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Emily Morgan

Job title:
Production and Development Manager, Soda Pictures
Industries:
Film

Emily is an Independent Film Producer and Production & Development Manager at Soda Pictures who has produced short films since 2009, set up Quiddity Films in 2011 and worked as an associate producer or co-producer on four features. In 2015 she was named one of Screen International’s Stars of Tomorrow.

As a producer, you need to understand every stage of a film’s life and each course I’ve attended has helped me develop my knowledge in a different way." Emily Morgan, Independent Film Producer and Production & Development Manager, Soda Pictures

Emily has used a wide range of Creative Skillset funded training programmes to help progress her career including: Atlantic Film Group, Think-Shoot-Distribute; The Bureau, SOS: Save Our Scripts; Bursary Funding for NFTS; Creative SkillsetInternational Scholarship; Lighthouse Arts and Training, Guiding Lights; Bird’s Eye View, Filmonomics; Film Distributors Association, Foundation in Distribution; International Film Festival Rotterdam, Rotterdam Lab; Film London, Micro Market 2014.

We spoke with Emily about how the various training initiatives have had an effect on her career.

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Emily speaking

How did you first become interested in film producing as a career?

After starting out in post-production and distribution, I became interested in trying out producing. I joined Shooting People and answered an advert for someone looking for a producer, which led to making my first short film. After this I’d caught the bug for producing, so I started working on shorts and music videos in my spare time.

I met Rachel Dargavel on a music video. She’s an amazing hands-on producer who came up through production and assistant director roles. She took me under her wing and taught me so much. At the time, I didn't really know what schemes or training were out there. 

How did you first come into contact with Creative Skillset?

I did an MA in Producing at The National Film and Television School [NFTS]. I applied because on the website it said “don't let the cost discourage you from applying” and then when I got in I really had to put that to the test! Fortunately a Creative Skillset bursary was available at the NFTS to help cover my fees. I couldn't have done the course without it.

Whilst at the NFTS I started to apply to other schemes. Even though I was still at the school I was keen to take part in initiatives within the wider industry, and further develop my contacts. In my second year I applied to Four Corners’ Film Talent Network with a writer from my year, and we took a project onto the scheme together. It was a great introduction to the international marketplace, and really helped develop the film. I then took the same project to Think-Shoot-Distribute*, a talent development programme hosted by the London Film Festival, which helped address the next stages of production through workshops, panels, and one-to-one project discussions.

How did you use training schemes after graduating from the NFTS?

Emily discussingAt the beginning of 2012, I attended the Berlinale Talent Campus, at which point I was working very closely with writer/director Claire Oakley. This is where Creative Skillset initiatives really helped us, as I didn’t have a fully-fledged production company so they gave us a structure for expanding our expertise and helping progress our projects. It meant we could gain knowledge and development input that we wouldn’t have been able to access otherwise.

We also attended Birds Eye View’s Filmonomics and I attended Save Our Scripts**, managed by The Bureau – which was a useful way to meet fellow producers, writers, and directors, and had great sessions from industry professionals like Producer Tristan Goligher, and development expert Stephen Cleary. Taking part in all these schemes has been a great way to meet inspiring UK and international filmmakers, many of whom I’m either collaborating with already or hope to in the future.  

What have you been up to more recently?

I was on Guiding Lights in 2014, whilst working abroad on Invention by artist filmmaker Mark Lewis. I was away filming in Brazil, Canada, and France but Guiding Lights helped me keep my roots in the UK while I was away for so long. It was a great group of participants, the workshops were brilliant, and my mentor, Ed Guiney, was so generous with his advice and time.

I’m still attending and applying to new courses, most recently an FDA’s Foundation in Distribution, now that I’m working in-house at Soda Pictures. I’ve also just received a Creative Skillset International Scholarship to attend Closing the Gap, an investment training and pitching session run by Peaceful Fish. As a producer, you need to understand every stage of a film’s life and each course I’ve attended has helped me develop my knowledge in a different way.  

*Although Think-Shoot-Distribute no longer exists, the equivalent live programme is NET.WORK@LFF, which is funded by Creative Skillset and links to BFI NET.WORK activity. 

**Creative Skillset’s 2015 equivalent Creative Talent funded programmes can be found here.

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