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All doom, no gloom

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

It’s not easy to crack Hollywood, but Hamilton writer Shoshana Sachi has done exactly that. The Waikato screen and media studies graduate currently writes for TV show Doom Patrol, starring Brendan Fraser and Timothy Dalton.

Shoshana has been writing since she was four years old - a hobby which carried on into adulthood and culminated in her publishing The Way of the River, a dystopian action adventure novel set in Hamilton. The former Sir Edmund Hillary scholar is now living the dream in LA, working with well-known actors, writers and producers of TV shows she used to watch religiously as a teenager.

Proximity to my family was important to me in choosing where to go for my undergraduate degree. The beautiful campus was a bonus. Initially I began a degree in Law with electives in Film and English, but soon discovered what my true passions were. So I switched to a BA in Screen and Media Studies and English.

One of the early film studies papers at Waikato involved a lot of practical work, including cinematography, editing and lighting, and helped me develop foundations in film. But it was the screenwriting papers that set me on this path.

My day to day changes depending on the task at hand. When I'm at the writers’ room offices, I'm working with my colleagues and my boss (showrunner Jeremy Carver) to ‘break story’. This involves a lot of discussion and brainstorming, as well as research of the source material (Doom Patrol comics). We map out the season and then hone in on episodes. From there, we break an episode ‘beat by beat’. If I'm assigned an episode to write, it involves everything, from researching to writing the outline and screenplay. After that, it's many meetings with my boss and the studio to sharpen my work. When we move to pre-production, it's numerous meetings with the different departments from costume to props, as well as discussions with the assigned director and visual effects supervisors. Eventually when the episode is shot, I fly to set and work closely with the director, the various different departments and the actors to ensure our vision is delivered in the best way possible.

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