Shane Brennan donates $1M for screenwriting initiative

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Australian screenwriter Shane Brennan has donated $1m to a new initiative for Australian writers.

Scripted Ink was launched last night at The Unknown Union bar in Melbourne, announcing three Film & TV projects in development.

The NCIS showrunner has made one of the largest philanthropic contributions to Australian screenwriting. Scripted Ink is a non-profit organisation with board members including writers Jan Sardi, Tim Pye, Katherine Thomson, actress Sigrid Thornton, Australian Writers Guild exec director Jacqueline Elaine and former Foxtel / News Corp CEO Kim Williams.

Projects supported by Scripted Ink will be supported through incubating, writers room and funding, as it seeks to bring them together with commercial partners. Black Creek by writers Eloise Healey & Jessica Brookman is the first television project in the initiative. It tells the story of an apathetic small-town cop, forced into action when he suspects his hero father’s suicide is actually murder.

Last night Brennan was joined by Scripted Ink board members, members of the Australian Writers Guild and Film Victoria execs.

“Not all writers want to be showrunners. But let’s develop those who do,” said Brennan.

“Let’s expose them to production. Let’s establish a showrunning course with input from producers, directors, actors, production managers , first ADs and anyone else we think is good enough to help writers understand production. If they understand production problems. If they understand production problems they can write their way out of those problems and you end up with a better show. It’s nor rocket science.”

The AWG also announced $10,000 prize for a new television screenwriting competition, PrimeTime.

A Sydney event for Scripted Ink will take place tonight at The Eternity Playhouse in Darlinghurst.

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