Born in Lofi, Macedonia, in northern Greece, Nadia Tass moved to Australia with her parents in the 1960s. After initially pursuing an academic career in Arts and Education, Nadia Tass began acting and later directing classical and contemporary theatre in Melbourne. Among her productions as director are three Louis Nowra plays, Miss Bosnia, Cosi and Summer of the Aliens. In 1983 she and David Parker founded Cascade Films, and three years she directed her first feature film Malcolm (1986). Since then Tass has directed the Australian features Rikky and Pete (1987), The Big Steal (1989), Mr Reliable (1997), Amy (1998) and Matching Jack (2010). She also directed the 1993 BBC/ABC mini-series, Stark, based on the best-selling novel by Ben Elton.
In addition to Tass's Australian work are a number of US feature films and telemovies, including Pure Luck (1991), The Miracle Worker (2000), Child Star: The Shirley Temple Story (2001), Undercover Christmas (2003), Samantha: An American Girl Holiday (2004), Felicity: An American Girl Adventure (2005) and Custody (2007).
Between film projects, Tass continues to direct for the Melbourne Theatre Company. In 2002/2003, for example, she directed the musical production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which toured Australia and New Zealand and garnered Tass a nomination for Best Direction of a Musical at the 2003 Sir Robert Helpmann Awards. In 2010 she directed The Gronholm Method a play by Jordi Galceron for The Red Stitch Actors' Theatre (the first production of this play in English) and Three Women, a new play by Elizabeth Fotheringham, staged in London's West End.
Comedian, novelist, screenwriter, playwright and television director/producer. Elton lives in both Fremantle, Western Australia and in Sussex, England. He has had dual British/Australian citizenship since 2004.
Ben Elton established himself as a leading figure in the British alternative comedy movement of the 1980s through the cult television series The Young Ones and Blackadder (as a writer) and as high profile leftwing comedian and satirist. He has also published more than a dozen novels and co-written several hit musicals, notably We Will Rock You (2002) and Love Never Dies (2010), the sequel to Phantom of the Opera.
Born in Catford, London, Elton's father is the physicist and educational researcher Lewis Elton. His uncle is the historian Sir G. R. Elton. After graduating from South Warwickshire College (Stratford upon Avon) he attended the University of Manchester. Elton made his first television appearance as a stand-up comedian on the BBC1 youth and music programme The Oxford Road Show, and at age 23 made his breakthrough as co-writer of The Young Ones, in which he occasionally appeared. In 1985 he produced his first solo script for the BBC (Happy Families) and soon afterwards was invited to collaborate with Richard Curtis on the second series of Blackadder (starring Rowan Atkinson). The pair also wrote the third and fourth series.
Among Ben Elton's other career highlights as a television writer are The Thin Blue Line, a studio-based sitcom set in a police station, also starring Rowan Atkinson (1995-1996). He also wrote the six-part sitcom Blessed (2005). In 1990 he starred in his own stand-up comedy and sketch series entitled The Man from Auntie (a second series aired in 1994). Using a similar format he created The Ben Elton Show (1993). These two shows also marked Elton's retirement from television stand-up comedy for more than ten years, as he began to focus more heavily on writing. He returned in 2007, however, as one of the creatives behind Get a Grip, a show which featured a combination of 'comic sketches' and 'staged' discussion between Elton and 23-year-old Alexa Chung. The show's premise was to juxtapose Elton's middle-aged viewpoint with Chung's younger perspective.
Elton's novels include Stark (1989) which was later turned into a television miniseries, Gridlock (1991); This Other Eden (1993); Popcorn (1996); Blast from the Past (1998); Inconceivable (1999), adapted for film in 2000 as Maybe Baby; Dead Famous (2001); High Society (2002); Past Mortem (2004); The First Casualty (2005); Chart Throb (2006); Blind Faith (2007) and Meltdown (2009). His plays include Gasping (1990) and the rock musical We Will Rock You (2002).
Colin Budds began his television career as an editor for Crawford Productions in the mid to late-1970s, working on such series as Division 4 (1969), Homicide (1976), and The Bluestone Boys (1976).
