It’s a long way from a Camelon classroom to a Berlin film festival, but that’s the journey Katie White has been on.
Her love of creative writing was nothing more than a hobby for years, but 18 months ago she went on a scriptwriting course and discovered the perfect outlet for her talent.
She got involved with Write Camera Action, a group which meets monthly in Glasgow and offers workshops where scripts are teamed with budding directors and actors.
This weekend, she’ll travel to Berlin where a production she co-wrote. ‘Free Crack’, is being screened as part of the 5th British Shorts Film Festival.
Katie said: “I can’t quite believe it. I’m very excited at the thought of attending but it’s all a bit surreal.
“I’m not even very good at taking praise. When I started attending Write Camera Action and people said good things, I thought they were just being nice. Then I realised it was different people who were giving me the good feedback and they were being very constructive, which was useful.
“After all, it takes just one person to see your idea and want to work with it to provide the big break everyone is always hoping for.”
Katie, who provides communication support for hearing impaired pupils at Falkirk High School, previously spent 16 years as an assistant in The Gilded Cage in Falkirk.
However, her passion for writing was nurtured at Camelon High School. She said: “I can still remember when I was about 15 and we had to write a descriptive piece about a rock in a desert. Our English teacher came in with a piece that she’d had typed up and said it was excellent. When she read it out to the class I realised it was mine. It was an amazing feeling.
“Years later my sister gave me a creative writing book and when I asked why, she said because I could write. Months later I thought that perhaps I would try one of the exercises in the book and it really just continued from there.
“I don’t generally write from experience but I suppose there are events that I’ve come across which appear in my writing. I’ve got a lot of short stories that I’ve written over the years that I’m now using in my scripts. I always feel when you go back and look over pieces you can improve them.”
A fan of Marian Keyes, she is keen to emulate the Irish author’s observational humour in her own work. Although she has been asked to write material for a stand-up comedian, she has no great ambition to be in the limelight.
Katie, who is mum to Kier (22) and Amber (20), attended a writer’s retreat in Swanwick in Derbyshire last year and has been asked to go back this year to talk about scriptwriting from a beginner’s point of view.
The films she is involved with are “micro-budgeted”, made with limited funds but giving those involved credits to put on their CVs.
‘Free Crack’ is the tale of a Scottish builder who opposes European legislation about how low his trousers can be. Part of it was filmed outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, to the amusement of tourists and passers-by.
A period drama, ‘A Shot in the Dark’, picked up the Best Cinematographer and Best Costume awards at the Glasgow 48 hour film challenge.
Katie hopes for even more success for her scriptwriting in the future, starting this weekend in Berlin.