Voice acting for Kezia-Ann Abakah

Thoroughly enjoyed working as a voice actress for the talented writer and sound recordist Kezia-Ann Abakah.

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On the set of the Missing movie

We had a lot of fun on the set of the movie ‘Missing’ written and directed by John Bradburn and filmed by Nadine O’Mahoney, they can both be seen in the photo.

My youngest daughter, Cat, seen below with her bright peach coloured Kanken bag, had a role as an extra. She can be seen in the photo with other movie extras, and the actors Laurence Saunders, Kayleigh Cottam, and Natalie Waterson.

She was in the film for much longer than me and spent most of that time being outstanding in her field. No, really, she was stood in a field for most of the day.

I spent most of my time sitting down indoors. Well someone had to.

 

A screenplay in pre-production…

During my break from University, while having surgery and treatment for cancer, I saw a post online from Sonder Pictures UK, they were looking for screenplay submissions. I had a radio play completed and with only one day to submit before the deadline decided to forward it, even though it wasn’t a screenplay. Sonder Pictures selected it, and I’ve been rewriting it to convert it into a suitable screenplay ever since.
We plan to film Bread and Jam in 2018, we’re currently in the pre-production phase. I’m feeling rather excited and quite scared too because the owner of Sonder Pictures, Nicole, has asked me to direct the movie. It’s about a couple, Hector and George, who move from a City to live in a small rural town, the people in the new community, the heartache and the joy they experience.
To gain some experience I’ve worked as an actress a few times now. Nothing physically demanding, my health won’t allow for that. I’ve loved every single minute of it and wished I’d done it years ago as a career. My favourite work has been as a voice actress, and so far I’ve recorded fifteen monologue pieces for fifteen writers.
I’ve started casting actors for the roles, and I’m working with two excellent script editors, Louis and Bradley. The situation feels like a dream right now, and I’m afraid of waking up, just in case it is a dream. I feel like we’re on an exhilarating roller coaster ride at the moment, and I plan to enjoy it for as long as it lasts.

Cancer shows no respect for plans

Unfortunately, at the end of semester one in year two of my degree course, on 22nd Dec 2016, my Doctors told me that I had advanced breast cancer.

I didn’t return to University for semester two in January 2017 but restarted year two in September 2017 instead. Its been surprisingly tough.

I’m still recovering from Cancer, and I’m missing the people I studied with at the start of my degree course.

Next steps as a screenwriter

Writing for HHTV (Hip Hop TV) was the first time I’d written screenplays, and I enjoyed it immensely but knew that my skill set was pretty low level.

My local University had an open day and my youngest daughter convinced me to visit, I  chatted to the course leader for the Screenwriting degree.

She looked at the sample scripts I’d taken with me (the HHTV ones) and at my published illustrator award book, and signed me up straight away with an unconditional offer.

I started my degree course three days later.

It took a while to recover from the shock.

How did I start out as a screenwriter?

A Californian production company, HHTV, saw tweets about the award I’d started for student illustrators and contacted me. They asked me to write a screenplay, specifically to help young black actors, so I did. They loved it and gave me the opportunity to write a second one.

After I’d volunteered to write the two screenplays for HHTV, I thought long and hard about my future career. I declined the invitation to write a third, free, screenplay. It’s a lot of hard work, two feature-length scripts were, in my opinion, more than enough to offer in return for no pay. We parted ways amicably.

After receiving the two confirmed, signed contracts, and script option agreements, from the American company I was able to upgrade my membership of the WGGB to the status of full member. I’d heard about The Society of Authors, and applied to join them too, as a full member.

It was a day for celebration when both of my membership applications were approved. Validation can be beautiful.

My first book

In 2013 I finished writing my first children’s book, it wasn’t perfect, and I wasn’t experienced enough to realise that I needed an editor or any other form of support. Instead, I chose to self-publish.
I knew how difficult it could be for students seeking acceptance into University or the workplace.
My new book gave me the opportunity to help at least one student. I created an award competition to find an illustrator at the local college.
The purpose was to help the winner become a published illustrator to help them find work or be offered a University place. It worked too I’m happy to report.
I donated the royalties to the illustrator and a national children’s charity.
My youngest daughter assisted me. We were invited to The British Library and to a special reception at the Houses of Parliament to acknowledge what we’d done.