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A Guide to Adapting Literature to Film

Denise Faithfull with Brian Hannant

Turning a 250-page novel or a two-and-a-half-hour stage play into a 90-minute film means leaving out much of the original and changing most of what’s left. So why does it remain recognisably the same story? What is the slippery essence that transfers, unaltered, from page to screen?

In Adaptations, Denise Faithfull comprehensively and systematically addresses the thorny issues of choosing your source and type of adaptation, whether a liberal appropriation, a free-flowing intersection, a variation or a faithful translation. She illuminates questions of structure, character, dialogue and visualisation, and includes a checklist for the adaptor. Brian Hannant’s introductory chapter discusses the history of Australian film, the basic principles of filmmaking and screenwriting, and a guide to correct screenplay layout.

Drawing from dozens of Australian films including Così, Lantana, Hotel Sorrento, The Boys, Dead Heart, Death in Brunswick and Head On, Adaptations navigates the treacherous waters of the adaptation process, showing us what works … and what doesn’t.

For anyone who’s ever read a novel, seen a play or heard an incredible true story and thought, ‘Now, that would make a great film’, Adaptations is the ultimate on how to make it happen.

Click here for a review by Nick Sidoryn, Marden Senior College, as published in the SAETA Newsletter.

Currency Press | 978-0-86819-792-0 | Sales rights: worldwide | PB
Barry McKenzie Movies, The
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Barry McKenzie Movies, The

Australian Screen Classics

Tony Moore

When The Adventures of Barry McKenzie burst onto the Australian screen in 1972 it created a furore. With ‘Bazza’ (Barry Crocker), the chundering, Fosters-sucking innocent abroad, Barry Humphries and Bruce Beresford created a foil for the audiences. The movie triggered a riotous sequel, Barry McKenzie Holds His Own, and a wave of ocker comedies that celebrate and critique the Australian national character. With irrepressible humour and sharp-witted insight, Tony Moore explores the subversive satire of the films, their influence on his generation, and what they have to say today.


As Prime Minister I demonstrated my gift for ridicule by granting my only imperial honour to the intrinsically conservative Barry Humphries. It’s time for a book that has fun with the political satire of Barry McKenzie - The Hon. E.G. Whitlam AC, QC

The Barry McKenzie Movies
is the 5th title in the Australian Screen Classics series, co-published with the National Film and Sound Archive.


Currency Press | 978-0-86819-748-7 | Sales rights: worldwide | PB
Dancing to His Song
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Dancing to His Song

The Singular Cinema of Rolf de Heer

Jane Freebury
Now available in print form or as an eBook

Currency Press and Currency House are proud to announce the joint publication of this comprehensive study of the work of filmmaker Rolf de Heer, Australia’s acknowledged auteur. Famed for never repeating himself, de Heer first gained national attention in 1993 with Bad Boy Bubby, then Dancing to My Song and Alexandra’s Project. Today he is most widely characterised by his ‘accidental trilogy’ in partnership with the actor David Gulpilil — The Tracker, Ten Canoes and the recently acclaimed Charlie’s Country.

In 16 chapters film critic Jane Freebury searches for the sources of de Heer’s inspiration and finds the secret of his success in an ethic of hard work, flexibility and self-reliance that meets challenges with ingenuity and keeps a steady focus on his vision. His films are recognised by their wry humour, pleasure in the reversal of fortune and the unique landscape of Australia and its inhabitants. His remarkable career as an independent filmmaker has much to teach young producers and directors. Each chapter discusses a single film: its conception and making, actors and creative team, reception and consequences. Such a book is long overdue.

The eBook is enhanced with illustrative clips from his films.

Watch Rolf de Heer talk about his career.

Read Jake Wilson's review of the book in the Australian Book Review

    eBook available from

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Currency Press and Currency House | 978-1-92500-558-5 | Sales rights: worldwide | ePub & PB
Lavender Bus, The
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Lavender Bus, The

How a Hit Movie Was Made and Sold

Al Clark

LIMITED STOCK. Only available from Currency Press direct

Clark describes in hilarious detail how the outrageous film, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, became an international success, revealing much about the film industry along the way. In this revised edition, The Lavender Bus chronicles the follies of the film business as it outlines the preparation, production and marketing of Priscilla, reinforced by box office figures and soundtrack sales.

I would urge anyone looking for an amusing, perceptive and remarkably accurate portrait of today's international movie business not to miss this Australian published account of the making of The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert by its producer.  The best "making of" book since John Boorman's Money into Light (a virtually impossible act to follow)... - Sight and Sound, UK 

Currency Press | 978-0-86819-575-9 | Sales rights: worldwide | PB
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Commercial Television in Australia

Nick Herd

Australia’s  first comprehensive history of the founding and growth of our commercial  television – from single stations to powerful national networks – and of its  ancillary industries in newsmaking, production, advertising.

