News 29.07.16

QLD WRITER/PRODUCER WINS PRESTIGIOUS GREG COOTE SCHOLARSHIP



Writer/Producer Megan Doneman has been awarded the inaugural Greg Coote Scholarship, established by Screen Queensland and Australians in Film, with a prize of $30,000 to support her placement on hit US television show NCIS: Los Angeles.

The scholarship, launched by actor Hugh Jackman in 2014, aims to create opportunities for experienced screen industry creatives with a passion for television drama and to develop Queensland’s pool of talent.

Megan will be mentored by high-profile executive producer Shane Brennan, creator ofNCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), in the Los Angeles writers’ room for the next series of the top-rating show.

Megan was selected after a competitive search of Queensland’s creative talent. She honed her storytelling skills over a decade working in the editing department on Hollywood films including King Kong, The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Babe 2.

Her first independent film, which she wrote, directed and produced, was Yes Madam, Sir – narrated by Helen Mirren – and premiered to critical acclaim as an official selection at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2010.

She is currently working on a slate of feature film scripts – including a dramatisation of Yes Madam, Sir – and television series Hades, based on an award-winning book series.

The Scholarship reflects the spirit of Greg Coote’s legacy as someone always willing to open doors for fellow Australians in the United States.

“In line with the mission of Australians in Film, to provide career development pathways for rising Australian stars, this Scholarship will help Megan gain invaluable experience, knowledge and skills to develop her distinct voice and inform her work as a writer,” said Kate Marks, President of Australians in Film.  “Australians in Film is excited and proud to be associated with this Scholarship and the continuing legacy of one of Australia’s most prolific screen industry practitioners.”

“I’m delighted to be involved in this initiative,” said Shane Brennan, Executive Producer, “Greg Coote was a great friend and mentor going back to when we first worked together in the 1990s. When I moved to Los Angeles to work, Greg was always there with advice and wise counsel. I can think of no better memorial for Greg than this scholarship and I look forward to mentoring Megan as she begins her Hollywood odyssey.”

Australian writer and producer Shane Brennan is one of the most successful television drama producers in America. In 2007 he was the first Australian writer to become the show runner of a U.S. network television drama series when he took over as Executive Producer on the CBS series NCIS which went on to become the number one scripted drama on network television and is now entering its 13th season.

Brennan created the hit spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles, which became the number two scripted drama on network television and is now in its seventh season. Brennan has his own production company in Hollywood, with numerous projects in development. His other credits include King & Maxwell (Creator-Executive Producer); One Tree Hill (Co-Executive Producer); CSI: Miami (Supervising Producer); and Summerland (Supervising Producer).