Master of Arts scriptwriting students 2007
These are brief paragraphs about themselves written by each member of this year's class and emailed to the IIML. The intention is that they can read about each other on this website before they meet face to face. We also hope these snapshots will make interesting reading in future years.
I am 4000 words away from an honours degree in English lit. In between lectures I work in the manuscripts section of the Alexander Turnbull Library. Rurally raised, much of my childhood was spent roaming fields and climbing trees. My parents teach, primarily theatre, creative writing and dance: putting on shows in woolsheds and old church halls gave me an early passion for the performing arts.
My desired career paths have ranged from ballerina, goatfarmer and Olympic springboard diver to academic. My interest in theatre and film has endured. I have performed a lot and write arts reviews for lumiere . Other interests include croquet, running up hills and watching the giraffes at Wellington Zoo for free (from up the hill).
My favorite film is the cook the thief his wife and her lover.
A long time ago, I did a BA. Then went to Drama School. And subsequently played several vixens on the tele. Shortly after, I wrote a novel (it never got published, but gotohsodammedfuckingclose).
Shortly after that, I fell totally in love with London, and then flummoxed between New York and Mexico. (When out of money, I ran money for the mafia and ate copious amounts of chilli). Then, I got significantly smarter, and made my CV plusher. I then worked, for Conde Nast, Richard Branson and Harvey Keitel. Of late, I have been sweeping floors and making perfume while trying to teach kids not to punch each other in the face.
Rachel Leigh Callinan (raychill; lee; kelinnan) n. Mammal. Female. 1. Has an attachment to things humorous. This can be linked to her ancestors: A Mother from Barbados who thinks February 6th is Whitianga day and a Father whose idea of fun at Christmas is short range human target practice with a paintball gun. Commonly found in the lower regions of the North Island of New Zealand, although has been known to stray as far as Canada to live in a van, be chased by grizzlies and clean toilets for rich brats.
Part way through this Canadian janitorial career, while scraping a bogie from a wall, a pivotal moment occurred for Rachel. This solid little bogie, after a bit of encouragement, dislodged itself with such vigour that it rocketed onto her lip. It was this exact moment that she decided cleaning toilets for millionaires probably wouldn’t get her the job writing for television she hoped for.
Round about now I've lived just under third of my life in the civil engineering world. During the last ten years I've sat in front of a computer, watched its screen, clicked its mouse. It didn't take me long to find out engineering wasn't what I wanted to do, but it did take me a while to see I wanted to tell stories. I really do enjoy showing people different lives, maybe a little like theirs', in different places, maybe a little like where they are.
Born in 1969, I was 3 days old when the Beatles played the rooftop concert and 10 months old when the first Monty Python series aired. Immediately following this my taste buds were frozen in time, leading me some years later to inflict these early influences and aging obsessions, under the guise of a teacher, upon an unsuspecting generation of intermediate children on the Kapiti Coast. In the early 00s, I worked as a Script Editor and Scriptwriter for Cloud 9 TV and also had a TV script accepted for the US based Britt Allcroft productions, on whose name I always need to check the spelling. I’m really looking forward to this year; a chance to develop my skills and work alongside other writers.
I like reading dictionaries, enclosed spaces, pastoral electronica and melting candle wax (don't take me anywhere with candles or it will end up looking like a mini Madame Tussauds).
Stats are: Pomme by birth, Kiwi by heart. ExDunediner, BA(Hons) Graduate from the University of Otago Film and Media Dept. I don't have a huge literary CV but what I am most proud of writing wise thus far is the work I did for Otago Museum's 'Cosmix' project which earned me a 2006 Gibson Award (NZ Comic Book Awards) and the full length stage play I've just finished writing, 'Waking Monarch', which is a winner in the 2007 NZ Young Playwrights' Comp where I am representing the beautiful South!
Born 1973. Raised by semi-hippie reindeer folk in North East Valley, Dunedin. North East Valley is a fairly accurate description of the suburb, geographically speaking. We had a big old house with a huge copper beach tree in the front yard. Lived at the top of the hill just down from the steepest street in the world. Aged 12 my parents forced me to get a paper run up and down those hills; this remains a sticking point in our relationship to this day. My current physical condition also no longer reflects this early energetic start. Aged 22. Moved to Melbourne. Discovered Tokyo, Thailand, the desert and West Africa in that order. Came back home. Currently share joint custody of a one year old Maori pig dog with my ex-partner Maree who I live with.
I’ve been in the professional acting business for almost 40 years – frightening. Originally from Auckland I travelled to London in 1971 and stayed for ten years, training and working in the theatre. Back in NZ in the 1980s to spend the next decades working in theatre: performing, directing, devising. A brief time as Artistic Director at Downstage taught me only that life is too short. A daughter has put everything into perspective, turned me inside out so to speak. Last year at Victoria University of Wellington I realised that this learning lark is the best possible world to be in and I feel thoroughly, absolutely startled that it has taken me so long to find the place…
The ‘Hero’s Journey’ (First Draft)
The hero’s journey began in 1995 where he left the comfort and familiarity of his village of Vaimoso, Samoa, to New Zealand, in search of the ‘Holy Grail’. Upon arrival in New Zealand, the hero picked his way through tomato fields in Auckland, and somehow stumbled into the University of Waikato. The hero maneuvered his way through the maze of university to graduation, majoring in Screen and Media Studies and Politics. The hero continued on this same path, finding himself at the NZ Film School in Wellington.
Following this, the hero has been looking for a way to hone his skills in preparation for the next big battle, and of course, to bring back the Holy Grail. He enrolls for the MA in Creative Writing, and is here…
(To be continued…)
Now that I am forty two and bald I hardly get any of the pimples that they told me would finish when I turned twenty. When I turned twenty I went to Elam Art School. I finished five years later having made a ten minute film. Being a quarter Tuhoe had become a hundred percent of my inspiration and I lived nine years in small places in the Bay of Plenty learning heaps. From there to here I have been in love and married. My oldest son is three and drives me spare because he is so like me. My baby boy is one and is a real dag.