He turned to directing, still with Crawford Productions, in the 1980s, beginning with multiple episodes of Holiday Island (1981). During the 1980s, he directed episodes for msot of Australia's biggest television production companies and networks, including such programs as Starting Out (1983), a soap-style drama about young doctors sharing a boarding house, created by Reg Watson; soap opera Sons and Daughters (1982-84), also created by Reg Watson; Crawford Productions second-generation police procedural Special Squad (1984); Grundy Enterprises' prison-based drama series Prisoner (1984); long-running Grundy soap opera Neighbours (1985); the ABC's comedy series The Fast Lane (1986), co-created by John Clarke and Andrew Knight; Crawfords' medical drama The Flying Doctors (1986-91); television series Dusty, based on the original telemovie by Sonia Borg; and American Mission Impossible (1988-90), a remake of the original 1960s' series, filmed in Australia with a strongly Australian cast and crew.
In the 1990s, Budds directed episodes of such series as the Australian Children's Television Foundation series Lift Off (1992-1994); children's adventure series Ship to Shore (1994); American-produced sci-fi/crime series Time Trax (1993-1994), which, like Mission: Impossible, was made in Australia with an Australian crew; Banjo Paterson-inspired Snowy River: The McGregor Saga (1994); children's adventure series Mission Top Secret (1994); Jonathan M. Shiff Productions' young-adult ecological science-fiction series Ocean Girl (1996); legal drama State Coroner (1997); adventure series Flipper (1998), yet another American series produced with Australian crew; Jonathan M. Shiff Productions' award-winning science-fiction series Thunderstone (1999); and a fourth American-produced series filmed in Australia, The Lost World (1999-2002).
In the 1990s, he also directed episodes of New Zealand drama series City Life (1996), and the film Hurrican Smith (1992), made in Australia for Village Roadshow Pictures and directed to a screenplay by Peter Kinloch, but starring American actor Carl Weathers.
Since 2000, Budds has directed a number of telemovies, including science-fiction/action adventure Max Knight: Ultra Spy (2000), loose adaptation Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (2000), fantasy Curse of the Talisman (2001), ocean-based adventure Maiden Voyage (2005), and documentary Danger Zone: Stunt School (2007).
His most prolific work since 2000, however, has been with Jonathan M. Shiff Productions: he has directed episodes of Scooter: Secret Agent (twelve episodes, 2005), Wicked Science (five episodes, 2005), H2O: Just Add Water (thirty-nine episodes, 2006-10), The Elephant Princess (thirteen episodes, 2011), and Lightning Point (thirteen episodes, 2012). He is also listed as a director for Shiff's forthcoming Reef Doctors (2013).
Shane Brennan began his career as a newspaper journalist and an on-air television reporter for the ABC in Australia in the 1970s. By 1981, he had left journalism for work as a television script-writer. His work between the early 1980s and the mid-1990s includes scripts for such widely varied television programs as police drama Special Squad; television-studio drama Prime Time; young-adult drama about Australian multi-culturalism In Between; medical dramas A Country Practice and The Flying Doctors; sit-com All Together Now; Barron Entertainment's circus-based children's drama Clowning Around; Jonathan M. Shiff Productions' young-adult ecological science-fiction program Ocean Girl; the Australian Children's Television Foundation (ACTF) live-action/puppetry program Lift Off; and historical drama Banjo Paterson's 'The Man from Snowy River'.
From the mid-1990s, Brennan began seeking work on American cable programs, including the Australian-based but American-produced Flipper. As he notes in an interview for ScreenHub, 'I started travelling backwards and forwards for about five years - usually four or five times a year, coming for two or three weeks at a time, doing lots and lots of meetings, all at my expense.' Excluding Flipper, none of Brennan's scripts for American programs in this period are included on his public bibliographies.
Brennan continued to write for Australian programs into the early 2000s, including scripts for crime dramas Good Guys, Bad Guys, State Coroner, and Stingers; television movie Witch Hunt; ACTF children's program Crash Zone; American-produced/Australian-filmed fantasy The Lost World; and country-life drama McLeod's Daughters.
By around 2003, however, Brennan had become increasingly frustrated with Australian television production processes. He notes in his interview with ScreenHub that
'I'd had a couple of projects that hadn't got off the ground, for no apparent reason so I got very frustrated with it. One of the things that happened - another writer and I got a pilot script and I pitched it to the network and they read the script and they said no-one would ever want to do this. What makes you think anyone would want to watch a show like this? You guys should just stick to writing, why do you want to produce this kind of program? They basically just dismissed it out of hand.'
With a professional network already established in the United States, Brennan shifted countries permanently, and began writing for such programs as CSI: Miami, Summerland, and One Tree Hill. Following these programs, he became first script-writer and then, the following year, executive producer/showrunner of naval crime dramas NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service and NCIS: Los Angeles.
