Category Archives: General news

Melbourne workshop & showcase for new theatrical work

Look who dropped by our incredible theatre workshop last November…

We had a truly fantastic week and were well looked after by the folks at The Alex Theatre, in St Kilda Melbourne. We learned a lot, the work improved tremendously over the course of the week, and we had a great turn-out on Saturday (21/11) when we showed an hour of material from the show to Australian theatre movers and shakers (and friends & family of course). We’re now working hard to capitalise on that buzz as we move towards an out of town production somewhere in Australia (location TBC) in late 2016 or early 2017.

Huge thanks to Paul, Jonathan, Patrick, JR, Gemma, Nick, Missy, Amanda, Jeremy, Natalie, Dan, Mark, James, Toby, Josh & everyone else – too many to name – who helped make it happen!

I can’t wait to announce details about the project as we lock down the dates and location of our first public performances.

Stay tuned…

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First photos from new music theatre production workshop

An amazing day with an incredibly talented bunch of people on Friday (May 22), workshopping a new theatre project. Feel very privileged to be a part of it. A huge thank you to everyone who took part – we learned heaps. Looking forward to revealing more details as the project develops!

In the meantime, many thanks to: Amanda, Amy, Ben, Colleen, Debbie, Gary, Hamish, Heather, Jonathan, Karel (for the photos), Kyle, Mark, Patrick, Ryan, Shane, Todd. (Also Sam, Diana and Tina who couldn’t be there, and Erica and Shannon for the moral support!)

Stacey Parks represents The Last Resort at European Film Market

Sales and distribution guru, Stacey Parks, of Film Specific will be representing The Last Resort at the European Film Market in Berlin later this month (February 5 – 13). Stacey has recently come on board the “unconventional rom-com” as Executive Producer, joining Australian co-producer, Lindy Taylor. Stacey brings many years of international sales and distribution expertise to the project and her involvement has already opened doors which are paying dividends. Lindy has many years of production and development experience in Australia and the UK. We’re very excited to have them both on board. We’re looking forward to making an announcement very soon about an Australian executive producer who’ll be joining our growing team. (For those with an IMDbPro subscription, you can also follow the project’s progress on IMBd Pro)

Introducing the great team bringing graphic novel State’s Evidence to life

Cover of graphic novel, State's Evidence

State’s Evidence

I’m really proud of the awesome, talented team that’ll be bringing this action/thriller graphic novel to life over the next few months. Click the links for these guys if you don’t believe me: Mukesh Singh, Giuseppe D’Elia and Shawn DePasquale – from Mumbai (India), Salerno (Italy), and Los Angeles (USA) respectively. Given I’m in Auckland (New Zealand) we could hardly be more international if we tried. Somehow appropriate for a story concerning illegal immigration and racial tolerance!

“Sophisticated rom-com that’s fresh, funny, and subversive” – Billy Mernit

I recently approached Billy Mernit to do a script assessment on one of my current film projects – THE LAST RESORT. Billy wrote ‘Writing the Romantic Comedy’ (Harper Collins, 2001) so you could genuinely say he “wrote the book” on rom-coms. He’s also served as a story analyst for Universal Studios, Paramount, and Sony, and has taught half a dozen courses at the famed UCLA Extension Writers’ program.

Writing the Romantic ComedyHe was incredibly positive about the project, stating “I’ve told a few trusted people of its rare nature (i.e. a rom-com project that I do think will get made), and I look forward to my prediction coming true.”

And he was kind enough to say the following about it:

Alan Brash’s ‘The Last Resort’ strikes me as an exceptional entry in its chosen genre: it’s not often that one can read a romantic comedy and be genuinely surprised by how it plays out. So kudos to Mr. Brash for constructing a truly adult, sophisticated rom-com that’s fresh, funny, and subversive – it should delight a contemporary audience that’s hungry for something new.”

Billy gave me some awesome notes to improve the script which I’m currently working through. I highly recommend Billy’s services. While he’s best known for his work on rom-coms, he consults on scripts in any genre. If you’re in need of a consult, you can find him here.

Jennifer Garner & Fox Stole my TV Series!*

(*If you’re a litigious Fox executive and you’re reading this, then this comment is made in jest. If you’re a friend or family member: “It’s true! It’s bloody true!!”)

As my eagle-eyed former Unitec screenwriting student, Sam Brooks posted on his facebook page, Jennifer Garner’s production company has been given a put pilot commitment by Fox for a TV series about male stripping – The Whole Shebang. (A put pilot being a pilot that the network is obliged to air or face financial penalties).

While none of the articles, like the ones at The Wrap, Deadline Hollywood, or Variety  specifically say that Garner will be starring, one assumes this is likely the case.

Jennifer Garner Strip-Club Drama Lands Pilot Deal at Fox

Jennifer Garner who MAY play the lead in The Whole Shebang

But here’s the thing: We made this show in New Zealand over 10 years ago! It was called The Strip, it was made by The Gibson Group, and it was devised by yours truly.

I mean, our lead actress, the wonderful Luanne Gordon (see below) even looks like Garner!

(I shouldn’t be too unkind: we gave women the vote in 1893 and it took America another 27 years to catch up there, so maybe they’re closing in on us… just like they are in the America’s Cup – arghhhh! But I digress…)

Luanne Gordon and strippers: The Strip

Luanne Gordon and strippers: The Strip

Here’s the very brief precis according to media reports of the new series The Whole Shebang

The one-hour drama revolves around a newly single soccer mom who inherits a rundown male strip club and unexpectedly finds herself at the center of a dysfunctional, makeshift family that helps her take charge of her life.

Here’s the synopsis (edited) taken from The Strip‘s home page – Melissa is a top corporate lawyer in her mid-thirties… whose life is turned upside down when her husband leaves her for his gym trainer.

Through the emotional turmoil that follows, Melissa wonders where it all went wrong… Looking for solace, she heads to a “Hen Night…” There, with a male strip-o-gram doing his thing, she has an epiphany and decides… [she’s]  going to get out of the corporate rat race and set-up the country’s classiest male strip club!

[She decides to buy a former client’s] sleazy establishment – transforming it from a hang-out for the raincoat brigade – to the Germaine Greer of strip clubs.

The series follows Melissa as she tries to balance her new role as a male strip club proprietor, with the demands placed on her as a mother, daughter, friend and lover.

hashtag – deja vu anyone? (Oh, sorry – One’s a working mom; the other is a soccer mom…)

And I happen to know for a fact that the company with the US TV right actually pitched The Strip to Fox back in 2009. Apparently they initially  “thought it sounded great” but later decided it “wasn’t for them.” Hmmmmm…. (hashtag – spooky coincidence…)

Good thing I detest conspiracy theories…

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