Currency House | 978-0-98079-826-5 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | HB
Platform Papers 05
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Platform Papers 05

Shooting Through: Australian Film and the Brain Drain

Storry Walton
Veteran filmmaker Storry Walton sees the rolling diaspora of filmmakers working abroad not as a brain drain but a stimulating asset awaiting development. Our funding structure is now world class, he says, but years of underwriting indifferent movies have created a culture of entitlement to public money which must be overcome. We must fund only the best, and draw on the skills increasingly acquired abroad to engage with the cultural and political flow of the nation.
Currency House | 978-0-97573-011-9 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Platform Papers 12
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Platform Papers 12

Film in the Age of Digital Distribution

Richard Harris

Australian audiovisual production faces an uncertain future. The recent proliferation of new forms of digital delivery is both a promise and a threat to the screen content business and poses challenges to established forms of government intervention. Many ambitious predictions have been made about the impact on the Australian media landscape and the explosion of sites like YouTube and the investment of media moguls like Murdoch and Packer suggest profound change is taking place. But where does Australian content—our stories—stand? Recent media legislation debate was all about technology; the issue of content was notably absent. This is of serious concern because the fracturing of the media sector and copyright laws, globalisation of production and distribution, have the potential to undermine the existing structure for the creation, production and distribution of Australian material.

Currency House | 978-0-98028-020-3 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Platform Papers 24
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Platform Papers 24

The Digital Fields: New Rulz for Film, Art and Performance

Shilo McClean
'In my view, the enrichment of storytelling through the narrative use of computer graphics is one of the great benefits of computerisation', write Shilo McClean. Digital technologies herald profound and positive change by enabling us to tell our stories in ways that are most meaningful to us.

McClean confronts the question of how well we are nurturing these exciting developments, challenges the entrenched position of media chiefs and status quo practitioners and looks ahead to the opportunities and dangers awaiting the makers and custodians of story.

Currency House | 978-0-98056-328-3 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
So You Want to be a TV Presenter?
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So You Want to be a TV Presenter?

Kathryn Wolfe

A practical, vocational guide to starting a career on TV as a presenter.

The demand for presenters in the television industry has never been higher. But, although it’s seen as a glamorous job and a step to celebrity, being a TV presenter is also hard work, and demands a varied range of journalistic, technical, performance and personal skills.

With a background in TV directing, working with professional presenters and training new ones for the TV industry, Kathryn Wolfe takes you through the techniques and skills required to become a successful presenter, including:

  • How to read from a prompt and use in-ear talkback
  • How to talk to camera and talk to time
  • How to cope with live, recorded, studio and location shoots
  • How to present for specialist channels (children’s, shopping, weather)
  • How to create a successful CV and convincing showreel

Hands-on exercises and checklists will guide you through improving your posture, developing correct breathing and good diction, evaluating your performance, and much more.

The book is also packed with accessible advice and top tips from dozens of experienced and new presenters currently working on TV. It tells you what happens in auditions, and, above all, how to go about getting a job as a presenter.

Nick Hern Books | 978-1-84842-062-5 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ
There's a Fax from Bruce
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There's a Fax from Bruce

Bruce Beresford and Sue Milliken

Reading like a survival manual for aspiring filmmakers, There’s a Fax from Bruce is a fascinating insight into film making in the 1990s from two of Australia’s most successful film practitioners.

Between 1989 and 1997, Bruce Beresford and Sue Milliken made nine films between them, two of which they made together. And when they weren’t on set, they used the fax machine to stay in touch. As well as taking care of business, the faxes were a commentary – sometimes droll and often wry – on life around them, written to amuse and liberally laced with industry gossip. Sent from Broome and South Africa and beyond, they make a fun, fascinating, informative and ultimately charming read.

'I devoured this correspondence between Sue and Bruce. It has all the humor and metaphors you could wish for in an intimate exchange about the angst of ever getting a film made, anywhere, anytime.' Margaret Pomeranz

‘In touch with each other by fax while they flew all over the world, two brilliant Australians left a sparkling record of how they lived and worked as the film business turned into the international country we know today.'  Clive James

See Bruce and Sue being interviewed on Studio 10.

Read the article in The Australian 

Read the review at Urban Cinefile 

Listen to Bruce and Sue on Life Matters (ABC Radio National)

   eBook available from


Currency Press | 978-1-92500-566-0 | Sales rights: worldwide, except Aust/NZ | PB