I saw a lot of ‘movers and shakers’ I know on Twitter talking about the scheme – many of them had been through it. When two friends were accepted in 2014, I saw what it did for their careers and wanted some of the action!
What’s your best memory from being on the scheme?
My single best memory is bumping into Russell T. Davies after he did a talk. He was (and is) a big inspiration so I took the opportunity to go say hi. I was chuffed just to have the chance to shake his hand and exchange a few nice words but when he saw I was a One To Watch-er he took me aside and gave me a ten minute masterclass on where my career was at and where I should go next with things. It was hugely inspiring to get one-to-one time with someone of his calibre.
Tell us about the most memorable talks/sessions in your year.
Vinay Patel spoke about his experience writing Murdered By My Father (which is a dazzling piece of work) and stayed afterwards to chat at length with all of us who worked in scripted drama. Having access to people operating at his level was a real gift and not the sort of thing I was used to having.
Did being on Ones To Watch change your career ambitions?
Change… no. But it did refine my approach. It made me far more confident about myself and my talents and made me feel less nervous about selling myself. I’m not really from a typical ‘telly background’ and until I did the scheme had always felt a bit self conscious / out of place. I feel the scheme equipped me to far better navigate the industry while still being myself.
Did you meet anyone through the scheme, or at the Festival, who’s had a big impact on your life or career?
Yes! As a freelance scriptwriter, I’ve gone on to sell original projects to two people who were members of my Ones To Watch cohort. I’ve also worked alongside a number of other execs / writers / researchers that I met there and made some really deep friendships and connections. Writing is often a fairly isolating career, so to make a whole host of new friends has been invaluable.