“My new agents were blown away by my showreel… they were so excited and throwing around potential roles I would fit so it was all really good.”
“Peter Mochrie’s Media Training was a revelation to me. Just to have someone with his extensive knowledge and experience take the time to explain the many facets and complexities needed when performing on camera was inspirational. From correct breathing to visualising the audience and staying on message, Peter’s course is outstanding and truly worth taking”
“There are good coaches that just coach people…and there are great coaches that know how to connect and really take people to another level. Peter Mochrie is definitely a great coach and I am very grateful I have had the opportunity to work with him. His care, experience and professionalism all come through in his training which has helped me develop as a person and as an agent”.
A huge congratulations to Screenwise Tutors Ben Mathews, Roxane Wilson and Screenwise Graduate Meegan Warner. Ben’s short film ‘Emily’ starring both Roxane and Meegan has been accepted into the Cannes Film Festival and was voted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Student Academy Awards Executive Committee as one of the finalists in this year’s Foreign Film Award category. The Academy received 51 films from 29 different countries this year. Final voting for the winning film is held in May with an announcement around mid-May. Fingers crossed!
As the panel vans get parked into place in Cronulla, Network Ten has announced that Ashleigh Cummings and Brenna Harding will play the lead characters of Debbie and Sue in its new series of Puberty Blues.
The 1970’s novel, written by Gabrielle Carey and Kathy Lette, is about two 13-year-old girls from the Sutherland Shire, in Sydney’s south. The book gained notoriety for its explicit depiction of underage sex and drug-taking within the “surfie” culture and was made into a film in 1981.
The eight-part coming-of-age TV series for Network Ten will also star well-known Aussie actors including Claudia Karvan, Jeremy Lindsay Taylor, Susie Porter, Dan Wyllie, Susan Prior and Rodger Corser.
The series, which is being produced by Southern Star producer John Edwards and Imogen Banks, who created Offspring, will start filming on April 10.
Singin’ the blues!
The career of relative newcomer Ashleigh Cummings continues to gain momentum with the youngster landing a lead in Ten’s Puberty Blues. It follows her recent success with Tomorrow, When The War Began and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.
Cummings will play the key female role of teenager Debbie in Puberty Blues, set during the 1970s on Sydney’s southern beaches. Filming will begin in and around the Sutherland Shire next week. Cummings will work closely with Brenna Harding as Sue.
“This is a different character to what I’ve done before so I’m excited about that,” Cummings said.
Heavy on location, the serialised effort relies on the Gabrielle Carey-Kathy Lette novel, and not the 1981 film, as source material so is expected to be a somewhat risque family romp.
The stellar adult cast includes Claudia Karvan, Jeremy Lindsay Taylor, Rodger Corser, Susie Porter and Dan Wyllie among others. It’s expected to screen this year.
Original article at The Sunday Telegraph by Zoe Nauman September 18, 2011
The wife of Spartacus star Andy Whitfield tearfully recalls his last words
The beloved wife of actor Andy Whitfield has tearfully recalled the brave Spartacus star’s final words to his kids: “I am going to go to sleep now as my body won’t work any more. I am like a butterfly with broken wings.”
Vashti, 38, of Paddington, said the actor had tried to remain strong until the end and never lost hope he would be able to beat non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the cancer which took his life last weekend.
He also made an emotional deathbed promise to his young family, telling his children Jesse Red, 6, and Indigo Sky, 4, “I will always be with you and will always be watching over you. I love you.”
Born in Wales, Whitfield moved to Sydney in 1999 and first won attention after stints in a number TV shows, including All Saints and Packed To The Rafters after attending Screenwise Film And Television School in Surry Hills to fine-tune his craft.
But he became an international star when he won the lead role in the series Spartacus: Blood And Sand, which attracted a cult following in the UK and US. It screened on Go! in Australia.
The couple were in New Zealand at the time filming the show, which took a break so the actor could have treatment.
He underwent 12 weeks of chemotherapy: “That was actually quite gentle,” revealed Vashti, “and it was in some ways a wonderful time. It was the first time he spent time with his kids. He wasn’t that poorly through that.”
The couple got the news that Whitfield was clear in June, and Vashti says they were overjoyed: “We were so happy and relieved.”
But in September 2010 they were told the cancer was back.
“Our hearts were broken” said Vashti.
“Everyone’s language changed. They said it meant he had never really beaten it the first time.“Vashti says the thing that made Andy most sad was he wouldn’t be there for his children: “He was very sad about that.
“But the children look so much like him. And they can look in he mirror every day and see their dad.”
Vashti added it is important to always have hope if you have a family member with cancer: “Accept the diagnosis not the prognosis. There are millions of people out there who overcome this.
“And always try to do normal special things, like seeing a great film and spending time together.”
Image courtesy of The Sunday Telegraph
It is with considerable sadness that we say farewell to one of our very own.
Vale Andy Whitfield.
A beautiful actor, a most loving husband and father, an enormous talent and a tremendous human being. Our hearts go out to his wife Vashti and his two beautiful children. R.I.P. Andy, you will be sorely missed by your family, your friends, your fans and anyone who was lucky to have known you. R.I.P. my friend. Lights down, curtain closed.
