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Meet Owen B Lewis and George Harold Millman

George: In 2017, I met Owen when he cast me in the short film Love in a Lift. We quickly hit it off - Owen had only just started pursuing a career as a writer, but I was really taken aback by his subtle understanding of the human dynamic and the beauty of the characters he’d written, as well as his drive and determination. I was struggling a bit with my mental health at the time, and meeting Owen reinvigorated me!


Shortly afterwards, Owen said, ‘I’ve written this draft for an opening episode of a TV pilot - fancy reading it over?’ I don’t think I was even the only person he asked, but I agreed, and right from the beginning I just knew I wanted to work alongside Owen on this. The format has changed and developed a heck of a lot since then, but there was always that magic spark to it right from the very first day.



Owen: I have always wanted to write a drama series that was really character-driven and felt like it was about real people that the audience can relate to. To start with my plot line was fairly loose, but when George came on board he realised that without even knowing it, I'd made this show super-political. As we started to develop the concept, we came to realise that most of the main characters are heavily involved in anti-war activism alongside their own private lives. Alongside the themes of activism, every single character is involved in some kind of personal storyline that depicts the way the system doesn't really suit any of us. 

George: The nature of Square is that although it’s about ordinary people living ordinary lives, there is always the backdrop of the sociopolitical state of affairs. The longer we’ve worked on it, the more relevant it has become. When we started, Theresa May was the Prime Minister, Brexit was all any politician could talk about, lockdown hadn’t been heard of, the statue of Edward Colston was still in the centre of Bristol, and movements like #metoo, Black Lives Matter and Just Stop Oil were in their infancy. We’ve watched the world change and develop, and written every new event into Square. Square is a show for NOW, and we hope you think so too.

Owen: I was over the moon with how we managed to film a pilot episode that looks as good as it does. We did it via a crowdfund for £8,000 (compared to industry standard, this is nothing at all) and we were open-mouthed at the quality of the end result.


Unfortunately, we haven't been able to use the pilot episode in any meaningful way to get commissioned. Agents won't even look at it, and TV commissioners tend not to accept unsolicited formats. Chicken and egg!


However, we know how good this series will be and so we are going to continue do it ourselves. To be honest that makes me more excited than ever - Square is a story that's made by ordinary people, for ordinary people and about ordinary characters, so it's quite fitting to the story that we're doing this in such a grassroots way.

George: Just on a personal level, Square has changed mine and Owen’s lives more than any other piece of work we’ve created, because this was the one we fell in love over. I like to joke that our TV dramas mean we’ll never need to have kids!


Pre-order the full series here

We have been bullied and gaslit consistently ever since we started

‘You’ve got to know the rules before you can break the rules.’

‘Show, don’t tell.’

‘We do not accept unsolicited submissions without an agent.’

‘I don’t think you actually need an agent.’

‘It’s very competitive, everyone wants the same thing.’

‘Have you looked on BBC Writers’ Room?’

‘Well, you know… it’s difficult for everyone. Keep trying!’’


These are phrases we have heard, over and over and over again. They weren’t helpful when we were starting out, and they aren’t helpful now.


In 2018, we naively thought that if we sent a script to the right person, we might have a chance - or at least, as much chance as anyone else. Even if we were rejected, that would just be because something else was better than ours, right? It’s actually quite funny now to look back and think on how idealistic we were back then. The simple truth is, it doesn’t matter how good your work is - unless you happen to be in the right place at the right time, no one cares.


Having spent six years dealing with various people at different stages of the television world, we would actually consider the way most of them conduct themselves to constitute a form of psychological abuse. The idea is always there that if you just hit on the right idea you might just make it - but this is simply not true. No one makes it. In most cases, you’re dismissed before anyone will even look at your work. If you’re ‘fortunate’ enough that anyone does look at it and take it seriously, in most cases they’ll cut you out in favour of a more famous writer (and there are so many horror stories about exactly this happening).


In late 2023, we went to a public talk by a Drama Commissioning Editor at Channel 4 (who we’d been trying to get an audience with for several years). No longer the fresh-faced enthusiasts we had been a few years earlier, we were there to challenge the system and the status quo. The person doing the talk gave a lot of information, including a PowerPoint presentation of all the people in her office who might help if you contact them (we’d already contacted pretty much all of them by that point) and information which we know to be factually inaccurate (she said that as long as you have a production company, anyone can submit a format - whereas our experience has taught us that there are strict limits as to which companies can do this. We don’t know if this was a deliberate lie, or if she doesn’t even know the most basic things about her job. We also aren’t sure which would be worse). We spoke out, explaining that we’d done everything right and hadn’t even got as far as the first step. As expected, we didn’t get an especially satisfactory response and she scuttled off immediately after the talk - but we did have so many audience members coming up to us and saying, ‘You know, you were so brave to call it out like that’. That really reinvigorated us.


The fundamental point is that we know we are not the only ones who have experienced these problems. If we didn’t have each other, I don’t think either of us would have the stamina to keep going. But ultimately, this is how the powerful always wield their power, and it is not insurmountable. Our TV drama was created as a grassroots project, and it will remain so. We aim to raise money to make the full series through taking pre-orders. Then, after the series is made, we'll put it online behind a paywall, but give immediate access to the people who have already paid.

With this campaign, we want to change the entire culture of TV writing - we’d love to make our drama series, sure, but this is about so much more than that. We are greatly inspired by the #metoo movement and the work it did, and continues to do, to eliminate sexual abuse within the industry - but there is so much systematic abuse, bullying and cruelty that continues to occur. This is about more than just a TV drama format - it’s about the creation of something beautiful and grassroots, something that if we can come together to create it will change the whole face of British drama, forever.

Pre-order the full series here

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