ALWAYS A LOCAL
Award winning script writer and former Mansfield resident Gab Bergmoser talks about life.
Can you tell us about life as a kid in the North East?
Growing up in Mansfield was probably the ideal childhood for someone who would end up doing what I’ve ended up doing.
I went to the Steiner school, so I was always encouraged to be creative, whether it be writing, acting, drawing, sculpting with clay; anything, really. I hated sport, so I passionately embraced all of that stuff. Aside from that I was always obsessed with Australian history, so being in the heart of Kelly country I was like a kid in a particularly morbid candy store.
Getting to visit Glenrowan, Beechworth and Stringybark Creek, there was no shortage of inspiration for me.
I mentioned that I hated sport, but that’s not entirely true; I’ve always been an avid skier and being right at the base of Mt Buller made winter one of my favourite times of the year.
One of my favourite ever memories was the year that my parents ran the kitchen in a major ski lodge up there and so I ended up spending more time on the slopes than off.
Can you tell us briefly what you do now and where you are?
I live in Melbourne now and my world pretty much revolves around writing, which is fine by me.
I co-run an independent theatre company and we’re regularly in production on new plays.
In the meantime, I just keep working on whatever project I can, be it my ongoing adventure novel series Boone Shepard (published by Bell Frog Books), or various film/tv ideas.
I do a fair bit of review/feature writing for the popular website Den Of Geek, and otherwise I appear on the podcast Movie Maintenance, where we essentially fix bad movies, which is heaps of fun.
What did you love about growing up in the North East?
Apart from the stuff I’ve already mentioned, I guess it’s mostly things you only appreciate in retrospect.
Having most of your friends just a five minute bike ride away, going for walks and adventures in paddocks we weren’t technically allowed in, driving out to water holes for a swim, all of that stuff that just seems normal when you’re a country kid but starts to feel really distant when you’ve been in the city as long as I have.
Let us know some of your career high points?
Last year I won the Sir Peter Ustinov Television Scriptwriting Award, which is run by the Academy in America, and basically saw me flown over to the International Emmys in New York.
It’s hard to put into words how that felt; I was just out of film school and prospects didn’t look great, so finding out I’d won this major award was hands down one of the best moments of my life.
Then landing in the middle of this totally different world, and having all these surreal moments like being in a swanky suit at a HBO cocktail party but still being so broke that I had to duck out for Maccas in Times Square and standing in line for my six nuggets with this dumb grin on my face wondering how the hell this happened but being so, so happy that it did.
Another one was signing the contract for Boone Shepard to be published; I’d spent so long writing this book series and thinking that nobody cared, so realising it was finally going to head out into the world was pretty special.
What’s the first thing you do when you return to the North East?
I head home for a home cooked meal, and then either watch a movie with my Dad, who’s even more of a film buff than I am, or I head out to catch up with some of my old friends over a few beers.
Boring stuff like that, but that’s the point of coming home, right?
Enjoying doing the dull, simple things without work or responsibilities hanging over your head.
After living away from the region, what is it about the North East that has always stayed with you?
The immediate feeling of relaxation I get the moment I drive into Mansfield.