Keveney, Bill. 'Shane Brennan of 'NCIS': The Hardest-working Man in TV Biz'. USA Today. 22 Sep. 2009. (http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/news/2009-09-21-brennan-ncis_N.htm) (Sighted: 12/9/2012)
Tiley, David. 'Shane Brennan: Showrunning NCIS, Remembering his Australian Roots.' ScreenHub. 19 Jan. 2011. (http://www.screenhub.com.au/news/shownewsarticleG.php?newsID=36048 (Sighted 12/9/2012)
In 1995 Linden Wilkinson wrote a filmscript, adapted from the novel, One More River (1993), by Brenda Walker. She studied for a PHD at the University of Sydney on the topic 'Creating Verbatim Theatre - exploring the gap between public inquiry and private pain'.
Bishop's earliest scripts were for House Rules (1988), a series about a Melbourne housewife who becomes a member of parliament. She followed this with the script for All the Rivers Run II (1990), co-written with Vince Moran, and then with scripts for series two and three of Embassy (1991-1992), the ABC's series about the Australian embassy in the fictional South-East Asian country of Ragaan. In 1992, she co-wrote (with American script-writer/dramatist Mark Troy) the American slasher film Zipperface.
Since Zipperface, however, all Bishop's scripts have been for Australian television. In the 1990s, she produced scripts for such widely ranging programs as children's adventure Ship to Shore (1993), Jonathan M. Shiff Productions' young-adult ecological science-fiction series Ocean Girl (1994) and Thunderstone (1999), children's fantasy series The Gift (1997), and crime dramas Janus (1995) and State Coroner (1997-1998).
Her work since 2000 has been similarly varied, with scripts for Seachange-style adult drama Something in the Air (2000-2001), Jonathan M. Shiff Productions' teen science-fiction series Cybergirl (2001), crime drama Marshall Law (2002), children's series The Saddle Club (2003), drama series Headland (2005), and soap opera Home and Away (2006).
Screen Australia also notes her as one of the contracted writers for series two of Chuck Finn, before the program was truncated by the financial collapse of the production company.
Novelist and script writer Maureen McCarthy trained as a teacher and taught in Victorian secondary schools before becoming a full-time writer.
McCarthy has written screenplays for television and for educational films. Her scripts include the documentary Eating Your Heart Out (1984), scripts for the children's television series Lift Off, the ABC television comedy series C/O The Bartons, and the SBS mini-series In Between. She has also written novels for young adults, some of them adapted for television, and some based on television series. Her books have been widely translated, particularly into German.
McCarthy has said of her work, 'I am interested in the emerging adult from sixteen to the early twenties - the wild time when relationships are shifting, sexual identity is fiercely sought and life is imbued with conflicting desires and emotions.'
Wilkinson emigrated to Australia at the age of 12 with her family and settled in Port Adelaide, where she was schooled.
After working for many years in as a laboratory assistant, Wilkinson turned to writing at the age of forty. Her first book, Stagefright, was published in 1986.
Although Wilkinson's Black Snake: The Daring of Ned Kelly won the Eve Pownall Award at the 2003 Children's Book Council (CBCA) Book of the Year Awards, it was Dragonkeeper (published 2003) that really cemented Wilkinson's success: Dragonkeeper and its sequels have won KOALA Awards, Queensland Premier's Literary awards, Aurealis Awards, CBCA Awards, and Western Australian Young Readers' Awards, and have been shortlisted for many more, including being shortlisted for the Patricia Wrightson Award (NSW Premier's Literary Awards) three times for three books. Books from the series have been taught at La Trobe University and the University of New England. In 2017, an adaptation of the series was announced, a Chinese-Spanish co-production.
In addition to the works listed, Wilkinson has also written The Games: The Extraordinary History of the Modern Olympics, Fire in the Belly: The Inside Story of the Modern Olympics, and Atmospheric (which won an Environment Award for Children's Literature [Non-fiction] in 2016). Other publications include reference works for children on a wide range of subjects including shipwrecks and medieval knights.
Carole Wilkinson is the mother of the writer Lili Wilkinson.
Neil Luxmoore's earliest scripts were for long-running prison drama Prisoner, for which he wrote twelve episodes between 1985 and 1986: he also worked as a storyliner and script editor for the program. Among the script-writers with whom he co-wrote Prisoner episodes are Bevan Lee, Ian Coughlan, Alister Webb, and Alison Nisselle.
