It speaks volumes that established writers Mike Bartlett and Sally Wainwright both provided testimonials for Stella Merz’s Hot Shots application.
Having begun her career as an assistant to United Agents’ Michelle Archer, Stella joined Lookout Point as a development assistant in 2016 and was promoted to script editor last year to aid the pair.
She is also script-editing Andrew Davies’ forthcoming BBC1 drama A Suitable Boy.
Bartlett calls her work on his BBC newspaper drama Press “sensitive, proactive and sophisticated”, while Wainwright says Stella has been “relentlessly hardworking” as a script editor, “with lots of ideas and a fine eye for detail” on the BBC1/HBO co-production Gentleman Jack.
Stella was familiar with the source material of the latter, which led her to team up with the prolific Wainwright, and she single-handedly co-ordinated the translation of almost 100,000 words of the 200-year-old text on which the series is based.
“A voracious reader and researcher, her thoughts on scripts are full of insight and she brings a fresh perspective,” says Wainwright. “Crucially, she’s lots of fun and really knows how to make me laugh.”
Lookout Point chief Faith Penhale adds that wherever the TV industry is going, “Stella will be leading the way”.
Broadcast: Hot Shots 2018: production – scripted (Paywall)