Vanessa Haynes is a film and TV professional with over 18 years’ experience working in script development for some of the most influential production companies in the UK including Kudos Film and TV, Baby Cow Productions, CPL (formerly Celador) and Talkback Thames. She has developed, produced and edited projects for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Comedy Central, BBC NI, TG4 and CBBC. She is known for finding, developing and producing new writing talent.
Vanessa began her career in LWT Comedy where she worked with legendary producer Humphrey Barclay (I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue, Desmonds, No Problem) and Gareth Edwards (Spaced, Mitchell & Webb). As a trainee comedy person, she had an eye for the funny and was soon an early champion of Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong and Sacha Baron Cohen before moving to The Bill to become a script editor. Vanessa became The Bill’s first storyliner, over-seeing the series transition from stand-alone episodes to serialised story.
As Head of Comedy Development for Celador Productions, Vanessa continued to support new talent, including Beth & Emma Kilcoyne, whose first series, BBC3’s Live! Girls! Presents Dogtown, received critical acclaim; Skin Deep for C4 Comedy Lab by Mark Oswin & James Griffiths; and Angel Cake, starring Sarah Lancashire, a comedy-drama for BBC1 – by another new writer, Keith Temple. She went on to work with Assembly TV, Baby Cow, Kudos Film & TV and Generator Entertainment, where she was tasked with finding the next wave of writing and writer-performing talent for TV and film.
In 2012, Vanessa started her own script development/production company, Mighty Sprite. Based in Northern Ireland, Mighty Sprite’s primary focus has been promoting local talent and developing projects based in Northern Ireland. In 2012-13, Mighty Sprite hosted a comedy table-writing scheme with support from the Arts Council of NI’s Creative Industries Innovation Fund and Creative Skillset. Mighty Sprite produced a short drama, Thumb Wars by writer-director Lisa Keogh with support from Northern Ireland Screen and the Arts Council of NI, and is currently in development with CPL on a new comedy series.
Vanessa continues to works as a freelance TV and film script consultant with clients across Europe. She was the script-editor on two Irish language drama series Scúp (series 1 &2) for BBCNI/TG4 and An Bronntanas for TG4 and The Sparticle Mystery for CBBC . She was drafted in to work with ProSiebenSat.1 on their 2015 international drama initiative and recently co-wrote a children’s film for the EBU. Vanessa also works on scripts for the big screen and had been involved in projects for Generator Entertainment, DeFacto Films, Wall of Sleep Productions and Magamedia.
She loves the big screen and thinks romantic comedies and horror are the two hardest genres to get right (and is always on the look out for ‘The One’ in both).