Luxmoore followed his work on Prisoner with scripts for other long-running programs, including The Flying Doctors (1988) and Home and Away (1988-1989): he wrote at least fifteen episodes of the latter program.
In the 1990s, Luxmoore contributed scripts to Snowy River: The McGregor Saga (1996), but also began writing more regularly for children's television, including contributing to the Australian Children's Television Foundation program Lift Off (1992-1996); Jonathan M. Shiff Productions program Ocean Girl (1994-1997), for which he wrote ten of the seventy-eight episodes; Rosenbaum Whitbread Film & Television Productions program The Adventures of the Bush Patrol (1996-1998); and Barron Entertainment program Chuck Finn (1999-2000).
Luxmoore's post-2000 scripts (if any) have not been traced.
David Phillips is a screenwriter, producer, and actor whose film and television career spanned the early to mid-1970s through until ca. 2005. Among the early series he worked on were The Young Doctors (1976), Secret Valley (1980), Sons and Daughters (1982), Special Squad (1984), and Prisoner (1984-85). After writing the mini-series The Challenge (1986) about Alan Bond's successful bid to win the America's Cup in 1983, he wrote the telemovie Shark's Paradise (1986) and then six episodes of Return to Eden (1986). Phillips also wrote the 1989 telemovie The Rainbow Warrior Conspiracy and episodes for Neighbours (1986-1991) and G.P. (1989-95).
Since 1990, Phillips has written scripts for such series as A County Practice (1992-1993), Snowy River: The McGregor Saga (1994), Mission Top Secret (1994-1995), Blue Heelers (1996-1997), Wildside (1998-1999), Murder Call (1997-2000), All Saints (1998-2002), Above the Law (2000), Water Rats (2000-2002), Something in the Air (2000-2002), McLeod's Daughters (2002), and White Collar Blue (2002-2003). He also wrote Sahara (ca. 1995), the story of a ragtag battalion stranded in the great African desert after the fall of Tobruk. Rick Searle's Butterfly Island (1986) is based on several of his screenplays.
In addition to his television screenplays, Phillips wrote the novel Devil's Hill, which is inspired by the novel of the same name by Nan Chauncy. He later adapted the story for an episode in the children's television anthology series Touch the Sun.
Prolific script-writer Everett De Roche was born in Lincoln, Maine (United States), in what he describes in his interview with Spectacular Optical as 'a tiny town surrounded by lakes and forests. Not far from Stephen King. I think there's an inherent spookiness in Maine that spurs an interest in the Dark Side.' His family moved to San Diego, California, when De Roche was six years old. In 1968, when he was twenty two, he and his wife moved to Australia.
Despite a strong interest in writing as a child and teenager, De Roche had no training in script-writing when he began writing for Australian television, beginning with Crawford Productions in Melbourne. In his interview, he recalls:
I finally landed a job with the Queensland Health Education Council, where I'd write pamphlets on herpies [sic] and such, and I had a 'Doctor Day' column in the Brisbane Telegraph. It was shit work, but at least I was getting paid to write.
More importantly, I met and befriended a guy who told me that Crawford Productions, in Melbourne, were paying a whooping [sic] $250 for TV scripts. Wow! That was five times my weekly wage at QHEC. I brought a typewriter from work, bought a stopwatch to time various TV shows, then wrote a specky submission for a Crawford's cop show called DIVISION FOUR.
Nine months went by before I returned from work one day to find a telegram from Crawfords, inviting me to Melbourne to try out as a scriptwriter (everything was by telegram in 1970 because few people could afford telephones). And hells bells, it turned out that Crawfords didn't pay $250 per ep at all, it was more like $2500 per ep - enough to put a deposit on a damned house!
His trial run in Melbourne resulted in a year's contract as a staff writer, the first of four years that he would spend as a staff writer on Crawford programs.
De Roche's scripts for Crawford Productions were for the police procedurals in which Crawfords specialised at the time: Homicide, Ryan, Division 4, and Matlock Police. According to De Roche, writing for Crawfords' programs was a matter of trial and error, and 'it took me about three scripts to get up to speed':
Eps were usually assigned according to the writer's experience. All new writers started on HOMICIDE, then graduated to other shows as they proved themselves. A few times I'd write a script for one show and it would be reassigned to another more suitable show (the four top shows were all police dramas so they were easily interchangeable). I did about 15 eps of MATLOCK POLICE. This was my best work because it was more flexible than, say, HOMICIDE, which required at least one murder. Whereas a show like MATLOCK (rural) gave writers a wider choice. In one ep, I had the main cop's granny growing cannabis. Some of the stories got pretty wild as writers were given more and more leeway.
