Beyond graduation: alumni experience of students of the School of Creative Arts
Spread across 47 acres in Dublin’s city centre, Trinity’s 17,000-strong student body comes from all 32 counties of Ireland, and 16% of students come from outside the country. Film alumni form part of the strong network of graduates from the School of Creative Arts embedded within diverse careers across the globe.
Since my TSM Film and English degree I have landed in documentary television at an indie production company in London. Straight after Trinity I tried the super independent freelance route of 'making my own luck/way', by making my own shorts and a web series, and working odd jobs but it was impossible to make ends meet and very slow-going.
After a two week work experience, I have been at the same company ever since. I was taken on as a Production Assistant for what ended up being the BAFTA specialist factual winner: a BBC docudrama on the Suffragettes, with Lucy Worsley. From there I was the Junior Researcher on a BBC history series explaining the lead-up to Brexit, told by the leaders of Europe and their closest advisors. I then moved on to another BBC history series on Cuba's relations on the world stage, namely the USA and Soviet Union, again only interviewing leaders and their chiefs of staff. Since, I have helped as a development researcher, and as a sound recordist and camera assistant on an ITV observational documentary about the RAF. I am now a Series Researcher across a 6-part World War II documentary series for National Geographic, setting up shoots all over the world, and researching extensively all the storylines, among other things! Not sure what's next (as is freelance life) but hoping to progress to the role of Assistant Producer soon.
In filmmaking, I have a found a passion that I think I will pursue for the rest of my life, and Trinity College's help allowed me to discover this. This year, I am serving as an AmeriCorps volunteer, teaching at-risk youth English and Filmmaking. Thanks to a grant I received, I have set up a DSLR film rig and an editing bay in my host school, and have been teaching students the ins and outs of filmmaking, film language, and even some film history. The first film that I've finished with the students is titled Learn which is a documentary about service-learning in our school. Needless to say, I am very happy with how things are going, and I can say with certainty I would not be where I am now if not for the help of the staff of the Trinity Film Studies Department provided to me during my time in Dublin.
Since graduating from Trinity in 2012 with a degree in English and Film Studies, I decided to pursue an M.Litt Research Degree in Film. I really benefitted from my time as an undergraduate because it opened my eyes up to the world of Film which I had little knowledge of before I began. I learnt an awful lot about the subject from a historical, theoretical and cultural perspective, and gained some great analytical and practical filmmaking skills in the process. Having spent a lot of time working on my final year dissertation, I realised that studying Film was something I really enjoyed and so I was inspired to pursue it at postgraduate level. Apart from my academic work, I also co-created a documentary called X is for Anonymous which was shown as part of Screen for Choice at Filmbase in September 2012 and was also included in an event called Motherhood held during Belfast Film Festival 2013. Currently, I am reviewing films for an online publication Hi! Magazine and will be contributing an opinion piece on Film in an upcoming magazine.
I was born in Toronto and attended Trinity College, Dublin where I graduated in 2009 with a major in film studies and a minor in theatre studies. Since graduation I have gone on to work in the Toronto film industry as both an agency and casting assistant. Subsequently I graduated from NYU’s Tisch’s School of the Arts in 2015 with an MFA in Dramatic Writing. At Tisch I won a number of awards including two Sloan awards (Spring Offensive and Downtown Eastside); the Tisch Screenplay Showcase (It's All Happening to Baby Jane); and Outstanding Writing for the Screen, Graduate Award. In 2015 my script Spring Offensive was listed on the Blacklist, and was optioned by Fox. I am currently developing new projects and am based in Los Angeles.
After graduating, I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do but I knew I wanted to work in Film or TV. I interned at Element Pictures (which have become synonymous internationally with films such as Room and The Lobster). Working at Element gave me invaluable insight into the everyday grind of the entertainment industry and I soon realised that my driving interest lay with scripts. I started writing script reports and soon got a job working with Blinder Films, helping to develop their slate of TV drama and feature film. I now spend my days writing soap storylines for Fair City. Being part of a huge production machine which eats up story in over 200 episodes a year is a challenge but it's also a lot of fun – and writing a soap storyline to deadline sharpens your story instinct like nothing else. Ten years ago, I never could have guessed I'd one day work on a soap – I'm excited to see where I'll be in ten years time.