Edinburgh TV Festival supported by Screen Scotland

sholla coker

Drama Development Executive, Two Halves Pictures

Ones to Watch 2017

Sholla Coker

How did you find out about Ones to Watch?

I knew of a few people who had successfully gotten onto Ones to Watch, and in the months/years following their time on the scheme, it was fantastic to see how their careers began to flourish, and how it afforded them the opportunity to give back to the industry by being a mentor to someone from The Network. And so, when the series producer of Holby City at the time, Kate Hall, asked to put me forward, I was of course, all for it.

What’s your best memory from being on the scheme?

My best memory is of the day that we all arrived in Edinburgh. I remember speaking to a few people before going into our very first session. And amidst feelings of trepidation and excitement, it suddenly dawned on me, that all thirty of us who were gathered in this room, would most likely play a huge part in transforming this industry as we all knew it.

Tell us about the most memorable talks/sessions in your year.

My most memorable sessions were without a doubt, those run by Channel 5 Controller Ben Frow, and former CCO of Channel 4 Jay Hunt, both of whom spoke of quite circuitous paths into and within the industry respectively. Their candour about their professional journeys meant that I certainly left each session with the knowledge that my success was not foretold by anybody else’s. And perhaps most importantly, that it was OK, advisable even, to simply work hard, and to run my own race.

Did being on Ones To watch change your career ambitions?

Honestly, Ones to Watch didn’t change my career ambitions at all. If anything, I would go so far as to say that it fuelled me further, making me steadfast in the journey to achieve them.

Did you meet anyone through the scheme, or at the Festival, who’s had a big impact on your life or career?

There are quite a few people that I could mention, but I would have to say that the person, who has had the biggest impact on my career thus far, was my festival buddy, Kudos CEO Diederick Santer. He offered me some very sage advice and support, at a time in my career where I was at a major crossroads. In many ways, he gave me push I needed me to leave the safety of what I knew in continuing drama, to explore the unfamiliar terrain of the indie world, as a development exec, and I haven’t looked back since.