When Crawford's police procedurals Division 4, Homicide, and Matlock Police were all abruptly cancelled within months of one another in 1976, staff writers found that their contracts were not renewed. De Roche moved on to freelance work, writing scripts for such programs as Bluey and Tandarra.
It was at this period, in the mid-1970s, that De Roche began working on the scripts for the 'Ozploitation' films with which his name is now synonymous. De Roche had met and worked with directors Colin Eggleston and Richard Franklin at Crawford Productions (where Eggleston was an in-house script editor and Franklin a director): Eggleston went on to direct De Roche's first film script, the environmental horror story Long Weekend, and Franklin his second, the influential horror film Patrick, both of which were released in 1978. He continued to write freelance scripts for television, including for Solo One, Chopper Squad, and Skyways. His final film script for the 1970s was Snapshot (Sigrid Thornton's first significant film role), which was released in the United States under the misleading title The Day After Halloween.
In 1980, De Roche scripted the alien-abduction three-part television series, Locusts and Wild Honey. He continued to produce television scripts through this decade, including for Special Squad and Police Rescue, but produced a significantly higher number of film scripts, including adventure film Race for the Yankee Zephyr (directed by British actor David Hemmings, who had appeared in De Roche's modern-day Rasputin drama, Harlequin, in 1980), hostage drama Fortress (based on the novel by Gabrielle Lord and directed by Arch Nicholson), and surf film Windrider (directed by Vincent Monton, who had been director of photography on De Roche's earlier films).
At the same time, De Roche was continuing to write horror and fantasy films, including Russell Mulcahy's first film, murderous-boar horror film Razorback; the Verity Lambert-produced murderous-chimpanzee horror film Link (directed by Patrick director Richard Franklin); and the children's fantasy (with a strong element of Indigenous Australian mythology) Frog Dreaming (released in the United States as The Quest).
In the 1990s, De Roche concentrated more on television script-writing than on film scripts, writing for both children's and adults' programs, including The Flying Doctors, R.F.D.S., Blue Heelers, Halfway Across the Galaxy and Turn Left, Snowy River: The McGregor Saga, Flipper, Ship to Shore, Fire, Medivac, and Good Guys, Bad Guys. This decade also saw the beginning of his involvement with Jonathan M. Shiff Productions, for whom he wrote scripts for Ocean Girl and Thunderstone.
De Roche continued to write television scripts after 2000, including for Something in the Air and Stingers, but also returned heavily to film scripts: hallucination-based horror film Visitors (directed by long-time collaborator Richard Franklin, and for which De Roche won the Victorian Premier's Literary award), hillbilly horror film Storm Warning and the re-make of 1978's Long Weekend (both directed by Jamie Blanks), and his most recent project, the scientific-horror film Nine Miles Down (directed by Anthony Waller).
Australian Centre for the Moving Image, 'The Making of Storm Warning'. Interview with Jamie Blanks (director), Everett De Roche (script-writer), and John Brumpton and Robert Taylor (actors). Podcast. 15 November 2008. 24min. (http://www.acmi.net.au/podcasts-archive.htm) (Sighted: 29/8/2012)
Graham, Aaron W. 'Crafting "Little Aussie Masterpieces": An Interview with Everett De Roche.' Spectacular Optical: The Official Fanzine of the Fantasia International Film Festival, 1 June 2012. (http://www.spectacularoptical.ca/2012/06/an-interview-with-everett-de-roche/) (Sighted: 29/8/2012)
Writer/producer Judith Colquhoun began her professional writing career in television during the early-mid 1970s and has since had an extensive career providing episodes for many of Australia's most popular television series, including Bellbird, The Flying Doctors (1986/1990), A Country Practice (1982-94), Blue Heelers (1994-97), Home and Away (2003) and Neighbours (1994-2007).
Colquhoun's earliest known series episodes were for the anthology series Quality of Mercy (1975) and country soap-opera Bellbird, along with the 1978 telemovie A Good Thing Going (1978). During the 1980s, she wrote for such shows as Holiday Island (1981) and Saturdee (1986), as well as scripting numerous episodes of A County Practice and the television film Hector's Bunyip (1986). Her credits in the 1990s include G.P. (1995), Ocean Girl (1995-96), and Search for Treasure Island (1998), while her post-2000 work has included scripts for The Farm (2001), Something in the Air (2001-02), MDA (2002), and almost forty episodes of Neighbours.
