For 29-year-old Caleigh Bacchus, her passion has always been creating new worlds, great characters and compelling stories. She struggled to find a platform for her passion and tried her hand at journalism, marketing and even writing a novel. It wasn’t until she decided to study Writing for Film and Television that all the pieces of her puzzle started to fit. Caleigh was the 2018 valedictorian of the Writing for Film and Television Diploma at the Toronto Film School.
What brought you to Toronto Film School?
I have always enjoyed writing and I always wanted to go into film but the places I’ve been presented no opportunity making it more of a pipe dream to me. It wasn’t until I moved to Toronto that I seriously considered it after seeing the various film crews around town.
Since I had a full-time job I was searching online for a screenwriting night class and I stumbled upon the Toronto Film School Website.
Why did you choose your program?
I chose this program because it was short and compact. I already had several years of University under my belt resulting in both a B.A. and M.A. so I wanted more of a crash course on screenwriting vs going back to school for four more years.
Before starting at Toronto Film School was there anything that was holding you back from pursuing your passion? If so how did you overcome that fear?
I didn’t realize that there was such a vibrant film industry in Toronto, so that held me back for a number of years. Also, having the money to fund my schooling was another aspect that held me back. When I visited the school, they went over different funding options that I could apply for and put my mind at ease.
What is the biggest change you have seen in yourself over the course of your time at Toronto Film School?
Toronto Film School has allowed me to become more confident in my writing and taught me to trust my creative instincts.
What is one of the most important things you have learned/experienced at TFS?
Meeting my classmates and benefiting from collective thoughts and ideas was the best part of coming to TFS.
What kept you motivated in your studies?
I was passionate about making screenwriting my career so I made sure to put my all into my studies. My ultimate goal was to leave TFS with a substantial well-rounded portfolio.
What are your plans after graduation both immediate and long-term?
I have been able to acquire an agent and I am looking forward to working with Project 10 to develop a television show. Additionally, in the near future, I would like to find a producer that can help me make a feature film that I have written and I would like to get a job in a writing room for a fantasy genre TV show.
What made Toronto Film School and your experience here special?
Toronto Film School was a place where creative minds could congregate and benefit from collective thoughts and ideas. I really enjoyed my classmates and meeting my teachers, all of whom have real-world experience in the film industry. The TFS teachers really made the experience special as we could feel their passion as they taught us. Their knowledge of the industry and encouragement through our writing was invaluable. Every day I came to class was a new fun adventure and a day filled with laughs and new ideas.
If you offered one piece of advice to an incoming student, what would that be?
My advice would be to take every assignment as an opportunity. An opportunity to create something great, to meet new people or to advance your skill set, so that at the end of it all you have polished pieces to put into your portfolio.