How did you find out about Ones To Watch?
I was relatively junior in my role but I told my boss I wanted to go to the festival and he said the only way he’d let me was if applied for Ones To Watch, or rather Fast Track as it was called then. Me and another person in our office, Verity Peet, applied. She got on and I didn’t. I was gutted! But I applied again the following year and managed to get accepted. Who’s laughing now, Verity?! We both are. We are both laughing. It was a great experience for everyone involved.
What’s your best memory from being on the scheme?
My best memory of the scheme was, on day one, suddenly feeling like I’d stepped inside the magic circle of TV. Being based in Belfast meant I often felt like an outsider but I was having conversations with all the big players, getting one to ones with commissioners, networking with company owners and exec producers. Every single person I met had the ability to advance my career. And every single person I met took the time to offer me advice and encouragement. It was brilliant.
Tell us about the most memorable talks/sessions in your year.
Tim Hincks is one of the greatest speakers I’ve ever seen. Heard? Seen or heard. Both. He’s brilliant. I won’t share what he told us but I will say I left that session feeling suitably inspired. I would genuinely pay money to listen to that man.
Did being on Ones To Watch change your career ambitions?
Yes. It showed me that my ambitions weren’t ambitious enough. Before Ones To Watch I was determined to make a career in network TV without leaving Northern Ireland. After Ones To Watch I was determined to launch shows around the world.
Did you meet anyone through the scheme, or at the Festival, who’s had a big impact on your life or career?
That’s a hard question to answer because it felt like I met literally everyone when I was on Ones To Watch, and they all had an impact on me. I’m still in touch with some of the gang from my year and we bump into each other at festivals frequently enough. It’s been a joy to watch them sail up the ranks in their careers and it’s always great craic to see them. I honestly found the whole thing ridiculously inspiring. At Stellify we encourage all our staff to apply every year. It’s a game changer.