Sunday 9 October 2011

Screen Australia scores big. Not. is carrying a story about famed UK writer Lynda La Plante (read her credits here, then compare them with the panel's credits) and her experiences when fronting Screen Australia's funding panel.
The writer of the Prime Suspect TV series told ABC Radio’s Tony Delroy that her script about Jean Lee – who was hanged in 1951 for murder – had received positive responses from actor Nicole Kidman and director Gillian Armstrong, who were both attached to the project.
The script was then brought to the Screen Australia’s feature film assessment team, which is led by Matthew Dabner and Victoria Treole.
“Then we come to the... new Screen Australia and I’m confronted by three people in a room," La Plante said in front of a live audience.
"And the guy at the end he goes ‘Well I can’t really see the point in doing this; you know she’s not a very nice person. And we all know she hanged’. And I go: what, what? It was just the embarrassment and the rudeness of the lack of respect [for] myself, for Nicole, for, particularly for Gillian Armstrong to say: if you have a problem with this script, we’ll iron it out.
“But for me I thought ok I can understand if ... writers in Australia say ‘why should she get a break in there’ it’s only 25 per cent of the budget – that’s immaterial.
Three Idiots
“I think any young writer that is forced to go before Screen Australia and be treated by these three idiots – [it] is an outrage – they showed no respect to a writer.”
Many of us have had bad experiences with funding bodies. Whatever the inside story, this is embarrassing for Australian filmmaking. (By the way, Three Idiots is an Indian film which is well worth watching.)


Kathy said...

OMG I can't believe a film professional said that.

Henry Sheppard said...

Amazing, isn't it! Ned Kelly was hanged, but his story was still deemed suitable for a film (three versions, actually, including one with Mick Jagger and another with Heath Ledger).

I suppose this guy thinks that The Godfather is about a kindly old man, Goodfellas is about some, uh, good fellows, The Sopranos is about a singing group, and Bugsy is about a cartoon rabbit.