David Varela

David specialises in writing and sometimes producing interactive projects, applying old-fashioned storytelling skills to new digital formats.

His recent work includes co-writing Wallace & Gromit in The Big Fix Up, Aardman's first original W&G tale for 14 years. Released as an app, the story was told using augmented reality as well as traditional animation and mini-games. It was shortlisted for two Cannes Lions.

Before that, David also wrote the hit mobile game Sherlock: The Network, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman and Mark Gatiss. Working with Hartswood Films and The Project Factory, he wrote an original interactive story featuring brand new scenes filmed with the cast. The game topped the app charts around the world and won a number of awards including a World Summit Award, a Silver Lovie Award and a UK Mobile & App Design Award, plus nominations at the Develop and Broadcast Digital Awards. It was also shortlisted for a Cannes Lion.

In 2013, David was a consultant on the Channel 4 show Hollyoaks, helping to structure a storyline that spanned TV and the web - and that picked up an All About Soap award for Best Storyline.

Away from television, he wrote murder mystery game The Trace for BAFTA-winning game studio Relentless, the multi-award-winning Samurai Siege for Space Ape, and was script consultant on the original undead fitness app, Zombies, Run! (written by Naomi Alderman and nominated for a Writers’ Guild Award).

David wrote and also produced a global alternate reality game called Lewis Hamilton: Secret Life which starred the Formula 1 driver himself, gaining a place in the Guinness Book of Records along the way. He also produced Xi, the world’s first console-based alternate reality game, and was part of the story team behind Perplex City, a two-year multimedia treasure hunt made by Mind Candy.

He has written three standalone dramas for BBC Radio – Olivia’s Line, Voices through the Wall, and The Parson – and was lead writer of the ambitious portmanteau radio play Postcards from a Cataclysm with contributors including Josie Long, Tim Crouch and poet Rommi Smith. When Perplex City joined forces with the BBC to tell a cross-media story focusing on the Radio 1 Big Weekend, the resulting adventure was nominated for a Radio Academy Award for Innovation.

David's short film work includes ‘The Rose’ (winner of a Fuji Film Scholarship) and ‘Portobello’ (winner of the JVC Sharp Shooters Competition and of the televised LWT contest Whose London?).

In theatre, David was on the Young Writers’ Programme at the Royal Court and his play Mother’s Ruin featured in their Young Writers’ Festival in 2002. As part of the Cultural Olympiad in 2012, he wrote a series of four site-specific plays (accompanied by a ten-week online story and nationwide treasure hunt) called The Seed.

When he’s not writing, David teaches residential courses for Arvon and speaks at film schools, universities, festivals and conferences around the world.

London (Greater London)

Contact me directly: david@davidvarela.com


Wallace & Gromit in The Big Fix Up - Aardman Animation & Fictioneers

Need for Speed: Heat - Ghost Games

Star Wars: Battlefront II - Criterion Games

The Trace - Relentless Software

Sherlock: The Network - Hartswood Films & The Project Factory

Samurai Siege - Space Ape

Zombies, Run! (script consultant) - Naomi Alderman & Six to Start

Lewis Hamilton: Secret Life (producer and writer) - nDreams, Reebok, M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment

Xi - nDreams, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe

Perplex City - Mind Candy



Hollyoaks: DocYou (consultant) - Winner of the All About Soap Award 2013 for Best Storyline - Lime Pictures

The Seed - four site-specific plays, real-time online story and treasure hunt, as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad - Goat & Monkey Theatre

Postcards from a Cataclysm (lead writer) - portmanteau drama for BBC Radio 4

Frozen Indigo Angel (AV producer and writer) - interactive crossover adventure with Mind Candy & BBC Radio 1

The Parson - digital radio play for BBC 7

Voices through the Wall - Afternoon Play for BBC Radio 4

Olivia's Line - Afternoon Play for BBC Radio 4

Mother's Ruin - stage play, performed as part of the Royal Court Young Writers' Festival 2002

Portobello - short film musical, winner of the JVC Sharp Shooters Short Film Competition and the LWT ‘Whose London?’ Contest

Drinking to Remember - one-act play produced by Hydrae at the Rosemary Branch Theatre

Purity - feature-length screenplay, Best Overseas Entry in the American Screenwriters Association’s 'Screenwriting for the Soul' Contest

The Rose (co-writer) - short film, winner of a Fuji Film Scholarship, screened at BAFTA

Animation, Comedy, Film, Radio, Television, Theatre, Videogames