Kelly Edwards, Staff Writer, Author, Producer: And my daughter calls me and we had this conversation and I asked her I said Lily, I think I might want to give this a shot and she said, oh wow, okay.
Film Courage: Kelly, if you were given a choice between working as an executive for $100,000 a year or working as a screenwriter for $25,000 a year, which would you choose?
Kelly: First of all executives make a lot more than $100,000 a year. I actually had to make that decision at the top of 2020 when I was offered a promotion at HBO and I was going to make a $100,000 more than I made currently and I turned it down because also they made me an offer to take a first look writing deal and I jumped at it and it was probably half of what I was making. So I’ve actually had this question in real time, in real life and there’s nothing like it. I think if I went back and had to do it all over again I would make the same choice. There’s just nothing like waking up every day in pure joy and knowing that the first thing that I get to do is crack open my computer and the last thing I’m doing all day is still being wired into that computer, just downloading everything that’s in my head. There’s just getting paid to write there’s just no question.
Film Courage: Do you think you would have really taken that? I know you had some jobs out of college where you were an administrative assistant or helping agents things like that, but the lure of six figures or more, do you think it takes time to realize what is important?
Kelly: Let me see if I understand your question, if you’re saying did it take me 30 years to know that I wanted to be a writer? I don’t think I was consciously aware in all of that time that I was an executive that I was planning on making a transition. I think I had…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).
SEE THE BOOK ON AMAZON – The Executive Chair: A Writer’s Guide to TV Series Development by Kelly Edwards
As HBO and WarnerMedia’s SVP of Talent Development for seven years, Kelly Edwards oversaw all of the emerging artists programs for HBO, HBOMax, and Turner, both domestic and abroad. Edwards’s career spans both television and film, having served as a key corporate diversity executive at Comcast/NBCUniversal and a creative executive for both film director Garry Marshall and producer Laura Ziskin. After moving to television, she spent six years as a senior executive at Fox, where she developed Living Single, Clueless, and The Wild Thornberrys. As SVP of Comedy Development at UPN, she developed Girlfriends, The Parkers, and Malcolm in the Middle. Edwards also produced the movie of the week A Christmas Detour for Hallmark, and the one-hour drama series Sex, Love, and Secrets. She holds a BA in Theater from Vassar and an MFA in Screenwriting from Emerson. Edwards has served on the Annenberg Inclusion Board, the UNCF Leadership Council, the ATAS Diversity committee, as a Trustee for NALIP, and is a 2019 Sundance Episodic Lab fellow. Kelly’s book The Executive Chair: A Writer’s Guide to TV Series Development is now available (via Michael Wiese Productions).
CONNECT WITH KELLY EDWARDS
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