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Melissa Mostyn is a writer, blogger, arts practitioner and mum-of-two. 'My grand passion is freedom of creative expression and it is this that drives my diverse love of the arts and media, taking in visual art, theatre, film, journalism, books and TV.' She often explores themes of communication, disability/deafness and human relationships in her work.

While CODA makes its TV debut, Melissa Mostyn-Thomas reflects on an extraordinary journey

22 September 2011


The official poster for CODA

Discussing my maternal role on a disability arts blog may seem odd – and possibly tiresome for those who have been following it ever since I began my film-making adventure - but I think it’s relevant given the expectations that might have developed of me as a prospective Deaf film-maker. I had expectations of myself in that capacity too – expectations that I am now uncertain I can fulfil at this present time. Personally and professionally, the last seven months have been an...

Comments: 2

Melissa Mostyn-Thomas is challenged by the business of casting

22 February 2011


Experimental shot of a foetus punching out

For a while I seemed to be wading through a sea of young blondes. But it’s not what you think. Casting is the biggest challenge I am facing right now, especially now my story has settled into a coherent arc that takes in the emotional and cultural journey of the Deaf mother, Jenny, then her hearing daughter Annabel, as they grow up over a period of 35 years. I need four actresses to play Annabel; three for Jenny; and two each for Jenny’s parents and best friend Moira. So far I have...

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Melissa Mostyn-Thomas is torn between film-making convention and arthouse

25 November 2010


Wall of BSL 'visual noise'

Writing a script is SO HARD. Recently I received a report from an independent script editor contracted by Neath Films. While his feedback was great – he thought my idea had a lot of potential for drama and conflict – he had issues with its formatting and the central character’s conflict. The arc isn’t clear, he was suggesting. Who are we supposed to side with, the CODA (child of deaf adults) who tries to defend her mother at all costs, or is it the mother herself?...

Comments: 1

Melissa Mostyn-Thomas gets selected for Zoom 2011

28 October 2010


Zoom logo

ONE DAY TO DEADLINE.  I'm all ready to go with my pitch pack for Zoom 2011 and the online showreel promised by a friend still hasn't materialised. I decide to put the Vimeo channel link on the application anyway (it does have other examples of work Neath Films can look at) and post it by next day special delivery.  Two weeks later, I'm shortlisted for interview. I shout 'Hooray!' and then groan, as I realise the interview date clashes with the first day of a family holiday in Crete....

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Melissa Mostyn thinks reverse psychology could be the way to go

23 July 2010


Still showing Genevieve Barr in 'The Silence'.

Whatever we think of The Silence (see DAO review), at least it has given me a little more film-maker’s insight into how some hearing people might still perceive deaf people. Not that I lack first-hand experience, of course. I am, after all, part of the 90% born to hearing families. But the BBC’s attempts to portray Deaf Culture as a silent world has actually got me dancing about the reverse psychology that I want to apply to my story. If sound is a means of access, then it’s...

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Melissa Mostyn gets a few words of advice, while her muse becomes disabled

6 July 2010


Daryl Jackson as Luc in Game of Life, directed by Nick Sturley

I cannot help but laugh at the irony of what I am about to write. Isobel, my muse, has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy. It is a peculiar twist of fate that the main source of inspiration for my project – and the biggest impetus for a DAO blog – should herself be disabled. Suddenly the term ‘deaf and disabled’ takes on a whole new spin. That is not to say, of course, that the film concept is invalid. (Basically, it’s an experimental drama that contrasts two...

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Melissa Mostyn pitches at Deaffest

18 June 2010


Melissa presenting her pitch at Deaffest 2010

Last month saw me pitching for the 2010 Ben Steiner Bursary - a sum of £5000 awarded to a Deaf film-maker to make a 15-minute film in time for Deaffest 2011 at Wolverhampton's Lighthouse. Aside from pitching to a judging panel of four, Dragon's Den-style, in an unusual twist we had to present our pitches as a 5-minute subtitled film instead of doing it live. The reason? A live audience would be watching that and the judges' interviews afterwards. Scary! Obviously people...

Comments: 14

Melissa Mostyn's film project: How it began

15 June 2010


Isobel has been melting hearts ever since she was born. She has occupied my mind ever since she began occupying my womb.  Isobel is my muse and the inspiration for my new venture. At 37 weeks pregnant I began creating a six-week video strand, The Baby Diaries, for BBC TV’s See Hear, and with it I began to ponder what it would be like for her to grow up in a deaf household if she was hearing (a good possibility, given that my deafness is not hereditary).  My...

Comments: 3