This site comprises my collected thoughts on the craft and process of screenwriting and film-making, plus updates about my various creative projects. Leave a comment or email me at: dialogue@adamspellicy.com.

Very often, I find that most of the problems of a screenplay can be solved by ensuring that a single point of view is consistent throughout. Whose story are you telling? Who are you following?

This does not necessarily mean that your character must appear in every scene, but there are a couple of guidelines I try to follow in order that the point of view I’ve settled on is maintained: If your character is not in a scene, make sure they are the subject of the scene (eg; two characters are conspiring against the protagonist, thus putting the audience ahead of your main character, creating suspense), or make sure that the scene you are cutting to is something your main character is concerned about.

I seriously don’t update this website in as timely a fashion as I’d like to, sometimes. I put this down to the fact that sometimes the process of doing the actual work consumes my every thought. That aside, we’re currently mid-way through the season of my second foray into directing theatre, and my second collaboration with Melbourne’s Exhibit A: Theatre company – an outdoor production of Eric Bogosian’s 1994 play ‘SubUrbia’. The play has been mounted in conjunction with The Shadow Electric, an outdoor cinema at Abbotsford Convent.

I’ll peck out a little production diary in the coming days, but for now, know that it’s been as rewarding and challenging as our previous outing, Ella Hickon’s ‘Eight’, which we put on in June this year.

Last night I had the great pleasure to interview Paul Thomas Anderson for the Astor Theatre documentary ‘The Last Picture Palace’. He was at the cinema for the premiere 70mm screening of his latest film ‘The Master’, which played to a sold-out crowd. He was a very gracious, generous interview subject, and is, in my opinion, the greatest living American director.

Great review of ‘EIGHT’, the play I recently directed, on the Australian Stage website:
http://www.australianstage.com.au/201207025570/reviews/melbourne/eight-|-exhibit-a-theatre.html

My dear friends Benjamin Rigby and Belinda Misevski, two of the most talented young actors I’ve had the pleasure to work with, founded Exhibit A: Theatre Company last year. I was knocked out by their first production, ‘Sight Unseen’, to the point where I practically begged to work with them on a future project. I didn’t have long to wait, as it turned out; they approached me earlier in the year to direct their next show, a production of UK playwright Ella Hickson’s debut ‘EIGHT’, which comprises eight monologues by representatives of Generation Y. It was the first time the play had been performed in Australia. I admit to being a little leery, at first; monologues are something I studiously avoid, as a screenwriter and film director obsessed with the visual primacy of cinema. But the text was simply so good it was hard to resist. The power, humour and tragedy of the characters leapt of the page (I was moved to tears by a couple of them, straight off the page…). Ben and Belinda had basically assembled a cast for me, actors they had either worked with before and admired, or wanted to work with. I had a few reservations about not being involved in the casting process, but the first table reading quickly banished all such qualms from my mind. The actors (in additon to Ben and Belinda, Tom Dent, Ray Chong Nee, Paul Blenheim, Adele Perovic, Liza Dennis and Tegan Crowley), far from delivering a cold read, were already inhabiting their characters, and I was convinced. I’ll write more about the rehearsal process in a subsequent post.

My latest short film, ‘Keeper’ recently had its public premiere screening at a packed session at the glorious Astor Theatre, as part of the 2012 St Kilda Film Festival, which has, to date, been one of the greatest supporters of my film efforts. We had a private cast and crew screening of ‘Keeper’ at the Astor last year, for about 100 people, but it was a wonderful experience seeing it with an unbiased crowd of civilians. Festival Director Paul Harris later remarked to me that he felt a slight regret for programming it in the Comedy section of the festival, as the film is really only comedic for the first third, before taking a turn into darker territory. (In this regard, ‘Keeper’ shares some common ground with my last film, ‘The Body Watchers’, which similarly arcs from the comedic to the creepy.) Nevertheless, the audience seemed to appreciate the tonal shift, if the comments I received post-screening were any indication. Mission accomplished.

I was recently commissioned by Cam Butler (formerly from the brilliant Melbourne band Silver Ray) to create a visual ‘backing’ for one of five symphonic pieces that form his latest solo effort. Four other filmmakers have created visual accompaniments for the other songs, and Cam’s intention is to tour the album playing alongside projections of these films.

The track I was assigned, ‘I Was Lost’, is a sprawling, soaring seven minute instrumental, with lush strings, percussion and Cam’s trademark guitar textures. Rather than create a miniature film for this complex piece, which comprises a number of ‘movements’, my solution was to marry the music to a single visual image that could react with the shifting and changing dynamics of the piece.

Inspired by a scene from Bela Tarr’s film ‘Damnation’, the result is a long, slow-motion take of two people dancing, viewed from a very intimate proximity, as a pivotal moment in their relationship is played out before the viewer’s eyes. The dancers are two very fine, honest actors, Isabella Giovinazzo and Benjamin Rigby. The cinematographically demanding scene was filmed by Adrian Price, who shot my last two films, ‘Mystic Eyes’ and ‘Keeper’.

Persecution Blues: The Battle for The Tote begins its big screen season at Cinema Nova, 380 Lygon Street, Carlton. It’s very gratifying that the film is getting a theatrical release. Advanced Screenings are this weekend, with more to follow. Please support the film by attending a session – the more successful the sessions, the longer Nova will extend the season.

  • Fri 19th: 10.40am, 3.05pm, 7.00pm
  • Sat 20th : 10.40am, 4.00pm (With Q+A), 7.00pm
  • Sun 21st: 10.40am, 4.20pm, 7.00pm
  • Late show Fri & Sat: 10.05pm
Tickets are available from www.cinemanova.com.au or by calling 03 9347 5331.