MA Scriptwriting profiles 2018

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.

Dylan Conen

Born and raised in Upper Hutt, I spent most of my years there until I moved out to Wellington at 19. I grew up listening to artists like the Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Guns N Roses and my taste for music has only widened.

I first fell in love with cinema after watching The Fellowship of The Ring, the grand scale of its narrative enticed me into the possibilities of one day creating a world as expansive and in depth. From there I was obsessed with movies and music, and combining the two in a theatrical way that no one has ever seen. Now at the age of 23 the fire for creation has never burned brighter and I'm looking forward to what the future holds.

Matasila Freshwater

Leana Hola! I'm Mata and I'm brown which is sometimes important to people. Most of the time I work in animation with the hopes of being a real Director/Writer one day. I made my first NZFC-funded 2D animated short film in 2015 and was lucky enough to get into the NZIFF, Show Me Shorts, and Sitges International Film Festival, among some others. Since then I've received funding to make another short, this time a live action, but I've been struggling with articulating my voice and getting the story to a place I'm happy enough with.

I play the ukulele (poorly) and the devils advocate (kindly) and I'm also constantly filled with deep fear and shame which makes me terrible at sharing my half formed ideas - something I hope to get better at when working with you all!

Vincent Konrad

I have been writing and drawing forever, and have a lot of doubts about both. I'm very suspicious of existence at all really. It's not very convincing. I don't think writing is terribly important, except in that unimportant things are vital to life being bearable. I grew up in Christchurch and walked out of there just as things were getting interesting. Now I live on a boat. I like birds, flowers, drinking cheap bubbly wine, and the pronouns I prefer are they/them, though he/him or she/her will do.

Dana Leaming

Kia ora, I grew up in Tauranga during the nineties in a working class and barefoot childhood. Moved down to Wellington to start a BA in Theatre and English and finished my honours in Theatre in 2012. I taught English in Japan for three years where I experienced one hell of a culture shock and unexpectedly spent half my job trying to outrun five year olds. I came back to New Zealand to restart my interest in writing.

New Zealand playwrights and authors are my favourite sources of comedic and dramatic writing, usually blending the two with relatable ease.

I'd be lying if I said that I didn’t find this course slightly intimidating but nonetheless I'll give it a go.

Julia Ludbrook

After graduating with a BA in English and Art History and an honours degree in Film I have spent my time painting, making music videos, writing and working retail. This year I'm grateful to hang up my name badge, to channel my energy away from avoiding customers and eight-hour fantasies about the collapse of capitalism, and back into writing full time. I am inspired by the fiction of Jonathan Franzen, Adrienne Rich's poetry and basically every film that Paolo Sorrentino has written and directed.

Ralph McCubbin Howell

Ralph is a writer/performer originally from Te Wai Pounamu, who ostensibly lives in Wellington but more often lives out of a suitcase. After studying at Vic, and training at the Bristol Old Vic, he co-founded Trick of the Light Theatre, for which he writes and performs original works. His one-man show The Bookbinder has toured the world in venues ranging from The Lincoln Center, New York, to an old flour mill and the attic of New Zealand's oldest bookbindery. He's looking forward to sinking his teeth into writing on larger scales and in different mediums, and to taking on different feedback.

Laura Robinson

Hey there! I'm a Wellington writer, producer and actor. I am the creator of the Wellington web series Burbs and I produced my first short film, Drop Down Globe, last year.

I graduated from The New Zealand Film School in 2012. I was one of the few people in my class who didn't drink monster energy drinks for breakfast and think that women are stupid.

I'm currently working in Melbourne at a rooftop tent hotel. Picture Wes Anderson directing The Office, filled with a bunch of unhappy couples drinking espresso martinis on an astroturfed rooftop in the heart of Melbourne. It's pretty great.

Finn Shepherd

My fascination with words, their meaning and the people that speak them has always been evident. I love to talk and to listen to people, to be around constant conversation. Some (including myself) would say that this oratory need might stem from the more solitary life of an only child. With a thirst for words and language and external outputs limited, I've learnt to get creative. My extensive imagination and its leaning towards words and stories has needed an outlet and that's where the world of theatre has stepped in. My BA (Hons) in Theatre has been the most recent realisation of this storytelling need, where I have found myself enthralled by the art of scriptwriting and worlds that I can create. This year, I want to extend my scriptwriting abilities and see where they may take me.