BBC Writersroom discovers, develops and champions new and experienced writing talent across the whole UK. We work with BBC Drama, Comedy and Childrens’ across TV, Radio and Digital Platforms. Our remit is to get exciting new voices introduced to and commissioned by the BBC. We’re keen to work with any BBC department which is developing scripted, fictional stories.
At BBC Writersroom we have always been interested in new forms of storytelling and what effect they could have on the evolution of scripted narratives for broadcast to a mass audience. BBC Writersroom has previously developed and produced the award-winning The Last Hours of Laura K as well as partnering with the BBC’s Virtual Reality Hub, to offer writers the chance to explore and develop stories in new and evolving mediums. From the VR partnership, one of the writers went on to create the Doctor Who VR Experience ‘The Runaway’.
So when the BBC’s R&D department approached us as they were looking for writers for an AI storytelling project, involving a new product called Charisma, we jumped at the chance to be involved. We want to know whether this type of storytelling connects with audiences, particularly younger audiences, and if so then whether tools like Charisma can facilitate the production of interactive stories. These could be stories which involve new characters and their worlds, or expand and enrich existing BBC brands.
We approached five writers who we had previously identified (including via our open-submission Script Room window) and brought them in for an initial one-day introduction to Charisma.ai. Following this the five writers were able to pitch their own ideas using Charisma and Alys Metcalf and Sonia Jalaly’s ideas were chosen to go into full production.