Eastern Institute of Technology, Hawke’s Bay, 16 October 2014: While her classmates were enjoying their study break, EIT student Rhiannon Edwards was in Auckland pitching script ideas at the New Zealand Writers Guild 2014 Showcase.
Rhiannon was selected to represent EIT’s ideaschool at the prestigious event, held in tandem with the New Zealand Script Writer Awards.
Like her classmates, the second-year Diploma in Screen Production student is a member of the New Zealand Writers Guild (NZWG), which organised the Writer Showcase to encourage new writer-driven webs, film and television projects.
Rhiannon had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with Sean Carley, an Auckland-based director, writer and editor for film and television, and Alex Cole Baker, the film producer responsible for the New Zealand feature film The Most Fun You Can Have Dying.
“Sean Carley was great and he really loved my ideas,” she says. “We’re both fans of time travel stuff like Dr Who so I didn’t feel too intimidated at all. He was really encouraging. Alex, the producer, asked me lots of questions about my future plans.”
As a participant in Writer Showcase, Rhiannon now has an online ‘showcase’ with a photo, writer profile and outline of her projects on the NZWG website.
In Auckland, she also caught up with NZWG executive director Steve Gannaway.
“I had to pitch my short film idea to Steve back in April at EIT so I felt comfortable that I knew what I had to do.”
Louise Edwards, who accompanied her daughter to Auckland, says: “The trip was a great opportunity for Rhiannon and we are really proud of what she has achieved over the last two years.”
Rhiannon was sold on the Diploma in Screen Production programme after attending an EIT careers expo with her father in 2012. There she met some of the diploma’s successful graduates including 48-Hour Film Festival winning team member Blair Berg.
She applied and, after an interview, was accepted into the programme.
“I did photography at Hastings Girls’ High School with Mrs Dickerson and had done a bit of designing and animating on computer. I loved creative writing and pretty much always have a story plot in my head and I had done a bit of acting at the National Youth Drama School.”
Rhiannon, whose work at ideaschool includes a television commercial featuring a vampire tired of drinking blood and craving fizzy drink, says she has loved learning about writing scripts.
“I was brought up watching British comedies like The Two Ronnies and Dad’s Army so I love to slip humour into my writing.
As a participant in the Writer Showcase 2014 Rhiannon now has an online Showcase with a photo and writer profile and outline of her projects on the NZWG website.
Rhiannon is submitting her short film into a film festival competition next year where she hopes it will be accepted and have its premiere public screening.