“Know how to make a good cuppa and when in doubt… brew up.”
Meet Sara Orritt, member of GirlCrew Manchester and GirlCrew Leeds and script editor with ITV
At the end of a long day we all love to kick off our shoes and curl up with our favourite TV programmes but for GirlCrew member, Sara Orritt, this love of TV is also a career. Like most people in the industry, Sara started out as runner getting teas and coffees for all kinds of shows. After a year, she became an office runner in the drama department of the BBC and decided this was the genre she wanted to work in.
Although she had decided on the genre, there was still a lot of work to do to get the job she wanted so Sara continued to add to her skill-set by seeking out every training opportunity she could. This determination paid off as after 11 months she went on to work as a PA in the drama commissioning department.
However, it wasn’t all plain sailing as when the company was hit with redundancies, Sara found herself facing a tough situation with only three months to find a new job. Thankfully she also had a “super supportive boss” and “together we worked out a plan and then I bought a few more people some tea/coffee.” Yet again her hard work paid off as eventually she got meeting at Lime Pictures – “It wasn’t an interview but I prepared for it like it was and a few weeks later I got offered a job working as an assistant script editor on Hollyoaks. I’ve now been working in soap operas for almost 4 years.”
1. What is the best thing about your role?
The team I work with – everyone in our script and story department works incredibly hard but we have fun too.
2. What did you find most challenging about it?
Time management – soap operas put out an awful lot of episodes each year and it can be hard to stay on top of all the changes. I’m currently working on Emmerdale which has at least 6 episodes a week – that’s an awful lot of scripts. I alternate between roles on Emmerdale so I also have to be super organised to ensure I’m not neglecting anything.
3. What is your proudest work related achievement to date?
I’ve been lucky enough to work with some truly talented writers who have produced some stand-out episodes, but my biggest achievement was probably my first ever edit with a writer. Picking up the phone to call a writer for the first time and discuss notes is truly nerve-wracking.
4. What would be your one tip to others who want to get involved in this industry?
Don’t be afraid to ask people for their advice. Work out which programmes you enjoy the most or which stories you want to help tell – then talk to the people who make those shows happen. If you can’t get a job, try and get work experience/shadowing instead, it can be just as valuable.
5. What would be your motto in life, and in work?
Know how to make a good cuppa and when in doubt… brew up.
If you are a member of GirlCrew, and would like to be featured in Meet the GirlCrew, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! x