#Personal Stories

Working In The Business Of Entertainment Takes A Team

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Vidhya Iyer: My journey is sometimes strange, sometimes funny and mostly random. I was born and raised in Nigeria to Indian parents. I moved to Chennai when I was 12 and started watching a TON of tv. That’s really where my love for writing and television comes from.

I watched shows like Malcolm in the Middle, Friends, That 70s Show and animated cartoons like Batman Beyond, X-Men Evolution, Astro Boy, Inu Yasha. I even got super into the Disney Channel shows like Hannah Montana & Wizards of Waverly Place and I’d watch ‘Round the Twist’, ‘Alf’ and ‘Sleepover Club’. If it was on tv I pretty much watched it and I really fell in love with episodic storytelling. And I started writing around then. I would write fiction – fantasy stories by hand in a notebook and my classmate in school would read it and ask me “what happens next”. That’s really how I started writing episodic stories for my friends. From then, I started emailing chapters once a week to a group of 4 friends. It just started as something I did for fun. I didn’t consider writing as a career until after I graduated from college. I studied computer science engineering at CEG, Anna University and when I finished college, I realised that I really wanted to pursue writing as a career so I started using the internet to research my options and decided on applying to the American Film Institute Conservatory since it’s one of the most esteemed fellowships to be a part of to hone your craft. I wrote my very first script and got feedback on it and submitted it to the program. I was thrilled when I was accepted into it since it’s extremely competitive and there working with the guidance of Academy-Award winning writers, I got to write a number of scripts that became my portfolio of work as I started working with major Studios and Production companies in Hollywood.

Television is the most collaborative medium and working in television has taught me so many things that are applicable to my life as well.

I have worked with various companies on some amazing projects since then including Academy Award winning Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment, J.J Abrams & Sara Bareilles show ‘Little Voice’ with Apple TV, Disney’s Mira Royal Detective and am currently on Hulu’s Solar Opposites. I’ve also worked on some films including ‘Raksha’ and ‘Kanya’. In my journey I’ve been able to work with fantastic writers, producers and directors and the top most studios. I’ve learned so much from honing my craft, to navigating the business and I am so incredibly excited to be working on a few upcoming projects that I can’t talk about yet.

In my career so far, there’s so much that I have learned about talent, skill, creativity and resilience. Television is the most collaborative medium and working in television has taught me so many things that are applicable to my life as well. From being more patient about things I can’t control to learning to lean on my peers. My favourite thing that I’ve learned over the course of my journey from Bollywood to Hollywood is that nothing can be accomplished alone in this world and especially not in this business. All of my success is made up of so many amazing people helping me, guiding me and believing in me along the way. My talent and skill speaks for itself, but working in the business of entertainment takes a team and it’s also the only business where it’s really fun and amazing to work with your friends and bring stories you’re passionate about to life.

I’ve already had fantastic experiences writing on incredible projects and I hope I can share what I have cooking behind the scenes soon!

Vidhya Iyer, is a Hollywood and Bollywood Screenwriter. The views expressed are the author’s own.

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