We love all time of art here at Abergavenny Pride, whether it be music, poetry, paintings and everything else in between and I’m sure that’s the same for everyone. There’s always something for every mood and occasion so we are going to sing from the rooftops about queer artists and put them on stage, just for you.
This month we have the incredible and very talented Rachel Wilson.
Hiya, I’m Rachel (they/them), and I’m a queer, disabled producer for screen and stage. I’m passionate about telling stories which use genre, especially comedy, to explore complex social issues. My particular areas if interest include queer stories and mental health. A BAFTA Connect member and BFI Producers Programme alum, my debut screen project ‘Jelly’ won the 2022 Chapter Queer prize, was an Iris Prize Best of British Selection, and has been commissioned for BBC2 Wales & Channel 4. I was also lead producer on the BFI Network funded short ‘The Girl with the Haunted Vagina’, which is currently doing the festival circuit, taking 2nd place with a special commendation at this years Chapter Queer Prize, with some very exciting screenings and festival selections to be announced later on this month.
I’m also in prep for my third short, a Welsh language queer period horror supported by Ffilm Cymru. I was also recently selected as a member of the BBC Comedy Collective 2023 and I’m super excited to take my next steps into working in TV.
How long have you been doing what you do and what’s your favourite part of the process?
I have been producing and stage managing in the theatre space since 2013 and started transitioning into screen in 2019. I still do theatre gigs every now and then but I’m absolutely loving working in screen and am really trying to push for that to become something I do ‘properly’ full time.
I think my favourite part of producing is the variety of the job, from prep, to shoot, to post there’s so many different elements involved, and I really enjoy that. I also love how exact the creative medium is for screen, whilst in theatre you do your best to set everything up and then cross your fingers each night the audience walks away feeling how you want them to. I love that with screen you have the opportunity for multiple takes, multiple angles, space in the edit to really emphasise a particular moment or home in on the vibe you’re trying to get across. I love supporting writers and directors to help their exact visions come to life on screen. And there’s nothing like the feeling when you’re sat in a cinema seeing an audience reacting to your piece. Especially with comedy, hearing a joke be received really well with laughs and claps is such a thrilling feeling!
Who are some of your biggest influences?
Too many to list!! I always say I want to be the UK’s next Shonda Rhimes, the sheer volume and quality of work she has been able to create is a huge inspiration to where I’d dream my career will take me. I watch a lot of US comedy so Greg Daniels and Mike Shur in particular are big influences for me in terms of projects I’d like to make – I love a comedy which has real depth to the characters and relationship-based stories.
In terms of UK talent, Ash Atalla is a big influence, his shows got me hooked on comedy at a very early age and more recently I know he was a driving force in getting Big Boys onto our TV screens and thank goodness he did!
Do you feel there is enough representation of LGBTQIA+ artists in your local scene? If not, how would you like to see things change?
I am loving seeing LGBTQIA+ representation on screen growing in recent years, but obviously I’d still love to see a lot more! Something I’m particularly keen about is seeing queer stories as part of a narrative piece, so narrative fiction featuring queer characters rather than an exploration of queer subject matter if that makes sense?
I am also very keen to create more bisexual content, as a bisexual filmmaker who attends a lot of LGBTQIA+ film festivals, bisexual content is really lacking in film and TV. So, watch this space for some gorgeous bisexual led shorts I have in development at the moment! (Oh – and if you’re looking to fund some funny, heart-warming bisexual stories please do let me know as I have lots to say).
Where can we follow you and listen to your music? And do you have any new releases or upcoming gigs you’d like to share with us?
I always share my film work through our production company’s socials first – we’re Panad Productions.
TWITTER – https://twitter.com/PanadTweets
INSTAGRAM – https://www.instagram.com/panadproductions
WEB – https://www.panadproductions.co.uk
You can also follow me personally on Twitter – https://twitter.com/Rach3l_Wilson
We’re currently doing the festival circuit for ‘The Girl with the Haunted Vagina’, starring the incredible Sophie Duker. It’s every bit as mad and wonderful as the title would have you think! We’ve got quite a few screenings to announce in the near future so definitely keep an eye on the Panad socials, there’ll be some South Wales screenings announced soon for anyone in Abergavenny looking to come and support too!