Another Aussie in LA
Join Ansuya Nathan as she navigates the city of Angels, chatting to some of the shiniest Aussies in L.A., sharing their tales of living, working and playing on this side of the globe.

Talk about ending with a bang! It’s the 2016 Heath Ledger Scholarship winner, Ashleigh Cummings (PUBERTY BLUES, MISS FISHER’S MURDER MYSTERIES, TOMORROW WHEN THE WAR BEGAN). Ashleigh talks about juggling three jobs in three cities, her ability to nap on set (in between takes nonetheless) and asserting her independence at the tender age of 14 by traveling to Los Angeles on her own. We discover new words and bond over our mutual love of pancakes. We chat about catharsis and balance as the great ideal. And just when you think you’ve got her down, she shares her African adventures with the Masai and Berber communities. AMAZING!

Direct download: Ashleigh_Cummings.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am PST

#137 - Amy Child
Producer Amy Child came to LA without a plan and without a job but within two years she is working for Ellen Degeneres and has produced her first feature. BOOM! She shares how she hit the ground running and converted Aussie contacts into US work. We talk about how she pulled together a bunch of first timers to make their debut feature FOR ALL EYES ALWAYS, a biting satire about the CIA developing a reality television show to win back public opinion starring Lynn Whitfield and Sean Aston, among others. 
Amy talks about the simple joy of finding the perfect location and how much working with a kick ass casting director can change the vision and tone of a film. Remember guys, at the end of the day everything will be ok! So get out there and get to work! 
Direct download: Amy_Child.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am PST

Ok, before you loose your proverbial, this is a re-release of a chat I had with Tim Minchin two years ago. With his recent Logie win for THE SECRET RIVER, his musical GROUNDHOG DAY about to open in London and the success of MATILDA in Australia, well, I thought it might be appropriate timing. Tim illuminates me on the economic machine that is Broadway, how Groundhog Day the musical came about and his existential crisis brought on by the Grammys. We talk about the importance of making stuff you'd like to see, going for the low hanging fruit first, the beauty of reimagining what you've made before and how EVERYTHING informs EVERYTHING. And there are some Tamarama Rock Surfers reminisces. *SIGH*

Direct download: Tim_Minchin_re-release.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am PST

You might recognize Eden Gaha from his days in front of the camera but it’s his days behind it that you’ll be most grateful for. As the President of Unscripted Television for Endemol Shine USA, this is the man who put the celebs into Celebrity Apprentice and the brought the juniors into the US Masterchef recipe. Eden shares his thoughts on what makes a great unscripted TV idea, what it was like working with Donald Trump, the importance of US network credits and his skill as being a talent whisperer. We discuss the new media conundrum, how a career in Australia put him ahead of the game in terms of experience and how OTT platforms like Netflix and Hulu are changing the style of storytelling in the unscripted arena. Have you got the moxie to get yourself over here? Well, then the hard part is over. Go for it!! 

Direct download: Eden_Gaha_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am PST

It all began with a tropical jumpsuit! I On the eve of their US iTunes release, director Maya Newell and producer Charlotte Mars tell the story of how they met and what inspired them to make their powerful and poignant documentary GAYBY BABY. And that was the realization that in the midst of the debate over marriage equality that the missing voice in the conversation was that of the children raised by same sex parents. We discuss the NSW schools screening controversy and the subsequent media maelstrom surrounding the Australian release. tThey share the amazing social impact campaigns in conjunction with Safe Schools program they are about to launch! We have a chuckle over the crowdfunding stunts they pulled which allowed them to raise over $100K on Pozible - yeah, you read that right! - popping into Pixar and the joy of celebrating the film at Mardi Gras this year! 

Direct download: Maya_Newell__Charlotte_Mars_on_Gayby_Baby.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:33am PST

They say write what you know and Sarah Scheller (NO ACTIVITY) has done just that with her first pilot THE LETDOWN. Part of the ABC Comedy Showroom it tells the story of a struggling new mum and the mothers’ group she thinks she doesn’t need - a situation that proves to be ripe for the comedic picking. Sarah shares about finding a great collaborator in actress and co-creator/writer Alison Bell, developing the work with Julian Morrow (THE CHASER), getting support from ABC from the get-go and calling in favors from actor mates like Brendan Cowell and Patrick Brammall. She admits that everyone was a little intimidated by Noni Hazelhurst - I mean, who didn’t grow up watching her! - and we do our best not to give the whole story away! 

