Jennifer Kaytin Robinson – Creator/ Writer: Sweet/ Vicious
When did you realize you wanted to work in television?
I have loved TV forever. I started as an actress but soon realized what I wanted was to create. I wanted to be a part of the entire process from the beginning. That’s when I wrote my first pilot.
What advice do you have for college students who are looking to pursue the television industry?
My advice would be to watch everything; even things you don’t like. Read interviews, watch documentaries, consume the medium you want to be a part of any and every way you can. If you can get internships or PA jobs in the industry take them. Starting at the bottom and PAY ATTENTION to everything around you.
What was your first job in the industry? What did you learn from it?
My first job in the industry I guess would be a short film that i was an actress in. My first writing job was a rewrite for a tiny movie that never got made. From both I learned to always be gracious. It’s easy to get caught up in the bullshit of this industry, remember that having a job in the industry you love, even if that job sucks, is still so much better than not.
Something you wish someone would have told you about the industry?
It’s okay to stand your ground without being difficult. Always stand by your convictions but be amiable and open to collaboration.
What is your writing process like?
I’m all over the place. I write in spurts. During production I was writing whenever I had a free minute. When I’m on my own writing a film I really have to stay disciplined.
How did you come up with the concept for Sweet/ Vicious? Did the idea just kind of hit you all at once or was it a concept that took a while to develop?
I wanted to write a show for and about empowered women. At first I thought – what would GIRLS be like if it were done by Tarantino. I wrote a cold open (not the one that aired) for a show called Little Darlings. It featured two women, Jules and Ophelia, arguing because Ophelia was torturing one of their targets on Sunday and that’s when Jules likes to watch TV. It was a mundane, girl-centric squabble over a criminal who was tied up in their apartment. That’s where the tone was born and from there I developed the story of two unlikely friends who would find a home in each other and take justice into their own hands when the system failed them.
This show has helped so many young girls in such a short amount of time. How has it been hearing all of their stories and hearing all of the positive feedback on the show?
I am so proud to be a part of something that is helping people. It breaks my heart to know that so many need and want a show like this but it also fills me with such hope that together we can make change. I am in awe of and proud to stand with survivors.
What shows made you fall in love with television? What shows are you currently loving?
I Love Lucy is what made me fall in love with TV. Favorite shows currently: Atlanta, Fleabag, Better Things.