Who: Australian writer-director of more than 20 film projects, including Accomplice (2017), Evil Mexican Child (2014) and Photo Booth (2012).
How did you break in or get your start in screenwriting?
I went to film school in Australia in 1997. I focused on writing and directing and made five short films while I was there. I wrote a couple of feature scripts, which were terrible, then kept writing and making films after film school was over. It took about 10 feature scripts to get to something decent, with a good handle of all the elements and a voice I felt was mine.
What are some of your favorite movies?
I love Robert Zemeckis movies: particularly Contact, Romancing The Stone, Castaway and Flight. They’re movies I can put on at any moment and get the same emotional rush every time. I think The Verdict by David Mamet, directed by Sidney Lumet, is probably near the top of my list of all-time favorites: It’s just an incredibly powerful, understated, moving film that I love as a both an engaging story and a brilliant technical piece of writing and filmmaking.
What’s been your favorite experience at Austin Film Festival?
I met a little posse of like-minded writers, one from Canada and two from L.A., and we all hit it off over a few seminars and drinks. By the final day, I was talking to my Canadian friend about how much I sucked at networking. He felt the same. But then, the more we talked about it, the more we realized we’d been networking all along—with each other.