Making their mark on the Oz scene

A look at some players in the biz

Stuart Beattie

“Collateral” scribe Beattie set his sights on becoming a scriptwriter before he graduated from college. He penned a couple of Aussie pics — “Joey” and “Kick” — but knew his future was in the U.S. He moved to Los Angeles at 22 and, after a few false starts, broke through as one of the scribes behind “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.” When promoting “Collateral,” Beattie told reporters he yearned to make a big Australian movie, and now he’s set to realize that dream with Baz Luhrmann’s untitled Fox project, tipped for a 2007 shoot.

Michaela Boland

Chris Chapman

As the inaugural topper of watchdog the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), Chapman takes the reins at a time of great change in the industry as revamped media ownership laws tackle the changing face of new media. Chapman is well placed for the challenge, given his wide range of experience: more than a decade as a Seven Network exec, topper of Film Australia and a stint at an online venture with telco Optus. On his appointment, Chapman made mention of the changes ahead and called ACMA an “innovative regulator” — and it will certainly need to be to keep pace.

Paul Chai

James McTeigue

Before McTeigue’s debut “V for Vendetta” opened, he was one of the Australian industry’s most sought-after first a.d.s, notching credits on local pics before being tapped to work on studio fare lensed in Oz, including the Wachowski brothers’ “The Matrix” trilogy. Over the 10 years it took to create that trio of blockbusters, the Wachowski brothers so came to value his expertise that they offered McTeigue the job of helming “Vendetta.” Now New York-based and considering future projects, McTeigue regrets that he had to leave Australia to take his career to the next level.

Michaela Boland

Shaun Brown

As head of television at the multicultural pubcaster SBS, Shaun Brown shook things up with sweeping changes — cutting back in-house production, changing the long-established nightly sked — but it was his stated aim to broaden the niche broadcaster’s aud that scared purists the most. Since then, the former TVNZ exec has stayed true to his goal of keeping the network fresh, and has delivered the pubcaster a record aud of 2.5 million for the Australia/Uruguay World Cup qualifier as part of a new sport-heavy sked. And with Brown being named SBS managing director late last year, more changes are bound to be ahead.

Paul Chai

Andrew O’Keefe

“Deal or No Deal” host O’Keefe has gone from an unknown to one of the frontline on-air talents for the Seven Network in just three years. The former solicitor began his career doing impersonations on sketch skein “Big Bite” before switching to host gameshow “Deal.” Gamer has been key to the success of Seven’s resurgence in news and current affairs, providing a strong lead-in to the network’s nightly news and regularly rating over 1 million viewers in its 5:30 p.m. weekday slot.

Paul Chai

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