by Emma Topping
“Men at some time are masters of their fates:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings”
– William Shakespeare
My Grandfather served as a judge and as the youngest of his grandchildren and the only lawyer among them, it was more by convention than design that I followed him into a career in law.
My earliest and happiest memories are creative. Settling in front of the television to watch my favourite film, I would first doodle, then sketch and finally create worlds with my crayons, pencils and paints. Hours would pass as I stayed in that same position, interrupting it only to fiddle with the tracking on the VHS, to eject one tape only to immediately replace it with another or to be summonsed, grudgingly to set the table for supper or to bathe ready for bed.
It is no surprise then, from university to now, that I always gravitated towards intellectual property law and the entertainment industry. Even in private practice, as a Banking Associate at Freshfields Brukhaus Deringer, I would find myself uninvited to the Film Financing Division where I would (metaphorically) press my nose to the glass offices there, waiting for an opportunity to contribute. That opportunity never came, but others first at Lord Lloyd Webber’s The Really Useful Group and later at Disney did. I may have been in-house lawyer, but I was in the creative house and at last the line between business and pleasure started to blur.
It’s all too easy to become absorbed in the day to day trials (pun intended) and tribulations and forget what motivates: passions.
Photography, filmmaking and recently writing a screenplay. These are my passions and not only do they serve to remind me that there is a world outside the office, as a creator, they also make me better inside the office.
This section showcases my photography, filmmaking and filmography to date, but it is constantly evolving with new works (including a short film and screenplay) in development.