Vanessa is an award-winning writer, director and producer who works across the U.K. and Australia. Currently Vanessa is writing for the upcoming Netflix/MGM series Valhalla and previously wrote for the third season of Tin Star for Gaumont/Kudos and Amazon Prime. She has two original comedy/drama concepts in development with BBC Studios/Artis Pictures was staff writer for the Hulu Series The Great, and Executive Produced an 8-part rom-com documentary series Extreme Engagement for Netflix. In 2018, Vanessa was nominated for an Australian Writers Guild Award (AWGIE) for Best Australian Television Drama Script for the comedy/drama series The Wrong Girl (Channel Ten) while also writing for Love Child (Channel 9) and Secret Daughter (Channel 7). A regular participant in a wide variety of drama and comedy writer’s rooms, Vanessa is a much sought after storyliner with a great flair for comedy, female characters, and poorly behaved but endearing women protagonists
Prior to moving to Australia, Vanessa has worked extensively in television drama in New Zealand as both writer and director. She produced and directed Being Eve, the International Emmy-nominated teen series which sold to more than 40 territories worldwide. The show aired on Nickelodeon, won a Gold and Silver World Medal at the New York Festival, Best Series and Best Children’s Series at the NZ Screen Awards, a Telly Award, a Media Peace Award, and the Prix Grande at the Danube Television Festival. In 2012, Vanessa wrote and directed series one of the primetime comedy Agent Anna (TVNZ), starring Roy Billing and Robyn Malcolm. Series one went on to become the highest rated local comedy ever, consistently winning its 8:30 time slot, and winning Vanessa a SWANZ Award for Best Comedy Script. Vanessa also received multiple nominations for Best Director, both for her work as the lead director on Outrageous Fortune, and for her low-budget feature Magik and Rose. The latter also saw her nominated for Best Screenplay and win SPADA New Filmmaker of the Year. During the same period, Vanessa also Executive Produced Taika Waititi’s Oscar nominated short film Two Cars, One Night.
Outside of television, Vanessa has a B.A. in English Literature, a P.G. Dip in Directing, a M.A. in Film and Television, and has taught writing for a number of universities around the world. This has seen her work in New Zealand, the UK, Cuba, USA, France, India and Australia. A citizen of the world, Vanessa holds 4 passports – legally able to work without visa problems in the USA, New Zealand, Australia, the UK and Europe. Vanessa also has five children, one foster son, two ex-husbands, and a literal and figurative PhD in romantic comedy narratives.
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