Meet Craig Monahan, he’s a Director, Producer and Writer. We find out about his latest movie – Healing in our Fascinating Jobs series.
Craig has directed and produced numerous major TVC’s and music videos through the ‘80s and into the early ‘90s. Including The Interview which was released in 1998, receiving 9 A.F.I. awards and winning Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay and Best Actor; and broadcast by the Ten Network.
Craig’s next project is the powerful drama, HEALING, co‐written with Alison Nisselle (Janus, Phoenix, Curtin).
1. How long were you working on for the script for Healing?
2. Where did you get the story inspiration from?
AN ARTICLE ABOUT THE BIRD / PRISONER REHABILITATION PROGRAM IN THE MELBORNE AGE NEWSPAPER.
3. How did you chose the location for filming? Healesville Sanctuary is an amazing setting.
IT IS, BUT MOST OF THE FILM WAS SHOT IN AND AND AROUND KYNTON AND WOODNED. ABOUT 1 HOUR NORTH OF MELBOURNE.
4. Is Viktor Khadem’s (Don Hany) character based on anyone in particular?
YES ORGINALLY IT WAS BASED ON ONE SPECIFCI INMATE BUT AS WE DEVELOPED THE PROJECT VICTOR BECAME A COMPOSITE OF ABOUT 3 DIFFERETNT INDIVIDUALS.
5. Is Won Wron the pre-release prison farm, a real place in Australia?
YES WON WRON WAS OPEN FOR ABOUT 30 YEARS BEFFORE BEING REPLACED WTH OTHER MINIMUM SECURITY PRISON FARMS. IT WAS CLOSED IN THE LATE 1990’S. THE BIRD PROGRAM IS NOW AT BEECHWORTH.
6. How was it working with Hugo Weaving again (since working with him in The Interview & Peaches)?
PRETTY GOOD. WE LIVE IN DIFFERENT CITIES SO TEND TO SEE EACH OTHER ONLY OCCASSIONALLY. HE IS A VERY RELAXED PERSON AND EASY TO WORK WITH. PLUS HE HAS REAL SCREEN PRESENCE. SO IT IS ALL UPSIDE AS FAR AS I AM CONCERNED.
7. How hard was is working with birds?
WHENEVER YOU TACKLE SOMETHING LIKE THAT YOU NEED TO HAVE A PLAN AND A DETAILED ONE AT THAT. WE STARTED WORKING ON THE BIRD METHODOLOGY ABOUT 8 MONTHS PRIOR TO SHOOTING WITH BRTD HANDLER ANDREW PAYNE.
STORY BOARDS, WHAT WAS POSSIBLE WHAT WASN’T ETC. SO WHEN IT CAME TIME TO SHOOTING YOU ARE WAY AHEAD OF THE GAME AND LITTLE IS LEFT TO CHANCE. PLUS WE DO NOT REQUIRE THE BIRDS TO DO ANYTHING THAT THEY WOULD NOT BE NORMAL IN THE GIVEN SITUATIONS.
8. How much pressure is it to make a movie for you?
NONE I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT. THE HOOK IS TO GET IT RIGHT. I AM VERY HAPPY AND PROUD OF THIS FILM.
9. Any injuries with the birds? I have to say Yasmin was my favourite!
NO. YASMINE WAS 3 BIRDS. GRACE, STELLA AND BART.
10. Do you have anything else in the pipelines?
LIKE ALL FILMMAKERS YOU HAVE A SLATE OF POJECTS AND I AM FULL STEAM AHEAD SCRIPTING SOMETHING I HOPE TO MAKE. I WOULD HOWEVER LOVE TO MAKE A FILM IN ANOTHER COUNTRY ONE DAY. HOPEFULLY THAT WILL HAPPEN.
HEALING OPENS IN NZ CINEMAS FROM JULY 24.