1. Please tell us a bit about who Monique is and how this journey all started?
I am just someone who wants to create stuff. Thats what I tell people when they ask me what I do. I create stuff. I spent a long time working with crews in my television production days, working with directors and producers, producing content I was not passionate about. I am now in a place where I have ideas and feel confident enough with myself to start creating content I want. I enjoy telling stories and I find it fulfilling to do that through film, recreating scenarios from experiences of my own. renacting situations and scenerios I might come up with. So just trying to make that happen really, through Trim and thr many other ideas I have spilling out of my notebooks!
2. What was the decision to create a web series and how long did it all take from fruition to now?
I didn’t set out to create a web series at first. I wanted to tell stories about the the type of men I know, friends, family. I remember thinking about this back in about 2010. I know some really interesting people who do such interesting things I wanted to see those type of characters on screen. I could never think of the best way to do it so I kinda let it sit on the back burner. I remember going into a barber shop with someone, sat in there for about 30 minutes and was highly entertained. I found the conversations hilarious and the banter between them so entertaining I thought this should be on TV. Sitting in that shop and hearing them talk to each other about aspects of their lives made me think, what is each person’s story? That brought me back to my original thought from 2010 and I thought bingo, I have my story! Next step, how do I get this made. It was through a conversation with friend and producer/director Anthony Abuah where the idea was ressurected and developed, he loved the concept wanted to get involved and the rest is history. So the total span from conception to ‘still in completion’ I’d say 3 and half years.
3. Tell us about any funny stories or surprising moments during your research of a show based in a barbershop?
Funny stories, one of my friends barber has a time management issue. He is always busy and will always try a fit everyone in but instead of just being honest and saying, I’m booked up, he will tell everyone to come back at a specfic time. So for example he will tell everyone to come back at 5. When they all come back he is still busy and the cycle continues. That made me giggle.
4. What are some of the challenges (if any) that you’ve faced and lessons learnt working in the filming industry considering this is a predominantly male industry?
I have ALWAYS wanted to tell stories and create things for people to see, bring to life the people I meet, the experiences I go through and to share with others who may appreciate it. But the biggest challenge is fear. Its easy to think of an idea, its easy to put it to paper, it gets tougher when you have to speak it out for the first them, then the challenge is making it real, then fear kicks it when you have to share it with the world. Putting it up in front of an audience to be judged. Fear can stop me from doing so much, it has stopped me from doing a great deal and a lot of what I am doing now I wanted to do 5 years ago but fear held me back. I just had to battle with it and force myself to put myself out there and do what I have ALWAYS wanted to do.
Lessons learnt trust you’re instinct, there is no defined right or wrong. If it feels right to you go with it. I have only begin to realise the importance of that now.
I don’t really notice the industry being predominently male only because it has never really affected me, working in televison majority of the directors and producers were male but I never really noticed it.
5. In doing work in this industry how do you ensure you do not grow jaded and make sure you maintain a sense of wonder and loving what you do?
Oh I do, I would be lying if I said I didn’t. Some days I wake up and like I just want routine in my life. Standard job where I know what to expect each day, something that won’t take me on an emotional journey every 5 minutes. But when I consider it, things around me happen. A moment with friends makes me think, ‘this would make great TV’ or I will sit on a train and look around at all the people and wonder ‘all these people live different lives it would be interesting to following their story when they get off’ and it just puts me back on track. I guess my everyday life is a reminder that film is a reflection of our lives, creating film isn’t rocket science its telling a story and pulling
6. The UK web series scene is definitely on the up – we know Trims is your first show but should we expect more from you?
I think I have caught the creating bug lol. There are a few things in development as we speak, which I am really excited about. So hopefully Trim is not the last thing you will see from me, as soon as they are complete you’ll be the first to know.
7. What makes Monique tick and inspires you and your work?
Rudeness. I switch off when that is directed at me, which is not often thankfully. In terms of inspires my work, the people in my life, the people around me, strangers, life really. There is a story in everything around us and their are unique ways of telling those stories, thats what I’m trying to do.
8. What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of becoming a creative creator like yourself?
Don’t over think things. If you have an idea to create something, whatever it is start. Even if it’s just writing the idea down. What can put you off from starting is looking at how you are going to achieve the final project, the final film, the final book. Take each step at a time, and once each step is complete you’ll end up with final thing piece. That’s how I got Trim to this stage. If I thought about the end and how was I going to do it I would never have got started!
9. *Tell us your favourite producers and favourite movies?
lizabeth Meriwether, Lena Denham and Shona Rhimes are three screenwriter/producers I absolutely love. I feel that they made a decision to create and develop stories they felt passionate about and with the right teams made their shows a success
Movies, these are my all time favourites but I love them. Wall Street because of the story development and character development. The Do-Deca-Pentathlon because of its simplicity, 500 Days of Summer because of its style and story telling technique.
10. Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.
I lived in New York for a year
I can play piano by ear
I have a fear of goats (random I know)
Editor’s Blurb: From the first episode of Trim we can definitely tell it can only get better and it’s great to see another UK web series show doing great! Make sure to subscribe to the channel as the next episode will be dropping soon! Great work Monique!