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Janet Awe: Passionate About Telling Stories

Posted on by Janet Awe

I’m a script developer. Who also writes scripts.

Some people think the the two are incompatible: Surely, my personal writing style and traits will subconsciously creep into any script that I develop? Thankfully, the screenwriters that I’ve supported would disagree. Personally, I feel that the two skills complement each other, giving me a better understanding of both and helping me do an even better job.

Currently, I’m working in Sky’s comedy commissioning team, as a development executive. I have a real passion for comedy and I love seeing stories come to life, so I seriously appreciate having a job where pretty much every day is a joy in some way and a great learning experience.

In addition to working as a script developer, other past experience includes script reading for Film London, helping to review submissions to its brilliant London Calling Plus scheme. Identifying, supporting and nurturing new talent is also close to my heart, so this was another role that was important to me.

I have been lucky enough to learn from some of the best. I trained on a 14-month Post-Graduate Diploma in Script Development at the National Film and Television School, graduating in February 2016. Learning how to help other screenwriters find and communicate their voice, so they can tell their story in an authentic and viable way, was a key part of my training and immensely satisfying. I left the course armed with a dynamic arsenal of skills to help me improve other people’s scripts, as well as my own.

The development diploma built nicely on the Masters in Screenwriting that I had graduated in, from Birkbeck, University of London, in 2015. Returning to university after twenty years to study part-time for two years, while also working, was an extraordinary challenge which tested me to my limits. But – now that it’s over – I can look back and say how much I loved it.

Today, I’m proud to have already helped many writers develop their scripts – taking one of them from rough outline to second full draft of a comedy feature, in only ten weeks. Additionally, I have written two comedy features, one black comedy TV pilot and a TV drama of my own, with more currently underway.

Ultimately, I simply love scripts and I am excited to work with them and their creators in any way that I can. I have always had a love for story, winning my first writing award when I was at primary school – as my mum still likes to tell people! After university I went into PR and marketing and, ten years later, after working as a director in agencies and then for a television company I went freelance in 2002, under the company name Awesome Communications (a ‘hilarious’ pun on my surname). I gained over 20 years’ marketing experience, covering everything from traditional PR, to digital and social media and producing branded content – aka corporate short films – for individuals and small businesses, or global organisations like Microsoft. A great career, which I’m thankful for – but I’m delighted that my undiminished love of story inspired me to take a leap into the world of scriptwriting and development. I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be.

If you’d like me to talk to me about work, or to just buy me a drink, please get in touch using the contact details below.

I look forward to hearing from you!

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