Direct download: Sarah_Scheller.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am PST

Jersey born, Australian raised playwright Lally Katz (THINGS I WANT TO TELL YOU IN PERSON, NEIGHBOUHOOD WATCH) appears to have moved to Los Angeles. So far she is loving everything about it - the instacommunity, the freeways, the people, even the Californian hook turns. We discuss her obsession with New York psychics, her procrastination tools of choice and getting polite nudges from Gillian Armstrong via Instagram to get back to work. She shares her struggles with trusting her instincts with screenwriting, her annual new years resolution to see less theatre and watch more TV and her desire to pull the rug out from under herself. Be careful what you wish for! 

Direct download: Lally_Katz_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am PST

Have you seen an Australian film or TV show in the past 25 years? Then it’s likely you’ve seen some Ben Mendelsohn’s work. From The Henderson Kids to The Year My Voice Broke to Spotswood to Animal Kingdom. And that’s all before the US embraced ol’ Ben! We get stuck into all things Bloodline: working with Sissy Spacek and Sam Shepard, THAT INCREDIBLE WRITING and how the show made the Florida Keys locals proud. Ben shares how he works on accents and dialects, his youthful love for James Bond and how he scored the role of  in The Dark Knight Rises from a self tape! We also chat about his time in LA slogging away before what I call “the Animal Kingdom effect”. Just a word of warning: I might get a little excited in this one…

Direct download: Ben_Mendelsohn.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am PST

You probably haven’t heard of Emilie Cocquerel (LION, JOE CINQUE’S CONSOLATION) yet but you will soon enough! She’s had a very busy year including being one of the runners-up of the Heath Ledger Scholarship. We have a chat while she’s experiencing her first pilot season on the ground. She tells us how she sees her quieter times career-wise, what Garth Davies does in between takes to enhance the mood on set and her go-to karaoke song. We discuss how to play characters of questionable morals without judging them and self taping on planes before take off.

Direct download: Emilie_Cocquerel_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am PST

Musician Andy Clockwise was meant to settle in London but he came to LA for a couple of meetings and never left. It’s the kinda city that can do that to you. The SXSW regular talks me through everything Los Angeles: the depth and breadth of the city’s music scene, how it can be relentless in it’s distractions and how it’s blank canvas nature can be both scary and exhilarating. He shares where he draws his inspiration from and his journey from lone wolf creator to obsessive collaborator. We both agree - for the artist or the audience - NOTHING beats a live performance! 
Direct download: Andy_Clockwise.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am PST

Kate Marks is a relative newbie to Los Angeles but I never would have guessed it. She has become a part of the community by taking on her role as the Executive VP of International Production for AUSFILM wholeheartedly. A role that includes enticing the international filmmakers to make use of our locations, incentives, facilities and talent. She tells us about Ausfilm’s involvement in the two tentpoles to be shot in Australia in 2016 (Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok and Ridley Scott’s latest Alien: Convenant - WOOT!) the ways in which Ausflim can help LA based Aussie writers, directors and producers and what they are doing to build relationships with China. We compare the differing financing systems and chat about the need for co-cporductions to happen organically. But ultimately it’s about business going back to Australia. Now that’s something I can completely get behind!

 

Direct download: Kate_Marks_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am PST

Funny is what gets actor Toby Truslove (UTOPIA, LAID, THE STRANGE CALLS, THANK GOD YOU’RE HERE) up in the morning. We caught up while he is here in Los Angeles having his first pilot season experience. And boy has it been a hectic one! No time to ruminate, no time to mourn. It’s just go, go, go. He shares his uncertainty about whether to maintain an American accent at all times and his experiences of being a ham & playing to the room and misreading scripts. (Take note: there are no thoughtful pauses in a multi cam…) We also talk about how LA is more like eight cities than one, finding your niche, the clammy actor handshake and those fear inducing pharmaceutical ads. If pain persists, PUHLEASE see your doctor!

