MA scriptwriting students

These are brief paragraphs about themselves written by each member of this year's class and emailed to the IIML at the start of the year. The intention is that they can read about each other before they meet face to face. We also hope these informal snapshots will make interesting reading in future years.

Geraldine Brophy

INTRODUCING myself, I'll begin with names. Namely my names. Gearoídín ní Brothie, Geraldine Brophy.
An Irish Tinker and Curator of Curiosity. A storyteller born not bred. A writer of half truths and formidable lies.

INTERWOVEN over forty years of professional Art there are Actress, Director, Producer, Writer, Mentor and Dramaturg. Two Hundreds of Theatre, two dozens of Feature Films, multitudes of Television, Children's books and Adaptations.
Some awards. Accolades, buckets and spades. Tokens broken, banished.

MANY passions for the Word.
The Story is all. The Story has no end.

LETTERS found from within and with your help, lovingly found from without. Together.

Louise Proudfoot

Hi, I'm Lou.  I live in the Wairarapa with my husband, James and our two girls, Sammy and Scarlett.  I graduated from the NZ College of Performing Arts, Porirua, way back in 1999 where I wrote one-hour comedies for the Wellington Fringe Festivals as a means of getting myself on stage.  It was here that I developed my love of scriptwriting.  I've since written a couple of full-length plays and recently attempted my first screenplay.  I’m very grateful to be a part of the 2023 crew, I'm excited (and a little terrified) by the challenges this course will throw at me and I'm really looking forward to meeting with you all!

Jennifer Wilton

A diplomat and foreign policy advisor for many years, I currently work at the New Zealand Film Commission in the policy team. Career highlights include postings to Moscow and Tokyo and graduating with a diploma in screenwriting from Vancouver Film School in Canada in 2022. With that background, you probably think I'd want to write political thrillers. However, you'd be completely wrong! I've been a sci-fi fan for as long as I can remember and would love nothing more than to write for a serialized sci-fi TV show one day. I also love the collaborative nature of TV writing and the idea of working in a writer's room, so I'm super excited to start workshopping everyone's story ideas in 2023!

Francesca Sewell

I'm Francesca, a Wales-born, Wellington-based storyteller. In 2018, I graduated from Massey University's Creative Media Production programme — which is where I wrote and directed my first proper short film, Raspberry and Coke. I'm super excited to be a part of this class and can't wait to GLUE my writing cap to my head this year (à la Danny DeVito in Matilda). I hope to delve deep into writing as an art form and learn about myself as a writer.

Tom Kelly

Hi, I'm Tom. I grew up in Ashhurst (just outside of Palmerston North) and studied Film and International Relations here at Victoria. At the moment I work as a ghoulish bureaucrat but my friends have encouraged me to leave it behind and instead write silly stories about weird little guys. In my spare time I like to do a little bit of swimming and a little bit of gymming when I'm not lying in bed like a slug. I'm looking forward to meeting you all!

Martain Ravn

Hello everyone. My name is Martain, pronounced Martin. Marty is also good. I'm from Christchurch but call Wellington home now. I finished a BA in English Literature, watch The Lord of the Rings Extended Edition about once a year, and love the wild.

I've tried writing different forms of fiction, but scriptwriting is where I feel I do my best stuff. Trees do come up a lot. I tend not to finish things without deadlines, so I'm hoping we'll have plenty. I'm really looking forward to giving and receiving feedback. I hope we can all lift each other up.

Jane Ballentyne

Kia ora koutou, I'm Jane. When I was 11 my teacher Ms. Anderson liked my short stories a lot and read them out loud to the class which felt nice. However my parents told me that paid work trumps self-expression so I trained as a teacher before inadvertently becoming a small business owner - which is weird because I'm baffled by children and numbers. I've made a few short films but have found writing to be a more practical way to squeeze some creativity into my world. I'm beyond thrilled to begin the course and dedicate a whole year to doing my favourite thing with like-minded people.

Dominique Chapla

Kia ora, I'm Dominique Chapla (he/him), and I'm a film obsessive. I've never written or worked in the industry, but I have run a cult film night and helped short-list the Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize. Since 2006, I’ve mainly worked as a teacher of English as an Acquired Language, which is a job I love and has helped me to travel and work around the world – first in Japan, then Australia, Peru, and Spain.

Apart from that, I've had a fairly colourful job history. When I moved to Far North Queensland to help look after my grandfather in 2009, employment options were reduced to three main opportunities: prison warden, miner, or weighbridge manager, so I took on the least odious (and least well-paid) role of weighbridge manager. When Covid arrived, teaching work once again dried up and I took on the position of postie, which turned out to be less fun than it sounds. I’ve also worked as a trolley boy; checkout clerk; lab assistant; hamburger flipper; art gallery invigilator; kitchen hand; video store clerk; telesalesperson; graphic designer; council housing cleaner; cinema attendant; furniture removalist; pizza chef; MC in a strip club; census regional manager; DJ; and toilet cleaner in a fancy department store.

Looking forward to meeting you all. Please don't hate me for being Australian, I had nothing to do with it.

Tenzin Casey-Waters

Hey guys, I'm Tenzin! I'm 26 and am moving over to Wellington from Melbourne shortly.

I've always really loved stories and I'm incredibly excited to spend this year overanalysing them with you. I did my undergrad in film and television and did a bunch of camera assisting work in between floristry and bartending.

Five quick facts about me:

  1. I am very, very fast
  2. I am stealth personified
  3. I've never been to New Zealand before
  4. I know all the lyrics to Ice Ice Baby
  5. No I don't.

Can't wait to meet you guys!

Lily Fitzgerald

Tēnā koutou katoa,

Now that the suspense has driven you wild… I'm Lily! Fashionably late, fresh out of a Bachelor’s degree in Film and Theatre here at Vic and mad enough to come straight back. Currently doing a Fringe Show called Hell School: The Musical where I'm Musical Director and an actor. Creatively I've done a whole lot and a whole lot of nothing — always had music on the brain, couldn't shake filmmaking or acting and dabbled a bit in writing humanity through the lens of the fantastic. You see, my media taste never really matured in the way it was probably supposed to, perhaps a sign that a decent chunk of my childhood was being raised by television. If I have the emotional intelligence and one-liners of an 80s sitcom I blame Cheers, but my goofy mysterious nature and penchant for Scooby Snacks is still unaccounted for...  

Aspiring to Daniel Radcliffe levels of earning a living by taking the weirdest creative opportunities around. So here I am, at 21, with some wacky ideas of trying to be a writer. Can't wait to meet you all!