34: Holly Lyons  (Emmerdale)

Holly Lyons has written for Neighbours, Home & Away and details her experience working on and writing for the soaps in the UK.  We also detail the importance of pitching.

Direct download: Holly_Lyons_Complete.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 11:00am AEST

33: Mithila Gupta (Neighbours)

Mithila Gupta entered TV land via Neighbours as a Storyliner and worked her way up to Script Editor and then Writer.  After going freelance she worked on Winners & Losers and Home & Away.  most recently she's worked on ABC's Indigenous sci-fi series Cleverman.

Direct download: Mithila_Gupta_Raw_Complete_2.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 2:01pm AEST

32: AFTRS Speed Pitching Event

Recently, I recorded a speed pitching event at Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS). You'll hear several minutes of pitch by Screenwriting students followed by several minutes of assessment by Producing students. 

The first Producer was Dominic Hart.  Pitchees are:

  1. Keaton Stewart
  2. Dave Bloustein
  3. Stephanie Basile
  4. Luke McKenzie
  5. Gareth Richards
  6. Sarah Emery

The second Producer was Sarah Bassiuoni. Pitchers are:

  1. Suzanne Slack-Smith
  2. Tasman Porter

We then got some professional assessment of the pitches by Andrew Gregory, Development Manager/Executive Producer at the ABC and Home & Away screenwriter Nick King.

Direct download: AFTRS_Pitching_Event_Complete.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 11:45pm AEST

31: Awgie Awards 2016

A different type of episode this time. Where I briefly interviewed Awgie winners after their win at the AWG Awgie Awards on Friday 14th October.

Winners include:

1 - Rachel Spratt

2 - Adam Spellicy

3 - Angus Cerini

4 - Claire Stone

5 - Donna Abela

6 - Gerard McCulloch

7 - Hilary Bell

8 - Jason Herbison

9 - Katie Found

10 - Marcia Gardner

11 - Nick Pearce

12 - Sally Hardy

13 - Josh Thomas, Liz Doran, Thomas Hardy


Direct download: Awgies_2016_Complete.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 6:03pm AEST

30: Patricia Cornelius (Playwright)

Recorded live at the AWG's Write Like A Man event at King's Cross Hotel, Donna Abela interviews award-winning playwright Patricia Cornelius.

She is known for her confronting plays that often deal with people living on the margins of society, struggling with poverty and prejudice.  Patricia has written over 25 plays, including SHIT, Savages, Slut, The Call amongst many more.

Patricia's many awards include a Gold AWGIE, numerous other AWGIEs, a Green Room Award and Patrick White Playwrights' Award.


Direct download: Patricia_Cornelius_Complete.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 3:16pm AEST

29: Helen Bowden & Jason Stephens   (Lingo Pictures)

This Ep is Helen Bowden and Jason Stephens who recently left Matchbox Pictures and Fremantlemedia respectively to form Lingo Pictures.

Helen has produced shows such as The Slap, Devil's Playground and Underground: The Julian Assange Story, while Jason started as a writer/performer on The D Generation, but more recently has produced The King, Devil's Dust and Mr & Mrs Murder, amongst many more. 

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Direct download: Helen__Jason_Complete.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 11:46am AEST

28: Andy Muir (Underbelly: Squizzy)

Today's guest Andy Muir has worked his way through various script departments and written for Underbelly and Neighbours.  He's also a novel writer, having written the novelisation of Underbelly: Squizzy and later this year his first original novel, Something For Nothing will be released.



Direct download: Andy_Muir_Complete.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 5:51pm AEST

27: Rick Kalowski (ABC Head of Comedy)

This episode's guest, Rick Kalowski, started his professional career as a lawyer, but turned to screenwriting after his first screenplay got produced, by none other than Emile Sherman.  

He went on to become the head writer of sketch comedy show Big Bite and also created At Home With Julia; A show so dangerous, it prompted the Labor party to commission a study to prove it wasn't funny.

He's now the Head of Comedy at the ABC and in the episode we discuss all facets of this role. 

Direct download: Rick_Kalowski_Complete.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 12:18pm AEST

26: Michaeley O'Brien (Serangoon Road)

Michaeley O'Brien is an incredibly experienced writer.

She studied journalism, but slipped into screenwriting after attending AFTRS and then doing submissions for Home & Away.

Her career has taken across so many shows I can't list them all, but highlights include Blue Heelers, McLeod's Daughters, Underbelly and Serangoon Road.

As well talking through her career, Michaeley shares the secret to not only co-creating your own show - as she did with the telemovie 'The Killing Field' which became the series 'Winter' - but also getting it shot in your home town! 

Direct download: Michaeley_OBrien_Complete.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 4:01pm AEST

25: Grant Scicluna (Downriver)

There's all sorts of ways to become a screenwriter.  Grant Scicluna got there after being awarded funding for his short-film The Wilding and having that play in festivals around the world, he then used that as a trailer to get funding for upcoming feature Downriver.

But that makes the journey sound easy.  Through the years of writing these projects Grant has toughed it out working part-time jobs as well.  

But Grant's skill and perseverance has paid off, with Downriver getting Australian and US distribution.

This is a great insight into working with funding bodies, adapting novels and never giving up.


Direct download: Grant_Scicluna_Complete.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 1:31pm AEST

24: Alice Bell (The Beautiful Lie)

Alice's first screenplay, Suburban Mayhem, went to the Cannes film festival she hasn't looked back from there.  She was noticed by prolific TV Producer John Edwards and has worked for him ever since.  With a slight detour through The Slap, she's written Rush, Spirited, Puberty Blues and The Beautiful Lie.

Alice talks about the pressure taking over from Tony McNamara as head writer for Puberty Blues series 2, how she adapted Tolstoy's epic Anna Karenina into The Beautiful Lie and if she'll ever get her husband to write a kids movie with her.

Direct download: Alice_Bell_Complete.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 8:23am AEST

23: Shelley Birse (The Code)

Shelley Birse built her career the old-fashioned way, working her way through the ranks of the script department on GP.  She has since gone on to become one of Australia's premiere screenwriters, working on such shows as Wildside, Stingers, Blue Water High, Satisfaction and Lockie Leonard.

Last year saw the release of The Code, the highly acclaimed and award winning thriller which she created wrote and Produced.  Currently working on series 2 of the Code, Shelley was generous enough to talk about writing and Producing The Code and the thrill of writing on Lockie Leonard.

If you enjoy the podcast, please write a review and rate the show in iTunes.


Direct download: Shelley_Birse_Complete.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 8:00pm AEST

22: Courtney Wise & Kacie Anning (Fragments of Friday)

If you've ever wanted to make your own web series then this is the episode for you.  My guests this week, Courtney Wise and Kacie Anning give a great insight into making their popular web series Fragments of Friday.

Courtney and Kacie discuss the development of Fragments of Friday from Kacie crowd-funding series 1, gaining Screen Australia funding for series 2 and then marketing and distributing the series on the web.  A marketing job so successful, Fragments of Friday sits along side Hollywood heavyweight sitcoms on Qantas inflight entertainment.


If you enjoyed the show and would like to leave some feedback, please get in touch via Facebook or Twitter.


Direct download: Courtney__Kacie_Complete.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 6:53pm AEST