I don’t think it’s any exaggeration to say that I owe my writing career to
Ness. She was one of the very first people to believe in our work – and her
constant support, fantastic advice and eye for detail were, and remain,
Mark Oswin, Writer (Strange Hill High, Hank Zipzer,4’0’Clock Club, All At Sea, Hotel Trubble)
I’ve learned much of what I know about script editing from Ness. She has
an empathetic ability to understand the heart of what a writer is trying to
say, but is just as incisive and tenacious about the detail. Over many
years I’ve always found her a delight to work with.
Arabella McGuigan,Executive Producer, Scripted Comedy & Drama, CPL Productions
Ness was script editor on my first TV commission: an episode of an established show in it’s third series. Something I’d be working towards for years and years and years and I was thrilled and daunted in equal measures. Ness got me through the process, clear and insightful and collaborative, her notes made my script better and better. I ended up getting a second commission, then a third and I haven’t looked back.
Matt Sinclair, Writer
Ness has the rare and amazing ability to be both challenging and supportive. She’s helped me to develop my talent and build my confidence. In the years I been lucky to work with her as a producer and script editor, I found her insight invaluable. She has has a brilliant understanding of how structure, character, and story are the essential skeleton of a script to perfect first rather than just tinkering with dialogue and scene order – and is great at communicating that to writers. Unlike some script editors, she never tries to impose her idea of what the script should be, her goal is always to support the writer to realise the very best version of their vision. She asks questions that make you look at the script in a new way and will open up new avenues. Her detailed notes are always extensive – I keep them open while redrafting and refer to them point by point as I work through the script. I trust Ness to give me an honest appraisal of my work but one that will embolden me to keep onto to the next draft (and the next, and the next).
Lisa Keogh, Writer, Director
Ness has a wealth of experience, excellent contacts and a brilliant eye for detail. She has always been able to spot new talent and as such is an effective and enthusiastic champion of new writers
Michaela Hennessy Vass, Executive Producer, DLT
If I was having trouble with a script, Vanessa always fixed it. She was my script whisperer
Stuart Kenworthy, Comedy Writer (Smack The Pony; Green Wing; Scallywagga; Strange Hill High)
Vanessa is very talented with scripts and I have not hesitation in recommending her services
William Burdett-Coutts, Artistic Director, Assembly Festival and Theatre
Saying what’s wrong is one thing and Vanessa will do that honestly and perceptively. Nurturing what’s already right with a project is maybe trickier. But she knows how to do that too!
Tom Watt, Writer, Broadcaster, Actor
I first latched on to Ness’s talent when I arrived at Granada as Controller of Comedy in 1996 and I found she understood “Friends”, which I didn’t. I immediately made her part of my team, and never regretted it. In fact when much later I was asked to join Celador to develop comedy for Paul Smith, I made it conditional that I could bring in Ness. We worked together stimulatingly for the next four years, and every day I depended on her to keep me on the rails re: younger tastes as well as the female point of view. She can assess and analyse with an acute eye which always has a twinkle in it, and she argues with a fox-terrier ferocity for what she thinks is right. She is wise, witty and well balanced. What more do you want?
Humphrey Barclay, Producer
Ness has worked with me on various scripts and treatments for over ten years and her notes are always exceptionally insightful, smart and constructive. She has that rare combination of a writer’s and a producer’s mind, so she’s able to be flexible and creative whilst keeping an eye on the selling side of the business. On top of this she’s a delight to work with – warm, funny and really clued up. I can’t recommend her highly enough.
Amy Shindler, Screenwriter (Pat and Cabbage; Horrible Histories; Trollied; Threesome; My Family)
Yes, it was of great help, thanks. Lots to think about. You’re right, I think I made it funnier in parts for the reader (stage directions) than for the audience… and I face palmed when you mentioned not making anything out of Reagan Reagan’s name (word play and confusion are two of my favourite things, not sure how I missed that)…I’ll take your points on board, work hard on the characters, and the next draft will be stronger for it! Again, I really appreciate you taking the time to read it and give me feedback.
Danny Nash, Comedy Writer
Thank you for being so incredibly helpful and patient with me! I found today really good, helpful and inspiring – I think I have a good idea of a start/pilot now. So again, a big thank you for all your help!
Neil Dickson, Comedy Writer/Comedian
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my script, and thank you for your feedback, it is gratefully received & enormously helpful. I agree with you totally that characters should drive the plot, and I think I’ll go back to the drawing board a bit about who these people are & what they want. Thinking up set-pieces is one thing, but conjuring up great characters is another skill altogether.
Joe McCann, Writer
Even though your response to the piece wasn’t the one I was hoping for, your detailed email is very much appreciated all the same. I will take on board your comments and suggestions. Thanks once again for your time and willingness to read the script in the first place. Much appreciated.
Adam Colclough, Writer
All of what you said is invaluable to me at this stage. Hopefully I can write something of merit to show you in the not too distant future
Stephen G Large, Writer