Plus, it all came as a bit of a surprise. I never started this blog thinking it would become my job one day but I’m grateful it has…
My life was a little different a few years ago…
You see, I was and still AM a filmmaker- a screenwriter and director. I’ve won awards and received honours from major film festivals along with the Channel 4 4Talent Award, The World Spread’s Square Mile 30 Under 30 London Talent Award in association with CNN and I’m featured in The Observer’s Courvoisier The Future 500 among many others.
On set my short film Broken
And below on a shoot from the Channel 4 Magazine shortly after winning an award from them…
My work has been shown on UK, US and French TV, I’ve directed social documentaries for telly, short films that were shown at cinemas and broadcast all over the world, fashion films screened at London Fashion Week, commercials, music videos and more, I’ve given talks at the Berlin Film Festival, lectured at universities, made filmmaking programmes for the BBC-my work life sure was varied, challenging and fulfilling as a filmmaker and it’s still in me, you never stop being a filmmaker or having the ability to visualise and create.
Above and below presenting a short programme I also wrote on filmmaking for BBC2. I was also a judge on the televised BBC Young People’s Film Festival.
You can watch a clip from the BBC programme HERE of me!
Below directing the great Michelle Collins and John Altman (also friends of mine) on set of a social drama series I directed when I was 5 months pregnant with Oliver, my first child.
Do check out my 2 minute Directing Showreel below for a taste of my work:
…So, I still shoot my own stuff and appear on camera for brands I love but I’ve said no to directing commissions since Oliver was 1 1/2 because I want to be around for my kids, I want to put them first…I don’t want to work 15 hour days most days, I want to support and enjoy the little cherished people in my life and blogging means I’m at home working, not in another city or away from them for weeks on end.
Blogging, although full time can be flexible and meet their needs as well as pay the bills.
It’s really that simple.
My films were my children pre kids and although I directed commercials when Oliver was 1, being away from home nearly broke me.
-I am proud to have made an awareness film for the charity ICP Support, pro bono though when Oliver was a baby about my own experiences of the pregnancy liver condition, and motherhood has informed a lot of my work on and offf camera as I’ve been filmed for parenting films for yahoo and more:
I was also commissioned to direct and produce a promo film for BritMums when 7 months pregnant with my second son Alexander.
My husband Peter was shooting and I directed. It was so much fun and an example of the my filmamking and blogging lives merging. You can watch it here:
Luckily too, as a screenwriter as well as a director, a TV project I was developing based on a short film I made aged 21 as my grad film for my MA at Goldsmiths’ University of London, titled ‘Rifts’ (about warring kebab shop owners, below) was optioned by BBC Comedy when Oliver was young…It then moved to DLT Entertainment when the producer left-they make a lot of comedy for the BBC and others and it is now under the superb guidance of TV giant Michaela Hennessey-Vass (she discovered and commissioned Benidorm when at ITV) and has become a friend as much as a colleague.
….Along with my co-writer, the great Phil Hughes we’ve taken our time and recently completed the pilot episode and have some famous and gifted actors attached; it’s also still out to some more big names we’re hoping to secure in other roles and these things take time, yes it’s great to have been paid for this so far but who knows what will happen.
Will it get commissioned, will it not?
I’ve been involved in the media industry since I was 11 years old when my parents appeared on Food & Drink and I was asked to go on camera then my next taste was aged 15 on work experience on a live news show which I loved!… I then worked throughout university on TV shows (Cbeebies, BBC Music), on the radio (Talk Sport and much later BBC Radio Leeds), I wrote for the Guardian, then when I left after my MA (with distinction-whoop) I worked for Redbus (now Lionsgate UK learning the ropes from script to screen, developing a doc about Macy Gray before leaving to make my short film Broken and having a freelance directing career.
I’m used to rejection and the way of the media world, I never take it personally and will always take criticism well and try to improve,always serving the story and project first, while retaining my vision.
Now I’m in a position where I’m so lucky that I have a job, my blog that pays me the same as when I was directing full time but which most importantly, makes me equally happy. That works around my family. That stimulates me.
There is so much cross over-from making You Tube content to being a prolific writer (I’ve always written quickly and being the Editor of quarterly Film & Festivals Magazine sold across all the Borders in the UK a few years back was an invaluable experience) to negotiating contracts and securing deals and beyond.
I spent years honing my voice and it’s a never ending process and the beauty of blogging is I’m my own editor and each and every day, sometimes several times a day, I can instantly connect with my readers and share my life, my voice, my view on the world. That’s what I did as a filmmaker too. We are storytellers…
… I’m not trying to show off or blow my own horn. I just wanted to share my work, my hard work, my labours of love, the programmes I made that might have made a difference to people and audiences, to have touched them in some way.
I thought I might share more of the side of me that was and is such a big part of who I am…
Everything I’ve done until now, filmmaking, journalism, screenwriting, directing, editing a magazine, teaching, lecturing, working in advertising, it’s all contributed to where I am right now. Right here.
My blogging career is a real amalgamation of all that came before it, it informs my work and gives it context. It’s rather funny and wonderful how life turns out.
I’m open to it all. On camera. Behind again in the future. Blogging full time and forever more. As long as I’m being creative, I’m happy. And right now, I wouldn’t change a thing.