Among Colquhoun's career achievements are several Australian Writers Guild (AWGIE) awards, including three for episodes of A Country Practice: 'When the Bough Breaks' (1984), 'Licensed to Kill' (1988), and 'Bel Canto' (1990).
Peter Kinloch began working as a script-writer in the early to mid-1970s, beginning with Crawford Productions' major crime dramas, including Homicide (1974-1975), Matlock Police (1973-76), the Matlock spin-off Solo One (1976), and Bluey (1976), as well as two episodes of the convict-era mini-series Against the Wind (1978).
The 1980s saw him associated with long-running series A Country Practice (1982-1985) and The Flying Doctors (1987-1990), comedy Willing and Abel (1987), mini-series Sword of Honour (1986), Australian 'western' Five Mile Creek (1985), and historical series All the Way (1988).
In the 1990s, Kinloch wrote for The Miraculous Mellops (1991-1992), Kelly (1991-1992), G.P. (1991-95), Chances (1992), Snowy (1993), Blue Heelers (1994), Ship to Shore (1994), Snowy River: The McGregor Saga (1994-95), Ocean Girl (1994), Flipper (1995), Halifax f.p. (1995), Correlli (1995), The Adventures of the Bush Patrol (1996-1998), Medivac (1997), Wildside (1998), All Saints (1998), Heartbreak High (1997-99), Stingers (1998-99), and Thunderstone (1999).
He also wrote two television films during the 1990s: Hurricane Smith (1992), directed by Colin Budds, and Siringo (1996), directed by Kevin G. Cremin.
Since 2000, Kinloch has contributed scripts to All Saints (2000), Head Start (2001), Horace & Tina (2001), Cybergirl (2001), Something in the Air (2001-2002), Young Lions (2002), Pirate Islands (2003), Wicked Science (2004), and Silversun (2004).
Script-writer and script editor for film and television.
Alison Nisselle moved from work as a news reporter for the Melbourne Herald Sun and Channel Seven into television by working as a military researcher for long-running World War II-based soap opera The Sullivans in 1977. She followed this with work as a script-writer, writing episodes of The Box, Skyways, Prisoner, Sons and Daughters, Carson's Law, The Flying Doctors, and Prime Time.
In 1985, she originated and developed the series Zoo Family for Crawford Productions, and continued to write scripts for such programs as G.P., as well as writing the telemovies The Feds: Deadfall (1993, co-written with Tony McDonald and directed by Kate Woods) and The Feds: Betrayal (1993, directed by Chris Thomson).
In the early 1990s, she co-created (with previous collaborator Tony McDonald) the crime drama Phoenix (1992-1993), which ran for 26 episodes (written by, among others, Jan Sardi, Cliff Green, Denise Morgan, and Deborah Parsons) and won a number of awards, including a Logie Award for Most Outstanding Series (as well as two consecutive AFI script-writing awards for Bill Hughes). Nisselle continued her interest in gritty social realism with the ninety-minute drama Street Angels, a drama following the arduous work of social workers, written for the ABC (and directed by Kathy Mueller) in 1992.
Nisselle and McDonald followed Phoenix in 1994 with Janus, which ran to 24 episodes and won them another Logie Award.
Nisselle continued to write regularly for television: between 1988 and 2006, for example, she wrote at least thirty-nine episodes of long-running soap opera Home and Away. She also wrote widely for children's television, including an assocation with Jonathan M. Shiff Productions that began with Kelly (1991-1992) and extended to episodes of Ocean Girl (1994-1996) and Thunderstone (1999). She continues her work with Jonathan M. Shiff Productions with scripts for the forthcoming Reef Doctors (2013).
She has also written episodes of children's adventure series Ship to Shore (1996).
Since 2000, Niselle has worked largely in adult drama. In 2002, she co-created Marshall Law with Rick Held and Bevan Lee: the series ran to 17 episodes, and included scripts from previous Phoenix and Janus script-writers, including Deborah Parsons and Cliff Green, as well as scripts by such writers as Barbara Bishop, Fiona Wood, and Alison Tilson. Nisselle also wrote scripts for Blue Heelers (2004) and Headland (2005). In 2007, she wrote the biopic Curtin (directed by Jessica Hobbs), which won a Silver Logie for Most Outstanding Drama Series, Miniseries or Telemovie.
