would be more involved than sitting in on the writers meeting and making the occasional uninformed comment, and even THAT I saw as for my amusement rather than for the benefit of the show. But as time went on, I found that I had something of a knack for suggesting ideas for the main characters (I'd been fiddling with them since I was 15), and that let to me being more involved...and THAT led to me eventually being offered a script.

All I'd written before was angsty adolescent short stories, and a pile of essays for university. What on earth did I know about writing a script? Granted, I'd been reading my Dad's work for years, but I was to quickly find that experience and execution are two different things. I found myself facing the biggest challenge of my professional life (which is not too hard, when all you've done before is stack shelves in shops and hoiked sacks of powdered milk around warehouses).

So I looked at what I had to my advantage. Firstly, I'd been given the episode that based around the character Sid. It's no secret that when I made this character up, I based him on myself...the neurosis, the awkwardness, this is all pretty much me when I was 17 (and not too far away from the way I am now). So I could draw upon my own experiences and emotions around certain events. Sometimes I knew exactly what Sid would say in a given situation, or what he would do when faced with conflicting choices. So I had that.

But that wasn't nearly enough. Firstly, though Sid is nominally based on me, he is NOT me. He is quite different in many ways. So I couldn't fall back on the 'what would I do' stratagem too often. I still had to be creative, and imaginative.

Also, script writing, especially for telly, requires a certain amount of technique. I had assumed, to some degree, that it just involved writing down what people say in certain situations in a manner that reflects real life. Not true. Unless you're Lars Von Trier, and specialize in that sort of awkward realism, any attempt to simply quote from your own daily discourse to seem real will often end up seeming, well, unreal. Transcribing what should seem like reality to the script, and then to the screen is a process of mediation and editing, not quotation. It's a skill you have to learn.

Well, I didn't have very long to learn that skill - the skill that makes a writer a writer, rather than a reporter of real events. But I had a lot of help, especially from Bryan, my Dad and Chloe, our wonderful script editor. The script editor is, at least on our show, a far more important figure than their rather modest title might suggest. She is essentially only second to the show runner in terms of shaping story, continuity and the scripts themselves.

So you've gotta write a lot of drafts. That's a given. And slowly, but surely, I began to learn, through a process of trial and error, what worked and what didn't, with the help of Bryan and Chloe. And my script began to take shape. One day, I finished it, and I'm very proud with what I achieved, and very grateful for all the help I got with it, from Bryan, from Chloe, from Charlie and George (our executive producers) and from the writers' meetings.

Friday, 1 June 2007


Hi! I'm the co-creator of Skins and one of the writers, Jamie. I've started this blog to record the process of the writing and production of series 2. Hopefully, in the future, this page will feature contributions from many different members of the Skins team, from cast to crew, from writers to directors. But for now, it's just little old me, slogging away in North London at my script.

To bring you up to date, the Skins team is currently slogging away at getting series 2 of Skins written and produced. We start filming in a couple of weeks, and we have a lovely new director, hailing from the world of documentaries, named Aisha (I hope I've spelled that right). She is lovely, very talented, and we look forward to seeing her work on episodes one and two.

Writers this year include Jack Thorne, who is writing episodes 2 and 10, and the man responsible for the excellent Chris and Effy episodes last series. Ben Schiffer, who co-wrote the hilarious episode 6 last year with Simon Amstell is also writing for us. Bryan Elsley, the executive producer, will be writing three (I think) episodes this year, including the first one. The brilliant Sally Tatchell writing episode 4. And me, writing episode 6.

It's too soon to officially announce, but we've got some great (very) young talent, and hopefully some familiar faces writing episodes this year!

We've had some great new additions to our famous writers group; backing up the old hats of Daniel, Peter and Athia are new faces Lucy, Max, Georgia and Daisy. Plus the comedian and all round bag of lovely Josie Long, plus the fantastic and very talented Robin Ince.

The writing team took a trip down to Bristol a few weeks ago to see some of the cast and discuss the show with them - it was great to see them all, April, Mike, Larissa, Hannah. All in good form, all totally lovely, and all eager to get started on the next series, busting with ideas, too!

There is all sorts going on round the office at the moment. I can't give too much away, but we are currently working with some very exciting people to produce the opening scene of episode 1. It'll all start with a bang, I promise you!

We are also in the middle of auditions for a new character, which is very exciting, and have seen some of the hottest young talents in the country for it. The public auditions for you out there are in the works, and will be coming soon...!

So stay tuned for more news, and check this page for regular updates from the world of Skins!