Writer & Director for TV & Film
I attended The Network in August 2015, only three summers ago but it somehow feels like an eternity. To say the scheme has positively impacted, as well as propelled my career is a total understatement. I took part in the Drama scheme – with aspirations to be the next Sally Wainwright. I had no expectations – other than that I was going to be one step closer to the world of making fiction for the small screen. Not only did my four days in Edinburgh provide a quick-fire introduction to a competitive, creative industry but a network of peers (for life) the same level as me. We propped each other up; we have a strong alumni network.
As a young Black woman, I was constantly reminded about the race, gender and class barriers thwarting any way to ‘get in’ to the industry. No matter the passion. This is where the scheme came in. I was delighted to find out when I applied, that all you needed was a keen interest in TV. The workshops and talks we attended gave me the confidence to both question, and begin to understand the career pathways of scripted content. It’s a somewhat tricky infrastructure to navigate and there’s never one ideal way to start in the industry, especially as a complete newbie.
During the Drama workshop – a group of us wrote and directed a mini-episode of Holby City. We were mentored by my future boss, Head of Continuing Drama at BBC, Oliver Kent, top scriptwriter Jeff Povey, director extraordinaire Jermain Julien and fantastic producer, Jane Wallbank. We had to pitch a story, write, shoot and edit…in two days! Little did I know that my Ones to Watch mentor, Jerome Bucchan-Nelson would militantly prep me for an interview for an Assistant Script Editor job on *drum roll please* – HOLBY CITY! Without a doubt, being able to have written and crewed on a short episode for Holby got me my job – I knew exactly how the show worked, understood the tone and what my role would be as an Assistant Script Editor. I was promoted within a few weeks to script editing my own episodes. One of the writers I script edited the work of was Jeff Povey. I also script edited an episode directed by Jermain Julien. I don’t believe in coincidences, but the industry is so small.
On one of the awards nights, comedian Frankie Boyle addressed the Networkers personally, it’s something that’s always stayed with me. He said that he better be nice to us because we were gonna be his bosses in seven years…we all laughed, but it’s actually true.
Only a few years later, I have worked very hard in scripted development now for two years. I’ve earned the right to call myself a writer. I’ve had writing credits on a national broadcaster, I currently have a film I have written and will direct in pre-production and other projects in development. And, this is only the beginning.