As a script editor, Nisselle has worked on The Interview (1998), an award-winning crime film written by Craig Monahan and Gordon Davie; television series Bed of Roses (2010); biopic Hawke (2010), written by Glen Dolman; and The Mystery of a Hansom Cab (2012), adapted by Dolman from Fergus Hume's novel of the same name.
Nisselle's forthcoming work includes not only Reef Doctors, but also Healing (2014), a prison drama directed by and co-written with Craig Monahan, with whom Nisselle worked on The Interview.
Peter Hepworth, son of Oriel Gray and John Hepworth, began writing for the screen in 1968 with Bellbird. According to his agnecy, he had well over 250 hours of produced drama and comedy to his credit by the end of his career.
Over the next four decades, he wrote for a wide variety of Australian television programs, including The Bluestone Boys, Cop Shop, Skyways, Holiday Island, The Sullivans, Zoo Family, The Flying Doctors, The Henderson Kids, Saturdee, Kelly, Ocean Girl, Sky Trackers, The Adventures of the Bush Patrol, State Coroner, Good Guys, Bad Guys, Chuck Finn, and Li'l Horrors.
Hepworth was the creator or co-creator of a number of television programs, including series two of The Henderson Kids, the two ABC series House Rules and Inside Running, and, according to his agency, programs called Small Tales of Nowhere and Eye Wonder (which are not yet traced).
As a story editor, he worked on Ocean Girl, the spoof soap opera Shark Bay, Good Guys, Bad Guys, Chuck Finn, Li'l Horrors, and Stingers.
Hepworth began acting in his early teens, and during the 1960s and early 1970s worked on a number of Crawford Productions series, including Homicide, Division Four, and Ryan, as well as appearing in the ABC's 1965 production of Macbeth. His last known role was as Andrew in the 1974 science-fiction television series Alpha Scorpio.
Diana Mann, 'Young Actor in New Role'. The Age, 10 May 1966, p.11.
Television script-writer and script editor.
With some exceptions, including the Wendy Hughes crime drama State Coroner, Annie Fox has worked largely in children's television, with a strong focus on science-fiction and fantasy programs.
Her earliest scripts were for Jonathan M. Shiff Productions' Ocean Girl, for which she won an AWGIE Award for Best Original Children's Screenplay. She has continued to write for Jonathan M. Shiff Productions, including Pirate Islands, Thunderstone, and Wicked Science.
As a script editor, Fox has worked with Blue Heelers (with which she began as a trainee script editor) and Chuck Finn.
An interview with Fox appeared in Screentalk Magazine, September/October 2001.
Australian television script-writer.
MacWhirter got her start in script-writing as a junior copy-writer in a Brisbane radio station, while also scripting short pieces for local television stations. Although the majority of Australian television at that time was written and filmed in Sydney and Melbourne, MacWhirter was eventually offered a job in the Queensland Film and Television Office, on the strength of a state governement initiative to encourage the production of television in Queensland.
MacWhirter wrote for a number of Jonathan M. Shiff Productions television programs, beginning with the award-winning Ocean Girl. She has subsequently become a long-serving Neighbours script-writer.
Source: Interview with Helen MacWhirter (part one: http://perfectblend.net/features/interview-macwhirter.htm and part two: http://perfectblend.net/features/interview-macwhirter2.htm). (Sighted: 17/2/2012)
Television script-writer and script editor.
Michael Joshua has worked as a television script-writer since at least the early 1980s, when he scripted the Canadian telemovie A Matter of Cunning (co-written with American script-writer Robert Mann and directed by Alan Erlich.
By 1984, however, Joshua was writing for Australian television, with scripts for Prisoner, for which he wrote between 1984 and 1986. Joshua then moved on to The Flying Doctors (1987-1988) and Home and Away (1988-1989).
In the 1990s, Joshua wrote for long-running soap opera Neighbours (1994-1995) and judicial drama State Coroner (1998), but also began what would be a long-running and extensive involvement with Jonathan M. Shiff Productions, Australian television's most prolific producer of young-adult speculative-fiction television. Joshua wrote for Ocean Girl between 1994 and 1997, as well as acting as script editor for the series. He followed this with scripts for Thunderstone, Horace and Tina, and Pirate Islands, while also working as associate story editor on Thunderstone; story consultant, story editor, and script editor on Cybergirl (2001); and associate story editor on Wicked Science (2006).
He was also script editor for the twenty-six episodes of Parallax, a Western Australian produced children's fantasy program.
Since 2000, Joshua has contributed scripts to Something in the Air (2002), short-lived soap opera Headland (2006), and animated fantasy series Legend of Enyo (2010), as well as co-writing the short film Awkwardness with Nicole Klein.
