2020 has been a lot. And we all know why. Now that that’s out of the way let’s move on. This year the Sirens have grown in many ways. We want to thank everyone who has supported us and worked with us this year.
Here’s is a little snap shot of Script Sirens’ 2020...
Creative career achievements in 2020
Scarlett Kefford: I’ve had a few creative career achievements – which is kind of mad considering everything that is going on. Making #GoingViral on zero-budget during the strictest period of lockdown was an achievement in itself, but getting my RTS Award nomination for Breakthrough Off Screen for producing the series was most definitely a highlight! I was also delighted to win Arts Council Lottery Funding to make Siren Screams, and honestly, it was just a joy to handsomely pay my writers and creatives for their work. I also came top 5% in the BBC Writer’s Academy submissions at the beginning of the year but unfortunately just missed out on getting an interview. I’m also very proud to have spoken on many industry panels about disability diversity in the screen industry.
Alexandra Taylor: Recorded, edited and published episode one of Beneath the Waves, the 8-part audio drama Carmen Capuano and I co-wrote. Available on Podbean, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts. I also used lockdown to turn a poem I wrote years ago into a short film, starring my housemate and her dog.
Annabel Brightling: I got hired as a staff writer for the supernatural series Seaview. There isn’t a writer’s room system in the UK as there is in America. However, working on Seaview has given me hope that the industry is changing. Co-writing episode one of #GoingViral with Scarlett was fun. I made the final five for the Galton and Simpson Bursary. I recently got accepted onto the EastEnders Writers Shadow Scheme.
Carmen Capuano: I launched Emmeline Productions Limited with fellow writer and producer, Louise Osbourne, as we wanted to create a company that was both female-centric and with sustainability at its core. I wrote the final three books in my ten-volume sci-fi series, The Owners. The entire series is being prepped for publication in 2021. I also wrote two short children’s books, several films and TV shows, and acted in my audio drama – the first acting I’ve done in thirty years! In short, it’s been a strange but productive year!
Cassiah Joski-Jethi: I completed the BBC New Creatives scheme with my first audio drama Détente. I shot my BFI Network short film Catch A Butcher, and made a short film I’m Not Fine in lockdown.
Holly Louise Psaliou: Certainly, writing my first ever feature film and completing my MA in Creative Writing. Once I wrote that first big project it gave my confidence to continue writing my extended projects. #GoingViral and Siren Screams were also fantastic opportunities, and being selected for an exciting writing project that I’m looking forward to its release next year.
Kayleigh Watson: Secured Arts Council funding for the Young Empress – a short film/ music video, which has been my first time writing and producing. Siren Screams and #GoingViral were good to add to my portfolio and a lot of fun! I launched Manifest and got a range of ad hoc work through that. I added Clash and Loud + Quiet to my clips.
Louise Osbourne: The first piece of writing that I’ve ever had performed at Transition Stage Company, Enter Stage Write as one of five finalists. I set up a production company, Emmeline Productions with Carmen Capuano and produced, co-directed and performed in a short film Leap that got great feedback. #GoingViral and working alongside the Script Sirens has been wonderful too.
Melina De Niro: Although my efforts to write have proven slow this year due to my ongoing mental health issues, I did win one of six places for the Free Read competition held by Writing West Midlands. It has been a fantastic prize for me to win. I received priceless feedback on my twisted love story manuscript. I endeavour to work on my manuscript and share a polished and disturbingly beautiful love story.
Miriam Sarin: Finished my first novel – JUST!
Favourite Films Of 2020
Scarlett: Baby Teeth. Female written and directed and produced *chefs kiss* I saw back to back with Tenet and was much more enamoured by Shannon Murphy and Rita Kalnejas’s gloriously colourful and sweetly painful story than Nolan’s overhyped offering (and I shocked that my big-time Nolan fanboy partner not only agreed but said so aloud first!).
Alex: I’m not a massive film watcher, I can only remember one film I’ve watched in 2020, and that was How to Build a Girl. I enjoyed it. Mainly because I related very strongly to the main character, but I’m hesitant to recommend it as I strongly disagree with writer Caitlin Moran’s views on trans rights.
Annabel: Parasite. I haven’t laughed and thought about a film so much before. My second has to be Blindspotting. It had the rhythm and intensity of a theatre play at some points, which I loved. I wheezed with laughter at the boat scene. The t-shirt scene took me to the other extreme and had me crying and distressed. A great sign if a film can make you do both.
Cassiah: It has to be Parasite which I loved so much; I saw it in the cinema twice within two days! My runner up would be Saint Maud which I went to see alone on the day before our local Cineworld closed ☹️
Holly: Finding Your Feet – I watched this film for the first time simply on the basis that I love anything that’s centred around siblings. This film is so heart-warming and tender and explores a beautiful story about two sisters who bring the best out of one another – it’s also very funny. And of course, Imelda Staunton, Celia Imrie and Timothy Spall, as always, were on top form.
