"Originally, it was just going to be the video diaries of an average couple as they talked about the various aspects of their relationship," says David Coffey, series creator of Dan & Becs. It was only after Coffey decided to base the characters loosely on him and his co-star Holly White that the show took on a more satirical edge. "When we made the original pilot, me and Holly just improvised around this story of how Dan and Becs originally met up in Club 92. Later on, the series would be almost completely scripted, but that first pilot formed the basis for Episode One."
Coffey shot and edited the pilot episode and sent off a copy of the DVD - with a brief outline for the show - to a number of Irish production companies. Coffey was then contacted by David Collins of Accomplice Television (BACHELORS WALK, PURE MULE, HIDE & SEEK) who was interested in taking the show to RTÉ for development. Coffey worked with Neal Rowland and Maggie Mitchell, the script development team at Accomplice Television to strengthen the pitch, and it was then that the decision was taken to write full scripts for all future episodes. "It made sense to get as much as possible down in script form before and then improvise around that material," says Coffey.
RTÉ initially commissioned four more pilot episodes. These episodes were shot with a small crew over four days on location in an apartment in Dun Laoghaire. Though the locations would change from shoot to shoot, the process remained the same. The crew would use one location and dress different rooms for the various positions from which Dan and Becs would each film their video diaries. Generally, the sound mixer and the camera operator were the only crew in the room while filming was taking place. In addition, at least one day on each shoot was dedicated to filming "Becs" driving in her car. Unlike most other television/film shoots, for these scenes, Holly White would actually drive the car herself as she performed to camera. During these scenes the camera operator would work from the front passenger seat, while director David Coffey and the sound mixer would try and keep out of sight in the back seat.
The editing of these initial pilots (and the rest of the series) was done by Nathan Nugent in Screen Scene. When the decision was made by RTÉ to commission an entire series, the process began all over again. Scripts were written and developed and a second six day shoot, this time on location in Dundrum, completed the first series. All but one of the four pilots shot were used as actual episodes in the series. The decision was made to re-shoot Episode One again as it was felt some of the energy from David and Holly's original home made version had been lost. When the first series was complete, RTÉ immediately gave Accomplice Television the green light to begin developing Dan & Becs Series 2.