My professional writing and editing career began in 1998 when I enrolled in RMIT’s Diploma of Professional Writing & Editing. I was passionate about words and determined to ‘make it’ as a writer. During my three years as a part-time student, I co-founded a student-run publishing collaborative called RANT. The project was a great success and published two collections of student work, RANThology and RANTevision.
Before I graduated, I began freelancing as an editor and book designer for writers who wanted to self-publish. I worked with many first-time authors to fine tune and publish their manuscripts. I also I wrote a K2 level children’s educational title called Sea Jellies. The book was originally published by Barrie Publishing in 2002. After several changes of hand, the book is still in print and is currently being distributed to schools throughout the USA under the new title of Jellyfish.
While I was at RMIT, I took an elective unit in Screenwriting. I loved screenwriting and wanted to explore it further. So, after graduating the Professional Writing & Editing course, I enrolled in RMIT’s Advanced Diploma of Professional Screenwriting. In 2002, my first short film, The Spider and the Fly... A Fable, was produced by a local independent production company. I was fortunate to be involved in some of the day-to-day production aspects from pre-production (casting and set design) to post production (editing with Ken Sallows). The Spider and the Fly… A Fable screened at Australian festivals including the St Kilda Film Festival.
Around this time, I began work on two feature-length screenplays. The first was a comedy called baggage which was a Top 50 finalist in the Australian version of Project Greenlight. I didn't win the grand prize, which was a production deal to make the film. However, in 2009, I was invited to Plume & Pellicule in Switzerland to workshop baggage with filmmakers from Cuba, the USA, France, Germany, Spain, and the UK. I love this screenplay and hope that, one day, it will make it to the big screen.
The second project was a biopic about Jean Lee, the last woman hanged in Australia. The unproduced screenplay was performed as a rehearsed reading at The Loft at Chapel off Chapel and at the Kelvin Club, a private members club in the heart of Melbourne's CBD. Jean Lee and baggage were both optioned by local producers.
Later in 2009, I was invited to be one of several writers on a micro-budget feature-length horror film called Don’t Fall Asleep. Needless to say, the project required a lot of give and take; however, three drafts of the screenplay later and the script was declared ready. The film went into production in Los Angeles, California and shooting was completed on schedule. It was ultimately distributed in the USA via digital download.
The experience gave me the insight and courage to write and produce my own micro-budget feature-length project. Working with a writing and producing partner, the psychological horror/thriller went into production in Melbourne in early 2010. Killervision was distributed on DVD and digital download in the USA and Canada by Maxim Media.
In 2011, I began a collaborative partnership with Voyage Media, a film packaging company based in Los Angeles. Voyage optioned two of my feature film scripts, a tentpole action sci-fi and a psychological thriller. Shortly after, I pitched the psychological thriller to Margo Klewans, Senior Vice President, Production & Development at Constantin Film (Resident Evil series, The Mortal Instruments, Fantastic Four).
I also began freelancing with Voyage Media assessing manuscripts for adaptation into screen projects (film, TV, web) as well as writing treatments and feature-length script adaptations. The range of projects that I worked on was broad, from children's animation to erotic gore. Most screen projects were aimed at the low to mid-range market in the USA. All project development opportunities were team-based, which gave me the opportunity to work with some experienced producers such as Michelle Sy (Finding Neverland), and Elizabeth Kushman (Scream 4, One Missed Call).
In 2014, I decided to try something different and so I co-founded a boutique digital publishing business. My business partners and I assessed manuscripts for potential development and/or publication and developed and published several children’s story book apps that were available on all major platforms. Regrettably, one of the partners was unexpectedly forced to pull out of the enterprise while it was still in its infancy. His contribution to the business was pivotal and attempts to find a new partner were unsuccessful. My remaining partner and I reassessed the business’s viability and ultimately decided to close up shop and move on.
I went back to school and studied for a Master of Arts degree. My research project was a literary novel that is set St Kilda in the early 1980s. An ethnographic/autoethnographic story about a rock band, the twenty-two-year-old main character is a heroin addict and a closet homosexual. I hope to complete the final draft of by the end of 2019.
In 2017, I started teaching creative writing at TAFE colleges in Melbourne.
My writing and editing career has been long, varied, and chock full of unforgettable heights and soul-crushing lows. And while some projects stalled, others exceeded my expectations. Every project taught me something new about the entertainment industries, and about myself. And I’m still just as passionate about words and being a writer as I was in 1988. Despite the years of hard word, I'm not sure I've ‘made it’ yet, but the definition of success is an argument for another day. Or better yet, a blog post!