Nova Scotia

Cape Breton man to realize screenwriting dream in Toronto

Andrew Mortimer was selected as the first participant in Screen Nova Scotia's Screenwriter Internship Program. He will work on the Global TV show Mary Kills People.

Andrew Mortimer is the first participant in the Screen Nova Scotia Screenwriter Internship Program

Andrew Mortimer said he expects the experience with Mary Kills People will teach him how to better write for target markets. (Submitted by Andrew Mortimer)

Until recently, Andrew Mortimer had never even seen the TV show Mary Kills People.

But now that he's landed an opportunity to join the show's writers for two weeks, he's watched every episode.

The Whitney Pier, N.S., man is the successful applicant for the first Screen Nova Scotia Screenwriter Internship Program, and is heading to Toronto next week to work on the Canadian drama series.

The internship program pairs new and emerging Nova Scotia screenwriters with professional screenwriters in Toronto.

Good reviews

Mortimer, a film and television production assistant currently living in Hubbards, does screenwriting in his spare time.

He said being chosen for the internship reassured him about his writing ability because professionals may not be as kind as friends and family are with their feedback.

"Often you write a script and send it to your buddy and your buddy says it's great and you're like, ah, OK. They might be just blowing smoke," said Mortimer.

Andrew Mortimer is the successful applicant for the first Screen Nova Scotia Screenwriter Internship Program. (Submitted by Andrew Mortimer)

Applicants had to include an original television pilot script. Tara McClair of Screen Nova Scotia said Mortimer's really stood out to the panel of judges.

"It was ready to go to camera. He had great characters and a really clear story and one of the comments we got from our jury [was] that he had really great use of visual and emotional storytelling," said McClair.

Mortimer said he writes more for himself than for an audience. He's hoping that this experience will enable him to write for different markets.

"It'll be good to get some insight as far as what networks are looking for, how to write for a specific audience and just the business of screenwriting."

The internship begins Aug. 20 and runs for 14 days.​

Read more articles from CBC Nova Scotia

About the Author

Jennifer Ludlow

Associate producer

Jennifer Ludlow is an associate producer and technical director for Mainstreet Cape Breton and also works as a reporter. All tips are welcome. Contact her at jennifer.ludlow@cbc.ca