The Industry Association for Australian Filmmakers and Performers in the U.S.
Getting ready to come over for pilot season? This episode with actress Sara Zwangobani (LOVE MY WAY, PACKED TO THE RAFTERS, Sydney Theatre Company’s A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE) is for you! We discuss the business side of the biz here - branding, marketing and how to choose classes and workshops strategically. Sara shares her advice on balancing dreaming big and working towards achievable goals, making it easy for casting directors to give you the job and what to do in the waiting room. This is the Olympics people! So give yourself the best possible chance to do your best work and don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Actor and writer Jonathan Gavin (OFFSPRING, PUBERTY BLUES) has written for some of Australia’s most loved and most acclaimed TV shows. His latest offering is THE BEAUTIFUL LIE, a contemporary reimagining of ANNA KARENINA for the ABC. He talks us through the inevitable trade offs made when it comes to modernising a classic. He shares what it’s is like to work with the powerhouse partnership of John Edwards and Imogen Banks, dealing with schedule clashes and the fear of being 'found out’. We also discuss how each show he has worked on is a reflection of the particular personalities involved. And the essential truth that if the writers' room doesn’t work, invariably the show won’t get made!
Strap yourself in for a crash course in indie filmmaking from writer, director, actor Paul Ashton, recorded in the aftermath of the Los Angeles premiere of his feature THIS ISN’T FUNNY. Paul talks us through the film’s nine month gestation, birth and beyond: from writing a first draft in six weeks to upping a nano budget to a micro one to the necessity of having balls of steel.
Director Catriona McKenzie (SATELLITE BOY, REDFERN NOW) began by using LA as a base between international festivals. Now she looks to partner with creatives here in order to make work that reaches beyond the American market. We discuss her rev head tendencies and the script they have inspired, Los Angeles as a city of commerce and her interest in writing genre pics. She shares the Jimmy McGovern school of creating plot - f*cking up your characters and letting them go at it and her advice to Aussies making inroads here: don’t get distracted by the fizz. Let’s hope Ava DuVernay is listening…
The first time Arianwen Parkes-Lockwood came to LA was for a callback for the role of a certain Mother ofDragons. Needless to say, the experience was enough to whet her appetite. She has made it a point to visit in between seasons of A Place To Call Home ever since. We talk about the need to have 1000% more confidence here, the pros and cons of a red carpet life and finding an authenticity on social media. She shares her passion for making stop-motion animations with her hubby and difficulties of the time difference when they are apart. And as much as she loves period dramas - and boy does she! - Arianwen would like to give a procedural a go. Would someone cast her in a cop show please?
Writer/Director Megan Riakos has taken a very American indie approach for her debut feature CRUSHED, an Australian mystery thriller. Her time in studying screenwriting at UCLA can be attributed for both the genre and budget. She talks to us about writing a movie you know you can shoot, identifying your film’s niche and the multitude of theatrical release options in the current market. She advises getting clear about your personal goals in navigating all of the above. Sound advice from someone who almost got caught on the independent film production assistant hamster wheel! She certainly knows what she is talking about. But don’t take it from me, have a listen!
David No (MATRIX RELOADED, MR. NICE GUY) is the epitome of a slashie - actor, producer, writer, action director and filmmaker. He talks to us about making genre films, producing $4 million dollar commercials starring Jackie Chan and straddling two cultures - those being Australian and Korean. He shares his insight into the Los Angeles stunt community as well as what took him away from here and what might bring him back.
Writer and actress Krew Boylan (SCHAPELLE, MOLLY) did LA for a spell and it wasn’t for her. New York is her chosen home.She talks about what pilot season is like in the Big Apple and the constant stimulus of art, fashion and culture. She shares advice on playing real life characters - something she has done thrice now! And the things she has learned about her writing routines - dressing the part and when the magic of place has gone. I am most excited to talk to her about THE DOLLHOUSE, a collective of incredibly talented women - Krew, Rose Byrne, Jessica Carrera, Shannon Murphy and Gracie Otto - ‘committed to exploring the creative boundaries of film, TV and theatre’. Whoop!
Producer Robyn Kershaw (SUCKER, MY MISTRESS, BRAN NUE DAE, LOOKING FOR ALIBRANDI, KATH & KIM) is the context queen. If you listen closely, you can hear the cogs in my mind turning as she explains the rise of the Kardashians, how YouTube has become the bastion of outsiders, and cultural significance of the horror genre. Kershaw sees Los Angeles - for better or for worse - as the tastemaker of the world's cinema, and that part of her job is to understand the market forces behind this, in order to bring Australian stories to a greater audience. Now that is something I can get behind!
Story is everything to actress turned novelist, Tempany Deckert (HOME & AWAY, THE SECRET LIFE OF US). On this podcast she shares tales of why she choose the US over the more worn path to the UK for Aussie Soap stars, using her acting inspirations as fuel for her novels and how Anna Karenina taught her everything she needed to know about men. She warns against writing for the market but encourages the fake till you make it attitude. At the very least, she’s got your holiday reading list sorted!
Australians in Film
Raleigh Studios5300 Melrose Avenue
Suite #B211, Bronson Bldg Hollywood, CA 90038
Phone: 310 452 5939
Fax: 323 446 8724