Exciting news, Malibu Surf fans – the show’s fifth season will premiere on February 2nd! Ahead of the new season, I got the chance to talk with the show’s main story creator Anja Ellam about what helped her decide that screenwriting is something she wanted to pursue, writing for Snapchat shows, what we can expect from Malibu Surf season 5 and so much more! Keep reading to see what she had to say!
Tell me a little bit about how you first got into storytelling.
I really got into screenwriting in film school; it was honestly something I didn’t think I was going to be good at. Our first screenwriting assignment was to write a break up scene and my teacher singled me out for doing such a good job. I was surprised, but my teachers kept picking my scripts to be the class projects.
Was there a specific person or experience that you would credit with helping you decide that screenwriting is what you wanted to pursue?
It was probably my experience when I first started at AwesomenessTV. There were several people at the company who made me believe in myself, but definitely Jason Perlman was the main person who encouraged me to go for it.
One of the things I find most fascinating about your career is that you’ve written for Snapchat shows. What’s that process like? Is it similar to writing for a scripted television series?
I was a staff writer for the Snapchat show Solve, which was such a fun show to work on. I would say the process is just like any other television show except that the dialogue has to fit perfectly into the 10 second snapchat slides. So that did make things a little more challenging, but it gets easier the more you work on it! Other than that, the only other difference is it’s filmed vertically, but that’s not my department.
Let’s talk about Malibu Surf. You joined the show first as a cast member and then as a story creator. What has some of the challenges been working behind the scenes on a show that you also worked in front of the camera on?
I think starting out as talent on the show was an advantage because I already knew how everything worked. I think starting out on a new show would have been really intimidating since it would have been new for everyone but Malibu Surf already had a flow so I was able to just pick it up!
Season 5 premieres on February 2nd. What can you tease about what fans can expect in the new season?
When it comes to Malibu Surf, you can definitely expect drama! There are new characters, new relationships, and an unexpected friendship. It’s going to be a shocking season.
At such a young age, you’ve already accomplished so much. What are some goals you’re hoping to reach in the next couple years of your career?
I have some new projects that I’m writing so my immediate goal is to get at least one of them off the ground. My goal for the next few years is to be a showrunner for a sitcom.
Last question — we’re called Talk Nerdy With Us because we all have an inner nerd so what is something that you’re currently nerding out about?
I am currently nerding out about the new season of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. I just love that show and I love how at it’s core it’s all about girl power.
Make sure you follow Anja on Instagram.