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Scotland, United Kingdom

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Krysty Wilson Cairns


Krysty Norma Lesley Wilson-Cairns (born 26 May 1987) is a Scottish screenwriter. Born and raised in Glasgow, she studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the National Film and Television School. During her teenage years, she was a runner on television series including the detective show Taggart. Her script for the unproduced science fiction thriller Aether made the 2014 Black List and led to a staff writer role on the television show Penny Dreadful


Her feature film debut was the screenplay for the Sam Mendes-directed 2019 war film 1917. She co-wrote it with Mendes and received nominations for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay.


Wilson-Cairns was born on 26 May 1987 in Glasgow, Scotland. She grew up in the Shawlands area of the city in a single-parent household. Wilson-Cairns attended the private Craigholme School. Her grandparents partly funded her place at the school.


 At the age of 15, she had a work experience placement on the Scottish detective show Taggart. The series had used the mechanic shop that her father worked in as a set and she reports watching the filming of it during her summer holidays. She became a runner on the show as well as on other television series including Rebus and Lip Service.


Wilson-Cairns had initially aspired to study physics and become an engineer but her on-set experiences as a runner fostered her interest in working in the film industry. She studied Digital Film and Television at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS), and graduated in 2009. Her first creative work at the RCS was a short story about killer guinea pigs. She credits her ambition to become a screenwriter to being inspired by one of her lecturers at the RCS, screenwriter Richard Smith


She then spent a year working at the BBC Comedy Unit, before moving to London where she gained an MA in Screenwriting from the National Film and Television School (NFTS) in 2013. While studying at the NFTS, she worked as a bartender in The Toucan, an Irish pub in Soho, and developed script ideas during her downtime.

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