Kayleigh: I wrongly presumed Parasite was a horror going in and it was so much more. With Little Women, I wasn’t expecting to alternate between laughs and cries as much as I did (multiple times). I need to watch those both again.
Louise: I loved two, JoJo Rabbit and Little Women.
Mel: Sorry everyone, I’m still stuck on Joker. I cried through that movie. It is a movie that certainly resonates with me.
Favourite TV Shows Of 2020
Scarlett: Schitt’s Creek. OH BEBE! Life changing, wholesome hilarious goodness. Proof that those idiots that say “you can’t joke about anything anymore” are just not that funny.
Alex: It will come as no surprise to you at all – Supernatural. To quote murderous Greek God Caliope from the show’s 200th episode: “Supernatural has everything – life, death, resurrection, redemption, but, above all, family. All set to music you can really tap your toe to. It isn’t some meandering piece of genre dreck, it’s… epic.” It’s hard to capture in a few words all the reasons I love it, but at its heart, it’s about love, family and keeping on fighting, no matter how hard life gets. And monsters. Lots of monsters.
Annabel: A few. Tiger King, What We Do in the Shadows, The Boys, Grand Army, and Spinning Out. I mainly love stories with obsessive characters that are willing to destroy themselves to achieve a goal.
Cassiah: Erased, a mini-series anime from 2016 which was recommended to me – such an amazing show! I would highly recommend if you do or don’t watch anime.
Holly: I have to go with two. Firstly, Devs. I’m a big fan of Alex Garland’s work and his very cerebral approach to science fiction; what starts off as an intriguing thriller turns into a philosophical narrative about life itself. Secondly, Defending Jacob. I particularly enjoyed its different angle in approaching the crime genre, but I can’t say what that is without touching on a major spoiler.
Kayleigh: I Will Destroy You deserved all the praise and hype that it received – groundbreaking. Also, I belatedly binged all of Hannibal in an unhealthy short space of time.
Louise: The Queens Gambit, I also loved The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel.
Mel: There’s a few; I loved What We Do in the Shadows it’s great to see that the series are just as creative and funny as the original movie. American Horror Story would be the next TV show I would pick, extraordinary supernatural stories with great visual style. And then The Walking Dead because who doesn’t love Norman Reedus shooting zombies in the head with a crossbow.
Miriam: New Girl. Rewatching this has been good tonic for lockdown. I have found I just want to laugh this year, to not be too serious, and that has kept me sane!
Scarlett: I would really like to bag myself an agent.
Alex: My ultimate aim is to write for continuing drama, so I’d like to make some progress in that area. I’ve always got a lot of projects on the go, in different stages, and it’ll be interesting to see which ones come to fruition in 2021. One is a major new multimedia project based on fan fiction. It’s in the very early ‘plotting out’ stage at the moment, but I’d hope to get a first draft written by the end of 2021. I’m also working with a director friend on a short film script, which I hope we can get funding to make. When lockdown struck, I was in the middle of a feature script, and the whole Covid situation threw me off track with it. I’d like to get back on track and finish that as well.
Annabel: Secure more paid writing work. To find out more about BFI NETWORK x BAFTA. I want to have more drama scripts to balance out my comedy scripts. So my other goal is to finish my one hour historical crime drama (still in the research stage). And rewrite my original one hour drama pilot.
Carmen: In 2021 I intend to get the books in my backlog actually published, and hope to make several films and TV programmes.
Cassiah: I’ve been writing a new feature so I would like to finish that before Christmas, and can pursue developing my first feature next year. I’m in post-production on Catch A Butcher so I hope to complete it and get the festival run underway. I have a few other opportunities and pushed-back projects for next year, so I’m just hoping they manage to go ahead with everything going on at the moment!
Holly: Complete my novel – I truly believe in this particular story I’m telling and am really enjoying what I’m writing too. Also, looking forward to future projects with the other members of Script Sirens.
Kayleigh: Hmm. To keep expanding my portfolio of projects and continue collaborating with other creatives. Take a plunge and write a TV pilot, and attempt to rekindle my first love of prose!
Louise: To see my work out there and finally be playing parts that I have created and also potentially through the production company actually helping the charities associated with my stories.
Mel: My goals are to work on my skills as a writer and to work on my book. I hope to become a credible writer…one day.
Miriam: Definitely to get an agent and sell my book. I know that most people don’t manage to do this on their 1st book, but I’m going to try!
Listen to Siren Screams
We wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas break!
Script Sirens x