MA scriptwriting profiles 2017

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.

Fleur Cogle

'I'm returning to tertiary study after a decade in journalism. Most of my schooling was done in Timaru and I've worked there for the past seven years. When I was nine I sent TVNZ a one-line, typed letter on pink paper decorated with flowers (or maybe puppies) asking how you go about writing TV shows. I never heard back. I knew I liked TV - but it took Darin Morgan's season 3 episodes of The X-Files to make me realise how great a one-hour show could be. I've acted in a couple of plays but generally avoid being on the stage unless there's karaoke involved.'

Madeline Bush

'Fresh from a BA up in the BS of Auckland, I'm back in my native Wellington, naïve, idealistic, and ready to change the film industry for the better. After majoring in Screen Production and English Lit, I'm ready to explore a few of my own stories for a change. In my spare time, I perform musical theatre in my living room and buy too much jewellery. I believe in storytelling that is inclusive, diverse, and actually interesting. But I'm mostly here so that I can keep telling people that watching TV all day is research.'

Lindsay Christopherson

'I spent most of my childhood on Auckland's North Shore, drawing, reading and riding horses.

'I moved to Wellington, dropped out of Onslow College aged 15, then studied UE by Correspondence while waitressing, which led me to the realisation that I'd better become an artist. After dabbling in art classes I discovered film making, and moved to Melbourne to go to film school.

'I worked in film and TV in Australia and NZ for nearly 20 years in various roles - art department, production and continuity, then returned to study at the University of Auckland; film theory this time.

'I've been writing and developing scripts since film school, and have realised it's time to approach my work from a new angle.'

Courtney Brown

Courtney likes to spend a lot of time in the world of make believe. She is a Wellington based performer and writer, although new to the theatre scene, she is not short on enthusiasm. She is passionate about seeing and creating strong female and queer voices on stage and screen.

Kate Burney

Kate grew up on the Kapiti Coast and is in her own words; 'among the best Pram has to offer.'

She has a longstanding obsession with black humour, camp, and the surreal.

After finishing a BA in English Lit and a Diploma in Film and Television, she fled the ANZ call centre she was working in and spent the next part of her life stomping her way across Asia, where her love of listening to and telling stories was re-ignited.

She lived in Seoul for years, where she wrote and directed short films, directed plays and wiped the noses of kindergarten students.

Kate is currently dividing her time between directing documentaries for a non-profit organisation and spending her days at the food court in Coastlands furiously writing and avoiding her nemesis, The Cleaner.

Sarah Harpur

'My background is in comedy, as a writer and a performer. I always wanted to be high-brow, but I could never pull it off. So comedy it is! Jazz hands! I love writing about all the shitty parts in life and making them fun, or at least digestible. I have two kids, but if I die in a freak accident and am referred to in the headline as "mother of two" I will be very cross. I am excited to get to know all of you and read your work.'

Jonathan Watt

'I grew up in Masterton without television or film for the first 12 years of my life - at age 13 when my Dad brought home a TV my world exploded and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with the rest of it. After leaving school I worked on The Hobbit trilogy and then got a Bachelor of Arts in Film and English Literature. I have been a Runner at Weta Digital for the past 2 years and am looking forward to going back to study and improving my scriptwriting to help with my own film projects.'