As a development producer for Sony Television in London, Jane Langford, ’06, brings stories to life on TV screens around the world.
“I love working on new ideas for shows, fleshing out characters and stories, and bringing to life something that maybe an hour ago didn’t exist,” said Langford.
Her job involves working with creative teams from a number of countries, developing scripts, helping with casting, and overseeing production.
“One day I could be reading scripts for a new series in Russia, discussing with the local development teams in Moscow how to improve the scripts, and the next I could be in a meeting with CCTV in China, discussing a co-production deal with a U.K. company,” Langford said.
Langford is a fourth generation graduate of Meredith, where she studied English and political science. She calls her Meredith education vital to her professional success.
“Basically, I’m still doing everything I did in my English and politics classes: read the work, decide what you think about the work, and defend your thoughts,” she said. “That experience of discussing ideas and issues was my favorite part of studying at Meredith. All I’ve really done is found a way to get paid to do it.”
Langford helps television writers tell their stories. “Working closely with the writers to make sure the story they want to tell is indeed what’s coming across is the most important part of my job,” she said.
Seeing this big picture and communicating that back to the creative team are some of Langford’s professional strengths.
“I’m best at seeing the full story that a writer is trying to tell with his or her script, identifying the two or three main issues that are keeping that story from being perfect, and then being able to get the writer, who has poured his or her heart and soul into this work, to take the same step back and see the issues with me,” Langford said.
Working for an international audience takes the kind of global perspective Langford developed studying abroad with Meredith in London, an experience she calls life-changing.
“TV is a great medium for art and communication,” Langford said. “Making shows around the world, as I do, makes you appreciate how the same story, if the characters are real and true, can touch people from every walk of life, bringing them together.”