The Industry Association for Australian Filmmakers and Performers in the U.S.
Talk about ending with a bang! It’s the 2016 Heath Ledger Scholarship winner, Ashleigh Cummings (PUBERTY BLUES, MISS FISHER’S MURDER MYSTERIES, TOMORROW WHEN THE WAR BEGAN). Ashleigh talks about juggling three different jobs in three different cities, her ability to nap on set (in between takes nonetheless) and asserting her independence at the tender age of 14 by traveling to Los Angeles on her own. We discover new words and bond over our mutual love of pancakes. We chat about catharsis and balance as the great ideal. And just when you think you’ve got her down, she shares her African adventures with the Masai and Berber communities. AMAZING!
Producer Amy Child came to LA without a plan and without a job but within two years she is working for Ellen Degeneres and has produced her first feature. BOOM! She shares how she hit the ground running and converted Aussie contacts into US work. We talk about how she pulled together a bunch of first timers to make their debut feature FOR ALL EYES ALWAYS, a biting satire about the CIA developing a reality television show to win back public opinion starring Lynn Whitfield and Sean Aston, among others. Amy talks about the simple joy of finding the perfect location and how much working with a kick ass casting director can change the vision and tone of a film. Remember guys, at the end of the day everything will be ok! So get out there and get to work!
Ok, before you lose your proverbial, this is a re-release of a chat I had with Tim Minchin two years ago. With his recent Logie win for THE SECRET RIVER, his musical GROUNDHOG DAY about to open in London and the success of MATILDA in Australia, well, I thought it might be appropriate timing. Tim illuminates me on the economic machine that is Broadway, how Groundhog Day the musical came about and his existential crisis brought on by the Grammys. We talk about the importance of making stuff you'd like to see, going for the low hanging fruit first, the beauty of reimagining what you've made before and how EVERYTHING informs EVERYTHING. And there are some Tamarama Rock Surfers reminisces. *SIGH*
You might recognize Eden Gaha from his days in front of the camera but it’s his days behind it that you’ll be most grateful for. As the President of Unscripted Television for Endemol Shine USA, this is the man who put the celebs into Celebrity Apprentice and the brought the juniors into the US Masterchef recipe. Eden shares his thoughts on what makes a great unscripted TV idea, what it was like working with Donald Trump, the importance of US network credits and his skill as being a talent whisperer. We discuss the new media conundrum, how a career in Australia put him ahead of the game in terms of experience and how OTT platforms like Netflix and Hulu are changing the style of storytelling in the unscripted arena. Have you got the moxie to get yourself over here? Well, then the hard part is over. Go for it!!
It all began with a tropical jumpsuit! I On the eve of their US iTunes release, director Maya Newell and producer Charlotte Mars tell the story of how they met and what inspired them to make their powerful and poignant documentary GAYBY BABY. And that was the realization that in the midst of the debate over marriage equality that the missing voice in the conversation was that of the children raised by same sex parents. We discuss the NSW schools screening controversy and the subsequent media maelstrom surrounding the Australian release. tThey share the amazing social impact campaigns in conjunction with Safe Schools program they are about to launch! We have a chuckle over the crowdfunding stunts they pulled which allowed them to raise over $100K on Pozible - yeah, you read that right! - popping into Pixar and the joy of celebrating the film at Mardi Gras this year!
They say write what you know and Sarah Scheller (NO ACTIVITY) has done just that with her first pilot THE LETDOWN. Part of the ABC Comedy Showroom it tells the story of a struggling new mum and themothers’ group she thinks she doesn’t need - a situation that proves to be ripe for the comedic picking. Sarah shares about finding a great collaborator in actress and co-creator/writer Alison Bell, developing the work with Julian Morrow (THE CHASER), getting support from ABC from the get-go and calling in favors from actor mates like Brendan Cowell and Patrick Brammall. She admits that everyone was a little intimidated by Noni Hazelhurst - I mean, who didn’t grow up watching her! - and we do our best not to give the whole story away!
Jersey born, Australian raised playwright Lally Katz (THINGS I WANT TO TELL YOU IN PERSON, NEIGHBOUHOOD WATCH) appears to have moved to Los Angeles. So far she is loving everything about it - the instacommunity, the freeways, the people, even the Californian hook turns. We discuss her obsession with New York psychics, her procrastination tools of choice and getting polite nudges from Gillian Armstrong via Instagram to get back to work. She shares her struggles with trusting her instincts with screenwriting, her annual new years resolution to see less theatre and watch more TV and her desire to pull the rug out from under herself. Be careful what you wish for!
Have you seen an Australian film or TV show in the past 25 years? Then it’s likely you’ve seen some Ben Mendelsohn’s work. From The Henderson Kids to The Year My Voice Broke to Spotswood to Animal Kingdom. And that’s all before the US embraced ol’ Ben! We get stuck into all things BLOODLINE: working with Sissy Spacek and Sam Shepard, THAT INCREDIBLE WRITING and how the show made the Florida Keys locals proud. Ben shares how he works on accents and dialects, his youthful love for James Bond and how he scored the role of in The Dark Knight Rises from a self tape! We also chat about his time in LA slogging away before what we call “the Animal Kingdom effect”. Just a word of warning: I might get a little excited in this one…
You probably haven’t heard of Emilie Cocquerel (LION, JOE CINQUE’S CONSOLATION) yet but you will soon enough! She’s had a very busy year including being one of the runners-up of the Heath Ledger Scholarship. We have a chat while she’s experiencing her first pilot season on the ground. She tells us how she sees her quieter times career-wise, what Garth Davies does in between takes to enhance the mood on set and her go-to karaoke song. We discuss how to play characters of questionable morals without judging them and self taping on planes before take off.
Musician Andy Clockwise was meant to settle in London but he came to LA for a couple of meetings and never left. It’s the kinda city that can do that to you. The SXSW regular talks me through everything Los Angeles: the depth and breadth of the city’s music scene, how it can be relentless in it’s distractions and it’s blank canvas nature can be both scary and exhilarating. He shares where he draws his inspiration and his journey from lone wolf creator to obsessive collaborator. We both agree - for either the artist or the audience - NOTHING beats a live performance!
Australians in Film
Raleigh Studios5300 Melrose Avenue
Suite #B211, Bronson Bldg Hollywood, CA 90038
Phone: 310 452 5939
Fax: 323 446 8724