Gavin McGibbon

My PhD examined script adaptations from stage to cinema and vice versa. It contained my own adaptations in both directions and proposed principles for adaptors.

PhD awarded 2014

Gavin writes: 'The subject of my thesis was the process of adaptation. I looked at the manner in which a scripted work needs to be altered in order to successfully move into a new medium; such as from stage to screen. I explored this by adapting my own work from theatre to film and vice versa with two different pieces, while also examining established works that have crossed the mediums.

'My critical thesis examined the differences between the two forms, the reasoning behind the changes and examination of how dialogue, location, character, scale and narrative - among numerous other factors - need to be considered and the method in which these operate differently for stage and screen.

'Adaptation became very interesting to me when I had to heavily alter a stage play of mine "Stand Up Love" for radio; a process I found both thrilling and challenging. A lot has been written about adapting novels into films but the adaptation of works of theatre into film is generally overlooked, which is surprising considering the number of Oscar-winning or nominated films that originated on the stage.

'My background is in film, having graduated from both the New Zealand Film School and Waikato University where Film (along with History) was my double major for my BA. It was at Film School that I discovered my love of writing and began to write these little scripts with no idea where they would go.

'I was very fortunate to be accepted in 2005 into Ken Duncum's MA course in Scriptwriting at Victoria University of Wellington's International Institute of Modern Letters. It was here I discovered the amazing world of theatre. I began to dabble in play writing, which I soon fell for in a major way. I'm thrilled to have been able to combine my two loves in such a unique way.'

Bio: Gavin has had seven plays produced: Con, which opened at Circa in October 2013; After Service; Stand Up Love; Shipwrecked Beneath the Stars; Handy Man; Hamlet Dies at the End, which I'm adapting for film; and Holding On. He has had three radio plays produced by Radio New Zealand, and has twice been shortlisted for the Adam NZ Play Awards' Best New Play. Hehas also co-written two short films that have played in festivals around the world.

He completed the MA in Creative Writing (Scriptwriting) in 2005.

Gavin was an MA supervisor at the IIML from 2011-2014, and in 2014 he convened the inaugural Writing for Theatre course. He was a contributor to the The Exercise Book: Creative Writing Exercises from Victoria University's International Institute of Modern Letters (Victoria University Press, 2011).

He currently runs the MA Screenwriting programme at Liverpool John Moores University.

Read more

Gavin McGibbon on studying scriptwriting with Ken Duncum at the IIML

Playmarket profile

Liverpool John Moores University staff profile