AL­WAYS A LO­CAL

North East Living Magazine - - Contents -

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.

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