Ryan J Brown on his prize winning series We Are Your Children
Earlier this year you won the BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Competition… could you tell us a little bit about that project please?
I did! It’s been a great year. It was my first drama pilot and the response has been overwhelming. I never imagined it would take off as much as it has. The series is called We Are Your Children and it’s a dark thriller inspired by true events. It’s been described as True Detective meets Fargo via Paris is Burning. It gives an insight into the gay community’s involvement in some of the worst “unsolved” serial murders ever committed. A serial killer in the mid 1970’s in San Francisco seduced and killed at least 14 gay men (and probably a lot more). The prejudiced police and press weren’t interested. He was eventually caught but survivors were scared of being outed and refused to testify, so he was let go and to this day remains a free man.
The whole thing is really stranger-than-fiction. It’s an examination of obsession: one man’s desire to kill and one woman’s quest for the truth. It explores the relationship between fear and desire, tolerance and acceptance. The response has been brilliant and people are really recognising the unique game changing potential.
Was this your first venture into screen-writing?
I’ve been writing for a couple of years but mainly for stage. It all went on hold for a bit whilst I was at drama school. As soon as I graduated I began writing for television. It’s something I’d always wanted to do. I think I had been building up to it for a long time.
And what happens next with We Are Your Children?
We Are Your Children has just been selected by Idris Elba and the head of Lionsgate for their Write To Greenlight Prize. I’m a finalist and there is an event where an extract will be read. The series has had a lot of interest since the BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing prize, and this is another opportunity for it to gain some exposure. Hopefully going into 2017, it’ll be with a producing company and development will begin.
And what else do you have coming up? Both in terms of ending 2016 and beyond?
As well as developing We Are Your Children, I’ll be working on a comedy series I recently sold to Hat Trick. I’m so excited to be working with them. I’ve just completed a UK set drama pilot, so I’m excited to see what next year might bring!