Direct download: Toby_Truslove_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:30am PST

After a couple of years in Los Angeles, actress Hannah Levien baulked at the suggestion from a friend that she move to Vancouver. After all, she liked it here and she wasn’t to keen on the idea of upping her life once again to move to another country. But life did some nudging and in the past 18 months she has booked some strong US network TV credits - those that had been so elusive to her in LA. She shares her experiences of waiting for the rain on BATES MOTEL, playing a lesbian rock chick in THE RETURNED, her unexpected path to LA representation through her display of demonic powers. What she can’t share just yet is whether she has mad magic skills in syfy’s “Harry Potter goes to college” show,  THE MAGICIANS. You’ll have to watch to find that out! 

Direct download: Hannah_Levien_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:36am PST

AACTA winner and HLS nominee Joel Jackson (DEADLINE GALLIPOLI, NOT THE BOY NEXT DOOR) has an inquisitive spirit. Whether it’s learning from Sam Worthington and Hugh Dancy about the technical side of screen acting or dissecting behavior and extracting character from text like it’s a crime scene. He shares how he had to get out of his own way and find his version of Peter Allen for Not the Boy Next Door and how playing Charles Bean in Deadline Gallipoli was an opportunity to give something back to his grandfather. We have a rant and rave about drama school and also on coming to terms (or not!) with the American “sell”. But let this be said - Fortune does, indeed, favor the brave! 

Direct download: Joel_Jackson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am PST

We got a live one here! Join us for a post Australians in Film screening chat for the Aussie made syfy film TERMINUS. On the panel are writer/director Marc Furmie (AIRLOCK, EVENT ZERO) and actors Jai Koutrae (CROWNIES,McLEODS DAUGHTERS), Todd Lasance (HOME AND AWAY, THE ORIGINALS) and Bren Foster (INFINI, THE LAST SHIP). Marc shares the development of the film from high concept big budget script to low budget indie syfy domestic drama. He also talks about shooting Australia as the US, having to raise money at the last minute and being flexible enough to roll with the punches. The actors discuss the freedom of working ‘guerrilla” style, knowing when to keep to themselves and pub rehearsals. Oh, and the sound of constant clicking is the photographer… So Hollywood...
Direct download: Terminus_QA.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am PST

Actress Viva Bianca (SPARTACUS) is feeling at home in LA. Starting out on a high of five star hotels and red carpets, she then had to come to terms with the realities of living and working here. With much candour she shares what it was like to play villainess Ilithyia, the pitfalls of being on a show with the reputation of being oh-so very sexualised, google search results and how to state what you will and won’t do. We also discuss her fabulous website She Ra, working with people you’ve watched since a kid and gender equality in the film industry. So yeah, just the small stuff! 

Direct download: Viva_Bianca.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am PST

Actor and Host Nick Hardcastle (HOME AND AWAY, PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT THE MUSICAL) didn’t intend to to move to LA. And he certainly didn’t intend become Mr. Australia. But I’m glad he did - on both counts! As one of the co-founders of the Australian Theatre Company, Nick wants to bring Australian stories to US stages and put the multitudes of  talented Aussie expats to work. We have a moan about flakey Angelinos, get fired up about making your own rules and celebrate creating community. 

Direct download: Nick_Hardcastle.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am PST

Director of Photography Denson Baker (THE BLACK BALLOON, THE WAITING CITY, ORANGES AND SUNSHINE) is the real deal - he has some fancy letters after his name to prove it! After a bit of back and forth, he and his "wife/director” Claire McCarthy decided to make the move to Los Angeles. We discuss director Jim Loach’s approach to filmmaking, to have or not to have an agent and working with such acting greats as Donald Sutherland, Emily Watson, Hugo Weaving and David Wenham. He talks about getting emotional behind the camera, the beauty of the magic hour and the responsibility of being the first audience for the film. And he is generous enough divulge advice passed on to him from other DPs... You’ll have to listen to find out!! 

Direct download: Denson_Baker.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am PST

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