With no connections in any form of media and from way outside of London, I was entirely clueless about working in the TV industry. Despite studying an MA in Screenwriting at the time, an actual job in any form of storytelling felt entirely out of reach. When I heard about The Network and read testimonials from previous participants it was clear this was one of those rare door opening opportunities that were too good to miss. Sure, it wasn’t a guarantee of a job, but it was a way to get exposure and begin building some sort of network.
As part of the scripted group, we were working with the team behind River City and were tasked with writing a scene for the stars of the show to perform in a showcase at the end of the fest. Hearing the storyline and dialogue the team and I had crafted in front of an audience was nerve wracking but also, really empowering. It was tangible and real, we’d had a scene we’d written read by professional actors who gave it as much care and attention as any other piece of writing. To be taken seriously when I still felt so green was a big deal to me.
I’m an Edinburgh native who had had no exposure to the Edinburgh TV festival previously but it’s now become a staple in my calendar. The scale of the event and calibre of guest speakers and panels was so impressive. We were really rubbing shoulders with the industry, amongst the decision makers and talent from both in front and behind the cameras. It felt legit which was weird as it was effectively on my doorstep, yet I’d never known it existed before!
We were all so eager and keen, there was no cynicism from anyone. I remember how refreshing it was to be surrounded by like minded, TV obsessives who were all approaching careers in the industry with determination and drive. I remember beaming with wide eyed optimism at everyone looking as if to say “LOOK WHAT WE’RE DOING! ISN’T THIS SO COOL!” And looking back, I still feel the same. It was really cool.
The Network is an industry recognised scheme which was picked up on by employers when I went for my first interviews for development roles. When you’re starting out, relevant experience can be so hard to come by and The Network was a real talking point. Personally, it introduced me to the River City team and through building relationships and creating a connection there I’m so proud to say I’ve just written my first episode which airs in November 2022.
My incredibly knowledgeable mentor prepared me for my first industry interview which I am so happy to say was successful. She’s since become a great friend, we still hang out to this day.