Rob Sutherland is a Screenwriter, Director, Producer and Editor with credits in feature film, documentary, short drama, interactive and educational projects. His debut feature film The Inside Story, a supernatural mystery starring Australian screen icon Charles (Bud) Tingwell, won the Australian Writers’ Guild Award for Best Original Feature Film Screenplay.
Rob’s documentary credits include the remembrance project Five Soldiers, a moving film about Monash University student soldiers who served in World War 1 under Sir John Monash.
Rob was inspired to become a filmmaker on seeing the “behind the scenes” program of The Empire Strikes Back. The stop-motion animated AT-AT Imperial Walkers led him to experiment with claymation and with other forms of visual and digital effects. His early career included a period in post-production sound which opened his eyes to the power of great sound design. Both of these influences are evident in much of his work today.
Rob has also long been interested in meditation and spirituality, a lifelong pursuit of meaning that informs his writing and filmmaking.
Rob primarily writes in the broad genre of “supernatural” – modern mythology that answers timeless questions and explores the nature of reality through drama. He is developing several screenplays and novels in this vein.
|Why Do You Write?||
I have always written, even as kid, and have long been fascinated by what makes narrative tick. Creating worlds and populating them with characters that act in ways both surprising and realistic is a passion, and a challenge unlike any other. I am also aware of a kind of love-hate relationship I have with writing, the sense of writing being a great blessing and a curse. What a blessing and a privilege to be able to create entire worlds out of nothing, and populate them with people and beings as we see fit, to manufacture characters and situations that generate emotion and visual impact, maybe even to have a profound impact on the reader / viewer. But also, what a curse to be burdened with the constant need to do so, to wrestle with the tangled threads of narrative, theme, character, and plot, wondering how to make them work together in a coherent whole, wondering if they even belong in any given story, and knowing that even if the whole thing eventually comes together, it may take years, decades even, and is even then never going to live up to what you know it could be if only you had the talent / skill / awareness / guidance to make it so. And to wonder about the infinite, abundant, rich, narrative possibilities, which may be more meaningful, more insightful, more heart-opening, more career- and story-enhancing and all-round better in every possible way than the path taken, that are forfeited with every micro-choice made along the way – treasures untold, coherence and congruence, earth-shattering insights, depths of emotional and intellectual resonance, moments of transformative beauty, all left behind in the dark corners of the narrative maze left unexplored … But also knowing it’s time to just get on with it anyway and come up with something.
|Have you been published before?|
|If yes, where have you been published?||
Not published as such but Produced – I produced a feature film in 2003 titled "The Inside Story" along with a few documentaries since
|Link to your published work|
|What are you currently working on?||
I have four feature film screenplays I am working on: a supernatural mystery about an immortal demon hunter, a transformational vampire thriller, a sci-fi alien disaster movie and a delightful kids adventure in the vein of "Paddington"
|What are your long term goals?||
Write and Direct feature films and write novels and ultimately novel series.
|What is your writing regime?||
I aim to write in the mornings as a general rule but don't always succeed.