Scott's cover image

Scott FOWLER

Year of Award: 2003 Award State: Victoria Multimedia > Television And Film
To study screenwriting and its place in film production procedures - USA, U.K., Italy, Germany, France, Russia, Kenya
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Queenslander Scott Fowler gained a Churchill Fellowship in 2003 for screenwriting. He travelled to the United Kingdom, Kenya, Italy, Russia, Germany, France and the United States. Scott quotes Winston Churchill: ‘Give us the tools and we will finish the job’. Scott’s trip, he writes, ‘was all about finding those tools.’ Like many Fellows the lessons he learned were perhaps wider than anticipated: ‘Lions interrupted a night safari in Kenya, Russians tried to rob me, and I learnt that an Aussie can run very fast down an ice-ridden street in the dark.’

Scott believes that our cultural attitudes to film in this country are focused on whimsy or awards rather than business acumen and that the current state-centric focus is divisive and inefficient. The biggest loser in the current film structure, he believes, is the writer. He writes in his entertaining report:

The common denominator in the countries producing massive numbers of films (and the corollary revenue) per annum is government policy towards fostering the success of the film industry. Without our nation’s commitment to success in this field – as we commit to success in cricket and swimming – a country the size of Australia is unable to deliver big-scale results and the accompanying glory of the world stage.

Scott felt that we are not utilising our potential but acting with a small-country mentality. He observed on his trip that writers all over the world have a bad deal and that this situation represented a unique opportunity for Australia to attract world-class practitioners to our film industry, with professional funding and development programs.

‘Great writers equal great films,’ he writes. Australia could develop an ‘Aussiewood’ comparable to Hollywood status with equivalent capacity for attracting talent and producing films with high production values and financial rewards.

Excerpt from “Inspiring Australians” written by Penny Hanley (2015)

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