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CAMILLA BLACKETT, TV & SCREENWRITER

Camilla Blackett is a TV and Screenwriter from the UK, who got her start at the tender age of 18 as a writer on the groundbreaking British drama series, Skins. She now lives in L.A., and has written for New Girl, The Newsroom, and - most recently - ABC's Fresh Off The Boat.

How I Make It Work: Camilla Blackett

NAME

Camilla Blackett

LOCATION

Los Angeles
 
OCCUPATION

TV and Screenwriter

WHAT’S THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR JOB?

Never knowing where you’ll be working next year.

AND THE WORST?

See above - It can be hard to make concrete plans!

WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST PROFESSIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENT?

 I think when I got my first US writing job. It was also heightened by the fact that I was being hired by the person who made me want to write TV in the first place, so to be ‘picked’ by that person was a circularity that struck me very deeply.

WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU’D KNOW ABOUT YOUR CAREER OR INDUSTRY WHEN YOU WERE FIRST STARTING OUT?

That it wouldn’t look the way I thought it would. That it gets better and better every year, that it’s not just the work you do but the people you work with that make this process so satisfying. That it’s electric to collaborate with people you vibe with and make something happen. That if you’re not enjoying it or don’t believe in it - it’s rarely worth it.

WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY UNIFORM CONSIST OF?

When I’m in the writers-room it’s all about layers. Sleeveless shirts and soft sweaters to drape when the AC goes crazy. (Nobody can control those thermostats on the Fox lot and anyone that says they can is a damn liar…) At home - super-soft black leggings, drapey t-shirts and vest-tops, and a sweatband to keep my fringe off my forehead - I’m not trying to be all David Foster Wallace, but when you have an oily t-zone you need to come correct. 

THE INDISPENSABLE TOOL OF YOUR TRADE (EQUIPMENT/BOOK/SOFTWARE/PERSON)

My best friend, Peter. He has a quick fire creative mind that’s able to rattle off ten ideas for a story or a perspective that challenges me in a way that is endlessly rejuvenating. A creative conversation with him is like giving my brain a stretch, oh - and he’s also the funniest bastard I know. 

WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO SOURCE OF INSPIRATION?

The secret-lives of the people around you. Everybody has a story, all you have to do is ask the right questions. Failing that, get them drunk enough. 

WHO’S YOUR PROFESSIONAL HERO (AND WHY)?

Jamal Edwards founder of SB.TV. He has given the kids of his generation and background something to anchor themselves to in terms of knowing that we have value in this new landscape. That the YouTubes and the Vines of the world are nothing without the content that we create. That we are valuable and worth every fucking penny. 

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU’VE LEARNT ABOUT MONEY AND FINANCE?

Everything my Grandmother taught me. This woman had to leave education at 14 and yet managed to provide for her children pretty much singlehandedly and taught herself how to invest. She always taught me that the only debt you should have is your mortgage, to always keep a secret stash of money for the unexpected, to read every contract carefully, and as a woman - the importance of never relying on a man for your financial security. (I just realised that my grandmother's philosophy is basically: “Fuck Bitches, Get Money”.)

HOW DO YOU STAY ORGANISED? ANY TIPS OR TRICKS OR ‘HACKS’ TO SHARE?

iCalendar, Evernote, taking pictures of documents or things I need to remember to buy. I always take pictures of business-cards now - it’s easier to remind yourself of when/where you met someone and you don’t lose them. 

HOW DO YOU WIND DOWN?

Classpass.com. if I don’t get that hour of exercise in once a day I lose my damn mind. Also rose wine. Wine’s pretty tite. 

WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?

Do your best, forget the rest.

WHAT’S YOUR DEFINITION OF SUCCESS?

Every month, that writing pays my bills. Anything beyond that is - and should always be - a bonus. 

@camillard