I will never forget the day when I opened the door at Screenwise and there stood before me Andy Whitfield, an Adonis. He said in his beautiful Welsh voice, ‘Hi I’m not an actor, but I’ve got this audition for All Saints and I was wondering if you could help me with it’. I sat him in front of the camera, and I knew then this man was going to be a huge movie star. A week later he came back and said ‘I got that role thanks to you, so I think I’d be very foolish not to take your classes’.
That was the beginning of an extraordinary journey for Andy Whitfield. While studying at Screenwise an Agent spotted him, and from there he scored the lead role of the Arc Angel Gabriel in the sci-fi fantasy Gabriel. The roles then started gushing in, but Andy was very careful on what he chose to do and how long he chose to do it for, he was hanging out for the big one.
And then it came, Spartacus Blood & Sand which propelled him into TV Stardom. Sadly at the height of his stardom, Andy was struck down with non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and he lost his final battle. Andy was a gentle man, and a beautiful soul. He will be painfully missed by his family, friends, fans and anyone who was lucky to know him. RIP dear friend. Lights down, curtain closed.
Original article at Inside Film
Published 02 Auguest 2011
Last Night, written by Nicholas Chan and directed by Spencer and Lloyd Harvey, has been selected for the Salento International Film Festival in Italy.
Andrew is having an early night as an important day lies ahead, but he is interrupted by a young woman he met earlier. How will this rendezvous affect his future plans and what exactly are they?
Female lead Liliya May (Horizons Crossing), who graduated from Sydney-based Screenwise, has recently been cast as a lead in Russian primetime TV series Zolotoi Zapas. May is also set to appear in Any Questions For Ben? (formerly known as 25) alongside Josh Lawson. The film is set to be released on Australia Day, January 26, 2012.
Produced by Harvey House Productions, the short – which is nominated for an IF Award – will feature at the festival, between September 2 and 11.
Working Dog, the makers of The Castle and The Dish, will release their next film Any Questions for Ben? on Australia Day 2012.
It is hard to believe that is has been 11 years since The Dish was released to cinemas, with Working Dog producing television shows The Panel, Thank God You’re Here and The Hollowmen in the intervening years. Now former D-Generation and The Late Show graduates Rob Sitch, Santo Cilaruo and Tom Gleisner will release a new feature film next year.
Any Questions for Ben?, which previously went under the working title of 25, was directed by Rob Sitch and co-written by Sitch, Santo Cilauro and Tom Gleisner and stars Josh Lawson (The Librarians, Chandon Pictures), Christian Clark (Neighbours, Home and Away) and Daniel Henshall (Snowtown) star as three young bro-dudes in their mid-twenties (hence the working title), living it up in Melbourne’s restaurants, bars and clubs.
Rachael Taylor (Red Dog, Summer Hours) also stars. Joel Pearlman Managing Director, Roadshow Films commented that “Following the tremendous success of both The Castle and The Dish, we are delighted to continue our relationship with Working Dog who have an exceptional track record when it comes to delivering motion pictures that Australian audiences love.
Releasing on Australia Day 2012, we have no doubt that Any Questions for Ben? will be another hit with Australian audiences.
Denise Roberts aims to help take a bite out of the homeless cat and dog crisis as Australia marks National Desexing Month
13 July 2011
Sydney — Venerable actor Denise Roberts has nothing against sex — unless you’re talking about cats and dogs. That’s why Roberts eagerly agreed to shoot a brand-new ad for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Australia just in time for National Desexing Month (July). In the ad, Roberts is holding her little dog, Bugsy, next to the caption “Love Them. Desex Them”. The ad goes on to read, “More than 200,000 animals are euthanised in shelters every year. Please do your part — always desex. And never buy an animal — always adopt.”
“Unfortunately, cats and dogs don’t practice birth control, so it’s up to their guardians to be responsible and always have their animals desexed”, says PETA Asia Vice President Jason Baker. “And every time someone buys a cat or dog from a pet store or breeder, a homeless animal awaiting adoption in a shelter loses his or her chance to find a loving home.”
In six years, one unfixed dog and her offspring can produce 60,000 puppies. One unfixed female cat can produce 420,000 cats in just seven years, and an unfixed male cat can father limitless litters of kittens. Every year, countless dogs and cats are dumped at severely crowded animal shelters, where most must be euthanised. The less fortunate never even make it to a safe haven; they are abandoned to fend for themselves on the streets, where they often suffer from cruelty, starvation, diseases or injuries. Also, spaying and neutering makes animals happier and healthier. The simple surgery reduces aggressiveness and the risk of certain diseases, including reproductive cancer.
Roberts has worked in theatre, film and television since 1980. She gained initial fame when she played Julie Winters in the ABC-TV medical drama G.P. from 1989 to 1996 and also appeared in Channel 7’s Packed to the Rafters. Roberts is best known for her starring roles as university registrar Jessica Andrews in Channel 7’s Headland, town matriarch Isabelle Turnbull in Always Greener, and Inspector Diane Pappas in Nine Network’s Cops L.A.C. The ad was shot by ace photographer Danni Nix. Denise’s make-up and hair was done by Lisa Cotterill.
For more information about desexing, please visit PETAAsiaPacific.com.