While the pandemic brought forth uncertainty to many with their jobs, it also allowed many in the entertainment world to get more creative and push forward to succeed at a whole new level. Anja Ellam, a writer and social media influencer from Toronto, Canada who now lives here in Los Angeles, is one of those people who dug deep and turned her creativity into success!
Her knowledge for social media and creative ideas has landed her a massive following, while also landing her jobs at AwesomenessTV and having two of her show become viral successes on Snapchat
We spoke to her exclusively in this one-on-one interview about her life since the pandemic, current projects and advice to other aspiring writers / social media influencers here in LA and across the country.
1. How has the entertainment industry changed since the pandemic here in Los Angeles?
At first things really slowed down until people figured out how to move forward. With the rise of Tiktok that really happened during the pandemic there was more interest in shows surrounding that type of influencer and online topics. As someone who’s a huge fan of Tiktok I was excited to write on a show like Vibe Room that centered around trends and influencers on the app. It’s still expensive to shoot because everyone has to have covid tests on set and if you’re filming something you probably want to lay low so you don’t end up messing up production. I’m glad the tests were a solution to getting back on set and they seem to be working now that everyone has figured out their budget adjustments.
2. You have written several screenplays… What is your current project you are working on?
Currently I’m working on the show Vibe Room for AwesomenessTV. Also for AwesomenessTV I recently worked on a new show that hasn’t been announced yet so I can’t go into any details on it unfortunately. But I’m also writing on a Snapchat show called “Past Your Bedtime” produced by BratTV that airs 3 times a week.
3. What motivated you to want to get into this line of work?
I knew I always wanted to work in entertainment but it was really my coworkers that motivated me to become a writer. People kept telling me I was good at it and should really consider it. So I tried it out a little and realized that I really loved it. I’m very grateful to the people who encouraged me to go for it.
4. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
I see myself writing for a large number of projects to the point where people are asking where does she find the time? I think streaming shows are leading the way in the industry so I see myself working on those types of shows in a larger capacity than I already am. I’ve worked for a lot of TV shows but I hope to have at least 1 film out within 5 years.
5. Why did you feel you had to make the move to Los Angeles from Toronto, Canada?
Honestly I felt I had to because when I was in school MTV Canada closed down and that’s where I always thought I’d work when I graduated. So I had one of those now what moments? I didn’t see as many opportunities for myself in Toronto whereas in Los Angeles I was getting numerous offers and opportunities. Also Toronto doesn’t have as many digital companies which are a great place to grow and learn quickly.
6. What about Los Angeles do you simply just love?
The weather. You can’t beat it. Canadian winters aren’t for the weak, if you’ve experienced one you understand. I also love the creative atmosphere and energy everywhere you go! It’s really an inspiring place for creatives.
7. When not writing scripts, you are also an influencer. What types of clients do you take on?
I’ve taken on a range of different clients from clothing brands like Cider to drink companies like Kolohe. Mainly I work with product type companies but recently I’ve been working with a real estate client at Compass which has been something fun and new for me. I am selective though with who I work with. I never work with a client or company unless I genuinely think my followers would like the products and benefit from them.
8. Anything else you’d like to add about your time here in LA?
Working in Los Angeles has been nothing but a positive experience for me. I feel that I have learned a great deal and love working in a fast-paced industry.