Television script-writer and script editor.
Jenny Sharp's career in television began with a role as assistant to the director on long-running Crawford Productions' prison drama Prisoner in the late 1970s. She followed this with a role as production runner on Robert Cassidy's adaptation of Danielle Steel's novel Now and Forever, filmed in Australia in 1983.
Her first scripts were for long-running soap opera Home and Away (1990). She followed this with a succession of scripts for children's television programs, including Ocean Girl (1994-1996), The Adventures of the Bush Patrol (1996-1998), Thunderstone (1999), and Search for Treasure Island 1998-2000).
She has also worked as a script editor, including for Marshall Law (2002) and Neighbours (2008).
Neighbours was Booton's first script-writing job. In an interview with Neighbours fansite Perfect Blend, she notes:
'My career really started with Neighbours. I'd joined Grundy Television as a script typist and written a submission for Prisoner, so management knew I was interested in writing. When Neighbours moved from Network Seven to Channel Ten at the end of its first series, there was a scramble to re-staff the writing team. I was offered a job as a trainee storyliner and, since it paid ten dollars more a week, I jumped at the chance!'
Booton notes in the interview that she occupied a number of roles in the fifteen years for which she worked for Neighbours:
'I sometimes joke that I've been with Neighbours longer than anyone since I typed the first episode of the first series. But the real association started with trainee storyliner on the Channel Ten series. I had very generous people to give me on-the-job training, including Ray Kolle, Ysabelle Dean and Rick Maier. As I gained experience, I was able to rise through the ranks, so to speak. I became a fully-fledged storyliner, then began writing scripts, then editing them. Later I became the story editor and - much later, when Grundy moved the Neighbours writing team from Sydney to Melbourne - I was Script Producer for a brief period.'
She has also worked on soap operas outside Australia. In 1995, she worked for the long-running German soap opera Verbotene Liebe, set in Cologne and Düsseldorf and then in its first year: she is credited as both storyliner and dramaturge. She was the head writer on long-running New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street, a position that she left Neighbours to accept.
'Lois Booton [interview].' Perfect Blend (http://perfectblend.net/features/interview-booton.htm) 22 November 2003. (Sighted: 13/11/2012)
Craig Lahiff was an Australian film director.
Born in 1947, he first studied science at Adelaide University, before going on to complete a masters degree in arts in film at Flinders University, where he produced a dissertation (submitted in 1981) titled 'The Use of Critical Path Analysis in Film Production' (details via Trove).
Shortly after graduation, Lahiff was involved (as a sound engineer, rather than a director) in a series of interviews with Australian women artists under the aegis of the Art Gallery of South Australia. Released under such titles as Pursuit of Excellence and Pride and Prejudice, the series involved the work of other film-makers who would go on to work extensively with Lahiff or forge their own wide-ranging careers, including Terry Jennings (as producer), Scott Hicks (as director), Andrew Prowse (as film editor), and David Foreman (as director of photography).
Lahiff's first independent film was the short spy drama Labyrinth (1979). Made under the auspices of the Experimental Film and Television Fund, it followed two German spies working in isolation during World War II, until one is murdered by a disgraced Irish captain seeking restoration.
He followed this with The Coming (1981), a science-fiction thriller in which a bored corporate executive starts fearing that a pattern of strange weather phenomena means a coming apocalypse.
Lahiff's first major film as a director/script-writer–and the film often cited as his first film–was made six years later: Coda. Another genre film, Coda followed a series of mysterious attacks on women university students, and was partly filmed at Flinders University. It was co-written with Terry Jennings, and included such actresses as Penny Cook, Arna-Maria Winchester, and Olivia Hamnett.
Coda was followed by crime thrillers Fever (1988), Strangers (1991), and Ebbtide (1994).
In 1997 came Lahiff's best-known film: Heaven's Burning, in which a bank robber finds himself saddled with a reluctant Japanese honeymooner, faking her own kidnapping to escape an arranged marriage. Lahiff directed the film to a Louis Nowra script.
Lahiff made only two more films after Heaven's Burning: Black and White (a dramatic re-creation of the 1958 trial of Arrernte man Max Stuart for murder) and Swerve (another of the crime thrillers/road movies in which Lahiff specialised). Black and White was nominated for AFI Awards for acting and costume design (winning one for acting) and an FCCA Award for script-writing. Swerve attracted AFI and ASSG Award nominations for sound.
Lahiff died following a short illness.