The Committee makes the cut

In recent news The Committee, Torrid Films’ comedy-drama TV series (currently at script stage) made ‘the long list’ in the “Laugh Out Loud” script competition run by The Australian Writers Guild (AWG). The Committee was among 350 entries in the national competition and one of only 17 finalists.

The Committee has been developed and written by a team of seven writers including two head writers/script editors. Peter Neale is Script Producer, Zoë Harvey is Script Mentor and team writers are Tom Jacobs, Andrew Brittain, David Croft, Michael Perrin and Greg Moran. Each member of the team has written one episode with a total of seven episodes making up the first series. Entry into the AWG LOL competition was limited to the first 30 minutes of a series allowing the first three episodes of The Committee to be entered. Only the writers of these three episodes have been credited in the long list published by AWG but this news is shared by the whole team whose great work on developing the characters, plots and dialogue is behind this success. Well done team!

Read more about it here: The Long List

A breath of fresh air

Just read this article in an ABC news bulletin and thought I’d re-post it here. Great to see Australian filmmakers setting their own benchmarks for innovative filmmaking by pioneering new ways to make stories and build audiences. No less with films shot in 9:16 (vertical) as opposed to 16:9 (horizontal) the usual format for film and TV.  And why not when the majority of people not just here but anywhere in the world shoot video vertically just because they’re using phones and no longer using conventional cameras, digital or otherwise? Hats off to Mark Retter.

Rebel Range

In one of my first blogs I talked about use of the word ‘torrid’ and how it had changed and grown a lot of new uses over recent decades. I even mentioned that a plus size fashion label in the US was called Torrid. Having another looksee on google I am delighted to find that Australia’s own Rebel Wilson teamed up with the Torrid label in late 2015 to design her own rebel rousing range. Go Rebel! Go Torrid! Read about it here.


Mobile Mayhem

The company car is finally here. A little red roadster with Torrid’s trademark red and black colours has driven into my life and is champing at the bit to set the tone and the road for the rest of the year.

Word on the wind is it’s going to be a twisty, turny, wild ride through new projects, progressed projects, new jobs, new clients and collaborators as well as old ones and of course and fairly probably, a good share of red tape. Not to forget the web side of things. The TF site is due for a shake up and a new make-up once the path is crystal clear on a new direction in all things made of html and hot air.

So strap yourselves in, take the handbrake off, put it in first, rev it silly and let’s GO!

Cockpit Crew – photo by Lise Buckeridge

The Torrid Times is published more often than not and at irregular intervals so stay tuned..

Fully Guilded

It’s 2018 and though we’re almost into February the year still feels like an unused flash card ripe for some amazing imagery hot off the creative press. In the spirit of new beginnings I bit the bullet and became fully guilded three weeks ago. While I’d been an AWG (Writers Guild) member previously I had let it slip a few years and even longer ago I was an ADG (Directors Guild) member and so that too was brought up to date and for my trouble I won a double pass to Swingin’ Safari – not the seminal album of yesteryear by the great Bert Kaempfert of which I already own a copy…

but the new Australian feature from Stephan Elliott of Priscilla fame. I’m yet to receive the tickets in the post but will check back once I have and post a short review following the screening.

The final spoke in the wheel was rejoining the AFI (Australian Film Institute) after an absence of over 20 years – my God! I tried to log straight into the AACTA TV portal but found it empty – content-wise. I’ve been after a heads up ever since as to when there’ll be something to watch like the odd masterclass or pre-release new Aussie film but to no avail. It’s like there’s no one on the end of the line… hello? It’s me. Is there anyone there?

While I wait for that eventuality here’s to Lindy Hoppin’ into 2018 on a dance move and not a vine. This is my War Correspondent on a night out in ’45 look from a few years ago that I’ve dubbed, “The War Years”. Hope 2018 truly is a fully gilded (and in gold this time)  lime green great year.

Gilda goes to town

Pigeons on Film


A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

Sweden 2015, Director Roy Andersson

The most inventive title at the recent Sydney Film Festival and the best film I saw there because I saw only one, this one, was, “A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence”. While I regrettably missed 99.9% of the festival program this year, I made a point not to miss this and was rewarded with the most extraordinary, surprising, crazily inventive scene I’ve ever watched when Charles the XII and his war machine on horseback clatter into a post modern industrial Gothenburg cafe in search of a loo only to find it occupied. No small wonder it garnered a Golden Lion at the 2014 Venice Film Festival.

I came away with that scene and others burned into my memory like great masters that had at last found a worthy frame on the Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace’s largest screen, treasured art deco confabulation on Sydney’s North Shore that it is, a setting Director, Roy Andersson couldn’t have chosen better for himself.

Seasoned film festival goers settling into seats on either side of us expressed chirpy curiosity and wonder at what to expect. I was quick to help them out: absurdity, quirkiness with a capital Q, insight into the human condition and every frame a piece of art. And Roy Andersson’s work is ART of the highest order. There isn’t a filmmaker alive who puts a candle to him for composition, originality, vaudevillian charm and apathetic characters, the latter in particular we summarily dismiss as products of bleak Swedish environs but that in truth are not so far from ourselves wherever we live in the world.

I was introduced to Roy Andersson’s special brand of near still life, one shot vignettes several years ago by a close friend who leant me her copy of “You, the Living”. I later bought my own. I relished every minute from the lonely female creature in the bar to her reincarnation as a newly wed bride sliding out of the station in her condo-bedroom-cum-carriage, while her rockstar groom serenades the crowd of cheering onlookers on the train platform with searing electric guitar. This scene was without rival till the Gothenburg cafe. That Andersson doesn’t adhere to the hero’s journey or a singular storyline is refreshing. His films occur in fractured bite sized pieces randomly cut together where some characters are returned to and others not but nearly all are inspired by a rich irony born of the pointlessness of existence.

On vignette storytelling Andersson notes: I work very much by intuition. I hope that what’s interesting for me is also interesting for others. So if I laugh at an idea, I hope also that they will laugh too. For me, fragments are more interesting: a collection of fragments, most of the time, is more fascinating than a linear narrative story. A linear story is a trap. You’re trapped in that construction. If you leave that ambition and think in fragments, it’s richer — it allows you to see all sides of existence. I want to tell stories about existence, and I think I make it more interesting with fragmentary storytelling.

And from my perspective he achieves exactly that.

Torrid Gets Festive

It’s winter here in Oz but despite the frosty mornings and frigid nights we’re feeling festive at Torrid with two of our short productions recently being selected to screen in film festivals in the USA this year.

First to screen was short documentary, “Ingrid’s Big Jump!” at the 12th Sprout Film Festival in New York in June. ‘Ingrid’ is a heart-felt story about a woman with Down Syndrome who had a dream to hang glide.

Now we’re looking forward to the screening of short film, “One in 5” at the Los Angeles Diversity Film Festival in August. ‘One in 5’ tells the story of several young people living with disability for whom a day really can make a world of difference.