Vivian Lin is a writer and producer with credits on Killjoys, Hudson & Rex, Bajillionaires and Holly Hobbie, amongst others, and she’s one of the 18 participants in the inaugural WarnerMedia Access Writers Program.
Announced last month, the program aims to amplify underrepresented voices in both Canada and the U.S. “There is such an incredible pool of talent in Canada, and we are thrilled that WarnerMedia gets to champion a number of these gifted writers with this program,” said Deanna Cadette, Executive Director, WarnerMedia Access Canada. “We received an overwhelming response with submissions from truly talented Canadians and are excited to move forward with the selected writers to help them advance on their path to success.”
The Canadian program, in partnership with The Canadian Academy, is designed for mid-level writers with a mission to hone their artistry; gain deeper industry knowledge; and experience invaluable exposure to company executives, creators, and established industry professionals.
We connected with Vivian to find out how she’s grown her career thus far, what she considers to be the biggest pitfalls in the industry, and how she’s feeling about this game-changing opportunity.
What does being a part of this program mean to you?
It means the absolute world to me to be a part of WarnerMedia x Canadian Academy. This program gives space for me to write and create characters that look like me and are from my cultural background. As lead characters! What! Getting to do that, alongside 17 other incredibly creative and talented other writers doing the same thing, is really inspiring.
What writing will you be focusing on?
I’m really fascinated with Chinese mythology and folklore and building a contemporary world with these stories.
Can you share a defining turning point in your career that helped take your work to the next level?
Landing in the room for the sci-fi series Killjoys room was life-changing. First of all, going to work in a spaceship is very cool. I worked on that show for three seasons and saw the ins and outs of how a television series was made from a blank whiteboard all the way to the sound mix. But it was the other writers, all of them were (still are!) mentors and continue to challenge me to make better work. Someone once said that you learn to write through apprenticeship and that has been my experience.
What advice has always served you well?
Be kind, be curious.
In your opinion, what is the most challenging thing about being a TV/Film writer today?
Staying positive. The industry is in flux. Jobs are hard to get. Script notes can be demoralizing (and those are the nice ones!). With all that said, being a writer is the best job in the world, so “challenge” is relative.
Can you share one thing that you do on the regular that is important to your craft?
Try to find new ways to fall in love with the writing process. It can be pretty boring and painful. Or maybe that’s just me. Is it fun for others?
What words of encouragement do you have for the writer who is struggling to get noticed?
Try to connect with people who like and make the same stuff you do. That’s the place to build your foundation.
Established in 2020, WarnerMedia Access Canada elevates, activates and connects Canadian talent from communities that have been historically marginalized with global opportunities and global audiences. Find out more here.