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.

Amelia Addis

Hi, I'm Amelia. A rural-born, city-dwelling, writer and filmmaker. The most common feedback I received from my primary school teachers was: 'Amelia talks a lot in class.' So you could say I have had a passion for storytelling my whole life. Since then, spinning a yarn was as far as I flexed that muscle, until enrolling in a Film and Television Production Diploma at Yoobee College last year. I thrived in that environment, which involved writing and directing multiple projects, including my first short film. Previously, I was a wedding florist and a small business owner, but I chose to give up security and stability for film. I learn best through doing and, as mentioned earlier, discussion. While I am new to writing, I know I am invigorated anytime I get to discuss ideas, plots, character arcs, relationships or conflict. I hope to share that feeling with you all this year, although hopefully with a little bit more self-awareness than my eight-year-old self.

I am really looking forward to the start of class!

Keely Carter

Hiya! I'm Keely, and I've moved to Wellington from Christchurch this year to join this course. After leaving school I did an undergraduate degree in science and philosophy at the University of Canterbury. I shifted my focus to non-fiction writing in those realms during that time and returned to fiction upon finishing. Few people want to read reports and essays, but stories spark great philosophical debates and can expose people to cool aspects of science. I will be very happy if I can figure out how to entertain people in a way that leads to uncapped conflict afterward.

When I'm not with you all at the course, I'll probably be in a cycle of eat, read/write/watch, chat, nap, repeat; with some other more athletic hobbies thrown in there for variety and health. I'm sooo looking forward to getting started! See you all then :)

Sam Cotter-Dephoff

Hi all, I'm Sam. I have been fortunate enough to spend the last five years in Wellington working as a producer of practical vfx components for film and television. I have been involved in some incredible builds that I am very proud of. That being said, I have always found the most enjoyable part of my job is the very first step on any production: reading the screenplay. That first time reading the script, imagining all the potential ways it could manifest on screen, has always inspired and excited me, enough so that, after years of making excuses for myself, I finally mustered the courage to apply for this course. I am looking forward to meeting all of you soon and hope that we can work together to produce screenplays that we are proud of and that I may even get to provide a vfx breakdown for in the future!

Finn Holland

Kia ora, my name is Finn and I was born and raised in Ngāmotu/New Plymouth. At the age of six my brain was irrevocably altered by the viewing of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and by the end of high school I'd successfully hijacked the family Fatso account (a now defunct DVD mailing service) to receive many classic films both old and new.

Now, after studying film at Victoria and Massey, I'm excited to level up my storytelling skills and get some new ideas on the brew.

I currently reside in Highbury, surrounded by an assortment of native birds and by night I can be found in any of the local cinemas or the Valhalla urinal.

Jeremy Macey

Making stories with others has brought me joy since my days in the VUWSA Drama Club in Wellington where I met friends, colleagues – and even my future wife! Since then I've worked in a mix of areas including development, production and have distributed my own films, with a strand of teaching and mentoring. Three decades and children later, I've learnt a deep respect, even awe, for the craft of writing, and how powerful – and fun! – the collaborative process can be. I'm excited to be returning to the University to deepen my first-hand experience of writing with a group of like-minded people.

Alexander Nebesky

I grew up in Hamilton where I earned my degree in history and German language in 2018. After that, I worked in wargaming, ghostwriting, and marketing and communications in Auckland. In 2022, I moved to Wellington to live with my fiance and I currently work in communications for an environmental trust.

In my spare time, I study Czech, keep newts, paint little soldiers, and write stories. Of course, I'm looking forward to meeting you all, reading your work, and looking forward to writing something hopefully, possibly, just maybe worthwhile.

Alex Quinn

Kia ora, I'm Alex. I was born in a town in England. I won't tell you which because to be honest I'm not actually sure myself. We moved to New Zealand when I was two anyway, so I'm not all that fussed about it. I'm mainly interested in writing for theatre - I've worked on a number of scripts to be read reluctantly by my friends and flatmates, including one I'm co-writing for Wellington Fringe's 2024 season. I first got into script writing when I realised I could make actors say strange things on stage and they couldn't complain. That was a big selling point. My favourite playwright is Caryl Churchill. My favourite texture is crunch. I really hate the Spotlight in Kaiwharawhara. Looking forward to seeing all you!

Alaina Wilks

My name is Alaina and I can't lie I'm not fantastic at introducing myself without it being a list of fun facts so here is a list:

  • I'm a born and raised Wellingtonian;
  • I am an English and Psychology graduate from the University of Auckland, as of last year (phew, she made it through the covid years);
  • I have dyslexia - I read slow, grammar not so good, that's pretty much the gist;
  • My favorite movies are Almost Famous. Stand By Me, and The Princess Bride;
  • I'm half Canadian so there is maple syrup in these veins;
  • I’m convinced that mermaids, aliens, and Area 51 exist but not a lot else. Like Sasquatch… guy in a gorilla suit, flat earther… explain time zones and horizon lines;
  • I love live music, listening to my family play guitar (I am trying to learn again), and collecting Billy Joel vinyl.

And this is starting to feel a little like it's heading down the dating profile route now so I'm gonna wrap it up. Lastly, in the least cheesy way possible, I am so unbelievably excited to meet everyone and work together in this program in the class of twenty twenty-four the plot (literally and figuratively).

Joshua Winger

Hey everyone, I'm Josh. I grew up on Great Barrier Island and overseas a bit, and have a background in music, film, theatre and TV. I currently work as a writer/director at Wētā Workshop and freelance at My big dream is to make movies so it feels surreal getting to spend a year dedicated to this thing I love so much - Twelve point courier, laid out in that weird janky way, has become a strange aesthetic comfort for me and a safe space to dream so I can’t think of a more fulfilling way to spend a year and I'm really looking forward to donning my school bag, hopping on the bus and showing up every Tuesday and Wednesday to hang out, share work and talk shop with you. Surely this is not allowed? It seems to good to be true… See you soon!