CA­REER PEAKS

A group of young cre­atives who cut their teeth on an in­dus­try mag­a­zine more than a decade ago are mak­ing waves in the world of film, writes Michael Bodey

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Film -

Jen Pee­dom re­mem­bers the guy in the beanie who was the boyfriend of the as­sis­tant editor on Moulin Rouge! He was hang­ing around the Dar­linghurst of­fice of IF (In­side Film), the screen in­dus­try jour­nal that had an of­fice over the back fence of Baz Luhrmann’s Dar­linghurst man­sion, Iona, where the di­rec­tor was edit­ing his 2001 mu­si­cal. The pro­duc­tion team, be­ing good neigh­bours, in­vited the young IF crowd to their par­ties, and it was here that IF editor Bec Smith met the guy in the beanie, David Mi­chod, who was whinge­ing about be­ing broke and friend­less af­ter mov­ing from Mel­bourne to de­velop a screen­play.

“But he was funny and charm­ing and smart,” Smith says. “I said, ‘Why don’t you just shut up, come in, an­swer some phones and write sto­ries’ — and the next day he did.”

As Mi­chod joined, Pee­dom was busy try­ing to raise spon­sor­ship and ex­cite­ment for the pub­li­ca­tion’s fun an­nual al­ter­na­tive to the trou­bled AFI Awards, the IF Awards. “In­ex­pli­ca­bly, Bec made him her of­fice man­ager at one point,” Pee­dom says with a laugh. “It was chaos, to­tal chaos and ridicu­lous, but it was fun. I learned so much from those guys.”

Those guys who co­a­lesced at IF mag­a­zine in the early 2000s have since ditched jour­nal­ism and event pro­duc­tion to be­come high achiev­ers in Aus­tralian film and tele­vi­sion. And their achieve­ments will be in sharp fo­cus this year.

This week Pee­dom is in the spot­light as her cred­its as a pro­ducer and di­rec­tor peak, so to speak, with the Aus­tralian re­lease of her mul­ti­award-win­ning fea­ture doc­u­men­tary Sherpa, about a tragedy on Mount Everest.

Af­ter Mi­chod burst forth with An­i­mal King­dom and The Rover, War Ma­chine, his satire star­ring and pro­duced by Brad Pitt, has been bought by in­ter­net broad­cast­ing gi­ant Netflix. The lat­est film from for­mer IF Awards pro­ducer Angie Fielder, Garth Davis’s drama Lion, star­ring Ni­cole Kid­man, is in the frame for Academy Award con­tention af­ter US ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Har­vey We­in­stein con­firmed its late 2016 re­lease. Fielder’s pro­duc­ing part­ner at Aquarius Films, Polly Stan­i­ford — once her IF Awards pro­duc­ing man­ager — will re­lease Cate Short­land’s new thriller star­ring Teresa Palmer, Ber­lin Syn­drome, this year.

For­mer IF mag­a­zine editor Smith is now the US agent of Mi­chod and Pee­dom, among oth­ers, at United Tal­ent Agency in Los An­ge­les, while her suc­ces­sor as editor, Rachael Turk, is de­vel­op­ing projects at Es­sen­tial Me­dia and En­ter­tain­ment, in­clud­ing her own in­ter­na­tional TV se­ries Rote Faden (The Red Cord).

“It was the won­der years,” Turk says with a laugh. “We all def­i­nitely had a pas­sion for film and tele­vi­sion, which was what made IF mag­a­zine spe­cial at that time, [with] that cre­ative en­ergy you had in your 20s. It was a spe­cial bunch of peo­ple.”

In­deed, the 2000s was a spe­cial mo­ment in Aus­tralian film in Syd­ney: the Star Wars and The Matrix epics en­er­gised Syd­ney’s Fox Stu­dios, dig­i­tal ef­fects house An­i­mal Logic was be­ing turned into a stu­dio, and a new gen­er­a­tion of Syd­ney film­mak­ers emerged, in­clud­ing the col­lec­tive that shared an up­stairs of­fice in Dar­linghurst with IF: Blue-Tongue Films’ Nash and Joel Edgerton, Spencer Susser and Kieran Darcy-Smith (who have all since di­rected fea­ture films) and Os­car nom­i­nee Luke Doolan.

The IF posse came to­gether by chance. Pee­dom, for in­stance, sub­scribed to the mag­a­zine

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.