Graeme Simsion - Screenwriting at RMIT.
VISUAL: RMIT Screenwriting. Advanced Diploma of Professional Screenwriting. RMIT University logo.
VISUAL: Graeme Simsion, Writer of The Rosie Project, Winner Premier's Literary Award.
VISUAL: Graeme Simsion talking to the camera.
Graeme: Yeah, my first novel, The Rosie Project, was published at the beginning of this year and rights have been sold in around 40 countries so I'm travelling the world promoting the book and at the same time trying to work on a sequel and also working on revising the screenplay which I wrote and which is being sold optioned to Sony Pictures.
The Rosie Project was my first novel, but it arose from a screenplay which I wrote as my project during the screenwriting course, which I was enrolled in part-time over five years. So I went into the screenwriting course with an idea for a feature film and that stayed with me all the way through, even though the idea itself or the script morphed enormously from beginning to end. I was constantly taking on board what I was learning through the course and through practice. At the end of it I had a feature film screenplay which in fact won an Australian Writers' Guild Prize and while we were looking to fund that screenplay, I had the idea of writing it as a novel. And that in fact went remarkably quickly, that work, because what I'd learnt in screenwriting about character, about plot, about creating a good scene, about dialogue, all that was on the page already so it wasn't a huge step by any means to go from that screenplay to a novel. So really, The Rosie Project, I see as coming out of the screenwriting course.
The screenwriting program was absolutely fundamental to The Rosie Project screenplay and novel. Without the screenwriting program neither of those would have happened at all. What the screenwriting program gave me was ... it gave me the theory of screenwriting, which came to include characters, plot, dialogue, all of those sorts of things. It gave me practice and I made about a dozen short films during that time, and it gave me feedback on what I was doing. And on top of that, of course, there's the discipline, and actually turning up, constantly working on a project. Without those things I just ... there was just no way that either the screenplay or the book would have got written.
VISUAL: Our history, your future. Professional Screenwriting at RMIT. www.rmit.edu.au/communication
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