Amongst all the clamour, the competition, the pressure, it can be hard to keep your nerve. I’m still learning to navigate it, but my anchor is something I learned at Exeter: hard work.
As a child I was determined that I would study literature at university, inspired most likely by the delight I found in reading novels and writing overly earnest poetry. I was fanatical about stories; my hand went up in every English lesson at school, and at home, my parents were subject to plenty of amateur dramatics.
I chose Exeter College for its garden, a peaceful green oasis, hidden behind the limestone walls of Turl Street. During my university years I continued the theatrics, directing sketch comedy in my first year and then various plays. After graduating, I interned at a theatre in London but quickly realised I was in the wrong racket. I switched to film and have been entirely addicted to the medium ever since.
There are many elements of film, which make it so addictive; the ever-changing pace of the production process, the constantly evolving technology, the unbelievable talent and diversity of your collaborators. It is a truly international industry where stories play out on a world stage. It is also very challenging – amongst all the clamour, the competition, the pressure – it can be hard to keep your nerve. I’m still learning to navigate it, but my anchor is something I learned at Exeter: hard work.
I’m currently making my first publicly funded short as an independent producer. As soon as I heard the idea for ‘one like him’, I knew it could be an extraordinary film. In the story, the protagonist struggles to put certain things into words; the parameters of language can’t quite contain what he is expressing. The boundaries of time and space are broken in this surreal encounter between two men meeting after a separation of twenty years. For me, the film is about healing and my hope is that we can pass this message on to audiences around the world. That feels like a goal worth striving for.
Jessica is currently developing a slate of female-led projects with her production company Flumeri Films.