10 March, 2008

"Blame writer-directors" says Aussie Writers Guild

Eyes Wired Open:

"This week Australian Writers Guild chief executive Jacqueline Woodman wrote a response to my January 2 feature about the inadequacies of much Australian screenwriting.
(Both articles appeared in the arts section of The Australian - follow the above links.)

Her key argument is that the Australian film industry is excessively enamoured with the concept of the writer-director and that is why Australian scriptwriting is so poor."

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I blogged about Barber's previous article which I thought applied equally to the UK and now certain points in the response from the Aussie Writers Guild also apply equally to the UK.

"Our feature film culture is hobbled by the notion that if you're to be regarded as a serious filmmaker then you have to be the writer as well as the director."

I was told by a regional film board bod that the best projects they get tend to have a separate writer and not a writer-director but funding and initiatives still seems geared towards directors or writer-directors. The thinking is obviously a relic of the long discredited auteur theory that director= creator of a movie.

Writers training as directors, like Potsy, is an option. Alternatively, investing in the best scripts at the beginning of the process makes much more sense then investing in the best directors.

7 comments:

potdoll said...

Have you thought about directing Robin? Do you think you would like to direct your own stuff, or someone elses?

Robin Kelly said...

I'm not sure Pots but your example has made it an option. I don't have a problem with directing actors but I'm not sure how interested I am in doing the technical stuff.

potdoll said...

i must admit i'm not into that side of it either. you could direct a play! a lot less technical.

Lucy said...

Off topic I'm afraid, but has there been that planned announcement today re: the BBC and their comedy writing academy do you know Robin? I'm finding nowt anywhere...

Thanks

Robin Kelly said...

Pots, that's true but I'd like to give it a try at least once. I suppose the key is having a good crew.

When I thought of directing years ago, the whole idea was so I can keep every word exactly as it is on the page but Woody Allen welcoming suggestions and better dialogue changed my mind. If Woody bloody Allen isn't precious about his words, who am I?

I think I would also enjoy directing someone else's work. Have you been thinking of doing that? Getting some more experience before your feature is green-lit?

Luce, it's the 12th.

Lucy said...

Ah, that'll be it then. Cheers Robbo

potdoll said...

yes I am going to direct someone else's script. All unplanned and a bit of a surprise but I am really looking forward to it. I think it will be a good learning experience.

And I think you should give it a go. I think you'd be great! Leave the technical stuff to the techies is what I keep hearing.

It's all practice and experience. It's funny with this script I'm going to direct, I can see what dialogue can be cut, whereas with my own I can't tell.

plus you live in birmingham so there are loads of cameramen and crew nearby... i reckon there'd be a lot of people who would be into making a short film for free, especially if they work for doctors and fancy getting into film. or factual stuff. gives them chance to do something a bit different.