The Box (1974) - News Poster



Jock Blair reflects on an illustrious career

As Jock Blair reflects on a 55-year career as a writer, producer and production and development executive, he identifies the two biggest changes he.s witnessed in the screen industry.

One relates to money, the other to creativity.

.It.s incredibly difficult to finance production,. says Blair, who retired last week after 11 years as director . development at Screen Queensland.

.Television drama is now very conservative as networks are playing it safe,. he tells If. .In the 1980s things were pretty wild and you could produce things you can.t do now. As an industry we seem to have lost our edge creatively..

Blair initially joined Sq.s predecessor, the Pacific Film and Television Commission, for six months to help out in development but he liked the role so much he stayed.

He is proud to have helped the careers of multiple creative types and companies including Tracey Robertson and Nathan Mayfield
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Screenwriter moves from redemption drama to Gillard

It took scriptwriter Alison Nisselle and director/co-writer Craig Monahan 10 years to make Healing, a redemptive drama which opens in Australian cinemas on May 8.

Nisselle is hoping her next project, a feature on Julia Gillard, will happen rather more quickly.

But she tells If it will take at least two years to complete her research and finish the script on the former Prime Minister.s reign and ousting by Kevin Rudd.

It was announced last year that Rachel Griffiths will play Gillard in Stalking Julia, based partly on Kerry-Anne Walsh's book The Stalking of Julia Gillard. Wtfn.s Richard Keddie is the producer and Emma Freeman (Puberty Blues, Offspring and the Bob Hawke telemovie Hawke) is attached to direct.

Nisselle got the idea for Healing after reading a Philippa Hawker story in The Age about a rehabilitation program caring for wounded eagles, falcons and owls run by the Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary and Prisons Victoria.
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Rip Jonathan Dawson

Director, writer, film critic and media academic Jonathan Dawson has died in Hobart, aged 71.

Dawson wrote and directed documentaries, commercials and documentary specials for the ABC and commercial networks and the 1982 feature film Ginger Meggs.

After graduating from Melbourne University, he joined the Australian Broadcasting Commission as a trainee radio and TV producer/director. He left the ABC to join Crawford Productions as a writer/director on Homicide and Division 4. He then went on to Channel 9 in Sydney to direct The Link Men and write for other series including Rush and The Box.

He continued to publish poetry and short stories but left the fulltime film industry to set up the new media studies department and screenwriting courses at the University of Canberra.

From there he set up Griffith University's Foundation Year in 1975, where he worked to create the then new screen studies and production courses now internationally acknowledged,
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