Scripted Ink., in association with Screen Australia and the Australian Writers’ Guild today announced their most significant screen investment in an individual project to date: a writers’ room with Hollywood showrunner Alexa Junge and Pathways Prime writer Matt Ford (Hiding, Love Is A Four Letter Word). Over three days, the room will be developing Ford’s original drama series, The Surgeon’s Knife.
The initiative is another step along the road of transformation for the Australian television industry towards a model that places the writer/creator at the centre of the creative process. By investing significant development funding in writers’ rooms and involving expert international practitioners like Alexa Junge, Scripted Ink., the AWG and Screen Australia are leading the charge for this evolution in Australian television drama culture.
‘One of my goals is to help the writers create a piece of work that could potentially sell or get them work in the US,’ said Junge, who is known for her writing and showrunning work on Friends, The West Wing, United States of Tara, and Grace and Frankie among others.
Ford is cognisant of the value of the collaboration. ‘I’m thrilled to be working with Alexa Junge. Just to be in a room with one of the world’s best — I’m still in shock. Thanks to everyone who made this possible,’ he said.
The Surgeon’s Knife tells the story of Mia, a talented but sociopathic neurosurgeon who begins murdering the men standing in the way of her ambitions. It’s a darkly amusing, down-and-dirty character-study of a woman who breaks bad – for a lot of good reasons.
Tim Pye, Head of Development for Scripted Ink., believes this initiative reflects a move in the Australian film and television industry towards a more outward-looking approach to storytelling. ‘More and more Australian creators look to the international marketplace to find producers and broadcast partners for their work, and creating globally competitive films and TV programs requires significant development investment. It’s been fantastic to work with Screen Australia’s Enterprise Industry Program and the AWG to provide that investment.’
While in the country for the writers’ room next week, Junge will also be running a showrunning masterclass for AWG’s Pathways writers, and is doing two public events: ‘Foxtel Presents . . . The One with Alexa Junge hosted by Benjamin Law’.