Janet Awe: Passionate About Telling StoriesPosted on by Janet Awe
Hi there! If you’re looking for some blurb about me, here it is…
I do scripted comedy development, I script edit and I’m earning my TV producing spurs.
For the last year, I have been working in Sky’s comedy commissioning team, as a development executive, supporting projects already in production, as well as helping to uncover exciting new ideas. From half-hour and hour-long comedies, for Sky One – such as In the Long Run, with Idris Elba. To the Urban Myths strand, where fantastic talent, from Frank Skinner to Anna Maxwell Martin, help us retell true-ish stories about cultural icons, for Sky Arts. And the collection of comedy shorts, which helps showcase newer, up-and-coming talent.
As identifying, supporting and nurturing new talent is close to my heart, I’m proud and excited to have set up a Bridges To Industry project with the National Film and Television School, whilst at Sky. This aims to give the often-unsung heroes – the writer and producers – an opportunity to create an Urban Myth short film.
That passion for new talent has led me to get involved with many other great projects and organisations, including script read for Film London to review submissions to its brilliant London Calling Plus scheme, and helping Funny Women judge its new comedy writer award.
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 – including a mammoth project taking someone from rough outline to the second full draft of his comedy feature, in only ten weeks. Personally, I have written two comedy features, one black comedy TV pilot and a TV drama of my own, with more currently underway. But I understand that script development isn’t about rewriting things in my voice, but rather about helping the writer find their’s.
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 film-making for companies like Microsoft and Nokia. 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!