Sally Cunningham

Sally Cunningham

Writing for the Screen – and for Campus

Sally Cunningham

Sally describes herself as the kid in school who always had her nose in a book, happily reading two or three a week. And as her mother is an actress, she was exposed to the world of film, television and stage production early on. Seeing characters come to life on stage and screen complemented her love of reading, and she found that she was intrigued by learning about how characters are developed for performance.

The collaborative nature of television and film particularly appeals to Sally, who relishes working in a team. “My experience co-editing the Bishop’s literary review The Mitre this year cemented my preference for working with partners to bring a project to fruition,” she says. “It’s so valuable to talk through your writing with collaborators and to have the benefit of different perspectives as a sounding board for your ideas.”

The Vancouver Film School offers one of the top screenwriting courses in Canada, and through her B.E.S.T. project Sally will take part in an intensive week of guest lectures and workshops on writing for film and television. Her assignment will be to create a short film script that will be ‘cold read’ in a performance by actors at the end of the week. She will also bring her finished screenplay back to campus, where she will create, produce and show the film.

“I’m excited but terrified,” says Sally with a laugh. “It’s a very tight timeline to come up with and flesh out an idea for a screenplay, but I’m looking forward to the challenge. I’ve never written anything for the screen before, but this environment—with a firm deadline and surrounded by supportive peers—is ideal to try it out for the first time.”

Sally is also looking forward to learning more about the film and television industry in general, especially in ‘Hollywood North’. “There are so many different types of careers in the industry, from the creative to the technical to the analytical. I can try directing, working behind the scenes on set and even producing. I’m hoping this will help guide some of my choices as I think about the future and what I’d most like to do.”

“The B.E.S.T. Fund provides limitless opportunities to explore something that can help you figure out your next steps after Bishop’s and beyond, towards your eventual career,” says Sally. “For those projects where you think, ‘What if I could just try this out?’, B.E.S.T. is a once in a lifetime chance to do exactly that.”