Slim Pickins: (written 1999 & again in 2007)
As told to me by an erstwhile friend, Slim Pickins is the fictionalised version of very real events that took place in Madrid and the mountains of Aragon near the Pyrenese among the endangered Griffon Vultures. Pete, aka Slim was heartbroken and decided to take himself off to Spain to die. But his arrival coincided with the famous Peace Conference of 1992. Pete's dark features, his one-way ticket and no discernible reason for being in town caught the attention of the local spooks CNI who put the frighteners on him so much it kickstarted him from moribund into a frantic will to live. A story of conspiracy, rendition, mistaken identity and endangered carnivores, Slim Pickins is both black satire and poor man's spaghetti western. Slim Pickins won the Holding Redlich Screen Producers Pitching Competition at the SPAA conference in 2009 and subsequently traveled to the Cannes Film festival. Dream cast, Gael Garcia Bernal, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem and Benicio Del Toro.
Veris: (written 2002, (and rewritten until 2008)
A massive fan of Phillip K Dick, Veris is concept that occurred one night at dinner when I wanted to catch up with old friends and enjoy myself, as we did, when we were unfettered by life. But alas, those days were gone and much to my shock, so was one of my friends. How did we lose him without noticing? So Veris entered the sci-fi genre to some extent, an intellectual thriller of sorts, wherein Veris is a hand held digital device that subtly creates multiple versions of friends and colleagues to cope with the overflow of life. Only problem is, ersatz friendship only goes so far and reality still bites. So Veris begs the question: How would you spend the last day of your best friend's life?Veris won the Monte Miller award at the Australian Writers Guild national Awards in 2005. It spent years in development with Academy Award winning producer Melanie Coombs, was recipient of the SPAA market entry and substantial funding, it was feted for years as an ongoing concern but alas, never made it into production.
Maintain The Rage:(written in 1998, 99, 2002)
Turning 30 I was celebrating large at an old country mansion when I stumbled across a set of elders all staring at an interview in Roy and HG's comedy hour. They were watching Gough Whitlam, or God on Telly talking about his infamous dismissal in 1975. It dropped like penny, the idea of a young girl, proselytised by her true believer father, raised sole without a mum who'd long abandoned them for the brighter lights as a Liberal Party member. Maintain the Rage was developed with Producer Melanie Coombs (grand daughter of Nugget Coombs) as TV drama. We had great interest including the satisfaction of a professional staged reading at Federation Square ACMI in Melbourne. Eventually we had to let the project go but not before I sent it to the erstwhile Prime Minister himself who subsequently rang me one day. On the phone. It was something, to speak with the great man and thank him for my university education. Gough made a bunch of mistakes during his brief time as Prime Minister, but his opening up of university to all who sought an education was and remains to my mind, the best thing any Australian government has ever done.
Maintain the Rage deserves an airing and a third act….perhaps one with a female Prime Minister ???
Ruby Tuesday: (written 1996)
Ruby is a story capitalising on a happenstance of my childhood when my mother received a note from the government docking her family allowance because they thought I'd passed away. Even as a juvenile it struck me as a chance to fly under the radar for the rest of my life. My mum amended the error but I tucked it away until I started taking screenwriting seriously and hence created a fey women who lives outside the mainstream, under the radar and so traumatised as a youth she has inextricably developed the ability to start fires when she is either very angry or very passionate. She's a walking metaphor. She can't get a real job in a real world so she concocts characters who take welfare and a la Robin Hood, feeds and furnishes her impoverished neighbours abandoned by economic rationalism. So, she's Joan on Sunday, Margaret Monday and Ruby, Tuesday.
*recipient of the Australian Film Commissions New Screenwriters Grant in 1996.