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In Development

As a newbie, one may ask, "How do I get into the film industry here in Australia?" What do I have to do?

Writing and organising a team of like-minded individuals towards the common goal of actually making a movie is being in the industry. All you do is write and put together submissions or proposals. Once you are writing - you are in the film industry. You don't need anybody else to tell you otherwise.

Over 95% of your time will be spent writing scripts, auditioning for a gig or meeting with actors, producers and financiers.

In the last two years, I have been lucky. I was actually on set, directing . . . for nearly two whole weeks! (A Stone Throw and Streetsmartz).

The rest of my time was spent:
  • Writing (I'm pleased to report . . . most wannabes talk about writing. Don't be a wannabe!).
  • Earning a living (building websites).
  • Teaching others how to write, direct and build websites (at Curtin University).
  • Meeting with producers and greater mortals who may help get new projects happening.
Unfortunately I wasn't one of the 60+ directors chosen for a gig on Marx and Venus *sniff*. It's possible that my screenplay will be one of the 25 selected from the 1,700+ screenplays SBSi received (although I won't wait by the phone).

Either would have been nice - but these things come in waves.

The Hottest Director in Town

Usually the hottest directors in town get the gigs - and then they move aside as new heat comes into play. The heat is off me right now because my latest short film didn't hit too many festivals or accumulate gongs. You're considered hot if your film so much as hits a festival these days as it's difficult to even get a screening. Another industry truism to consider as a director is that you are only as good as your last film.

All of this is twaddle, naturally. But it's something you feel as you walk into a room filled with investors. Who is this guy - what's he done recently? The corridor rumours are that Troy Lum (Hopscotch Distribution) will only consider developing screenplays which have a hot director attached.

Nobody tells you that you are hot. But it's your job to know it . . . Ask an honest friend. None-hot directors need hot people attached to their projects. This usually translates to a producer or an actor. And here's a tip for for the non-hot.

Every actor is looking for a good role.

Our New Screenplay

Phil and I have manged to scrabble together a sketchy outline for a new horror screenplay. This one is much straighter than we usually write . . . a genre piece. But interesting enough to keep us amused. We don't have a producer attached just yet. Which, in itself, is a bit exciting.

Meetings with Tait Brady (FFC) have been organised with the Australian Writers' Guild. Hitting the submit-your-synopsis-for-a-meeting deadline is next cab off the rank.

So . . . as usual it's back to the pen.

If you want to be part of the great Australian film industry - you might want to stope earning money and get out your own. I hear it's mightier than the sword.

Ninety-nine percent of the time!


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