In 1990 I started writing the musical film script, “Locket of destiny” (my first ever) after doing a course in Sydney run by Derek Strachan, who wrote the TV soap “Number 96.” This musical was loosely based on the musical “Kismet” which I loved being a part of when I lived in Sydney. I moved to back to Adelaide to care for my aging mother with my partner.
I joined the S.A. Writers’ Theatre a year later so I could get some feedback, but because they were more about writing plays, I tried my hand for the next eight years writing stage plays. They had a great process where I learnt a great deal about writing scripts, also doing many courses from the Australian Film Television and Radio school when they conducted them in S.A.
Wishing to get back to writing for the screen which was my preference, I was accepted in the year 2000 into the script incubator course at the S.A. Film Corporation, run by A.F.T.R.S. over a three month period, where I wrote the comedy script “Pay now, Pray Later” (since changed to “Holy Strip”), along with four other comedy writers, but was not able to secure funding from the SAFC for more development.
Joining the Media Resource Centre, as a member, I wrote a few short films and submitted them for appraisement, and, with advice, chose to make “The Cosmic Snag” my first ever short film, when a young Producer from the Media Resource Centre offered to help make it. I wrote the script, did a story board, found the locations and actors, and directed it with the help of the crew I used at the time to make the film.
Afterwards, I decided the best way to make films was to gain some experience working on other peoples’ short films as Production Manager, Runner, Director, boom operator etc.
in 2015 I joined a film group who met each month at The Grace Emily Hotel in Waymouth St Adelaide. It changed it’s name sometime later from Kino, to “Pubflics.” They suggested getting a camera so I bought a home movie camera, Panasonic HDV – HC750M and taught myself editing with a training course from Lynda.com. on Adobe Premiere pro. I had lots of fun and gained experience making a number of little short films documentary style which were shown at “Pubflics”.
In 2016 I shot and edited the film “The Ghostly Mother in Law” on this camera and for the first time used a green screen from the City Library, using actors I knew who volunteered their time to be involved.
Sometime later, I answered a callout from the MRC to help Relationships Australia make the film about the repercussions of gambling with one of their groups and together we made a film called “Neighbourhood Lost” written by Sharon Hollamby. This was entered into a small festival at Mt Barker and won the Audience choice award. It can be found on Vimeo.
In 2017 I wanted to continue making films and commenced to write a short film based now on the seven deadly sins, and the seven heavenly virtues. This turned into a series of short films (a web series) which I placed on You tube as I completed each episode, so others could watch as well as the few people who came along to “Pubflics”.
I decided that, rather than trying to be a “lone wolf”, and doing it all myself, I’d ask other experienced people to help with the filming whilst I directed. I love the whole process of working now with a small crew of helpful people.
Due to the limited amount of funding available and the fierce competition for it, I have had to fund it all myself, which has been valuable because I have learnt how to do filming on a very small budget, using people who were willing to volunteer their time and expertise. No-one gets paid a wage, but I pay for costumes and catering etc to show my appreciation. Actors have all been wonderful as well as my crew, and everyone has been enjoying the experience.
In 2020 I met up with Margie and Nigel Galliver when they offered to place their movie on a USB for me to watch, and mentioned I was looking for a music composer. Nigel, a musician, offered to replace some music on my web series “Jo-Anne, Spirit Guide,” after some trouble with my original composer. I mentioned having written a couple more episodes which in 2021 they helped me to make at their studios, and edit those episodes on more specialised equipment than I had. It was wonderful that I met them and felt my own Spirit Guides had helped me meet them.
Some day, I’d love to get into making a feature – maybe starting in 2022?