Aspiring screen writer Dominic Merrick is swapping the lecture theatres of his Preston university for the cobbles of Weatherfield.
The former Cardinal Newman College scholar has just graduated from the University of Central Lancashire with a first-class degree – and landed himself a plum role with the nation’s best-loved soap.
Dominic, 21, has been hand picked to take up a seven-week work placement as a Coronation Street writer after catching the eye of television bigwigs during a project delivered by UCLan in partnership with ITV Studios. Along with co-writer Chris Taylor, he took part in UCLan’s Soap in a Week project, which saw 90 undergraduates work alongside 50 ITV cast and crew to write, produce, act and direct a 15 minute drama.
Mark Bickerton, the head of Editorial Engagement for ITV Continuing Drama, was so impressed with the pair he personally offered them the work placement at Salford’s Media City.
In between studying for his Screenwriting for Film, TV, Radio and Games degree, Dominic, who attended Penwortham Priory High School, also wrote a short story.
The Wars of the Sun and the Moon has since been published and named runner-up in a regional competition by Carnegie medal-winning author Melvin Burgess.
Screenwriting is a completely different skill, though, one I wasn’t as familiar with. Because it’s such a specific discipline I felt it was something I could develop much more at degree level.
Wordsmith Dominic said: “I’ve always been interested in creative writing generally and it’s something that’s always come naturally to me.
“Screenwriting is a completely different skill, though, one I wasn’t as familiar with. Because it’s such a specific discipline I felt it was something I could develop much more at degree level.”
He added: “I’ve really enjoyed the course and the Soap in a Week project in particular was amazing.
“The whole experience was a real eye-opener and a great way to get noticed by people in the industry.” Although he can’t wait to get to ITV, Dominic said his real passion lies in script-writing for video games.
He added: “Gaming is the field I’d most like to work in. I really like the complete freedom involved, you could be designing a new world or creating monsters. The gaming industry is on the rise and games are now like films in their own right, but with the player in control of the story.
“The industry is going to keep on growing because technology keeps progressing, and because things are moving so fast it’s less of a strict art form.”
He is now planning to do a Masters degree.