Actor, Director, Scriptwriter … Judy Morris
… is Outspoken with writer, Steven Lang
WE ALL KNOW writers have a hard time of it. Their business is words and let’s face it, they’re not shy of using them to let us know how difficult it is being them. But what about scriptwriters? Not only do they have to come up with an idea and put flesh on its bones, they then have to sell it to producers, directors, backers, cinema chains, all of whom, should they even choose to take it on, want to tweek the original. And then, just supposing their script gets through all that, they have to deal with actors.
Someone who knows a fair bit about the process is Judy Morris. She started off as a child star in both Australia and America. She later returned here to star in such films and television programs as Alvin Purple, Bellbird and Mother and Son. After appearing in fifty-four different shows she took up script writing. Working with George Miller and others she wrote Babe: Pig in the City and Happy Feet, the Oscar-winning animated film.
Her most recent project has been the script for Fred Schepisi’s adaptation of Patrick White’s The Eye of the Storm. Judy will be Maleny Film Society and Outspoken’s special guest at this year’s Australian Film Festival. The two organisations have teamed up to bring her to Maleny for a conversation about writing in general and the Eye of the Storm in particular.
‘The thing about Patrick White,’ Judy says, ‘Is I think he is incredibly funny. He’s extraordinarily witty, but then he turns on a dime so you’re suddenly in very serious territory. He catapults you between the two all the time. It’s what I love about him, that you don’t know whether you’re going to be laughing at something … or crying about it, he’s so multi- faceted.’
Judy Morris, in conversation with local author Steven Lang, an Outspoken event presented in association with Maleny Film Society’s Australian Film Festival, Friday 20th January. Doors open 6.00 pm. $18 or $13 for members. Maleny Bookshop 5494 3666. Passes for the whole Festival are also available.
Above: Judy Morris stars in the 1986 movie, “The More Things Change” and the writer of “Happy Feet”.