It Took Pages: Adapting Books to TV

It Took Pages: Adapting Books to TV

What do M*A*S*H, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, The Slap and The Family Law have in common? They’re all TV series that started their lives as books.

In this discussion, we explore the unique challenges and rewards of adapting books to TV, with three people who have first-hand experience of the process: Benjamin Law, Clem Bastow and Julie Eckersley.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of an established audience or fanbase? What happens when an author’s imaginative world must be conjured within the constraints of a production budget? And what are the special challenges of adapting a work of memoir, with actors cast to play real-life people? Join us for an inside peek into a delicate creative process.

Who?

Portrait of Julie Eckersley

Julie Eckersley

Julie is a creative producer with over 20 years experience in the industry. She originally trained as an actress and has worked nationally and internationally on stage and screen, winning numerous awards.

Julie currently works as a producer at Matchbox Pictures. She has produced documentary series Anatomy 4, The Turning – Cockleshell, animation series ZuZu & the SuperNuffs, The Real Housewives of Melbourne (Associate Producer) and Maximum Choppage - Australia’s first kung fu comedy. She was the Associate Producer on the supernatural drama – Glitch and has just produced a new SBS comedy The Family Law, based on the memoir of Benjamin Law. 

Portrait of Benjamin Law

Benjamin Law

Benjamin Law is a journalist, columnist, screenwriter and author of two books – The Family Law (2010) and Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East (2012). Both were nominated for Australian Book Industry Awards. The Family Law is now in its fourth reprint, and has been translated into French and adapted into an AACTA-nominated SBS TV series.

He's the co-author of the comedy book Shit Asian Mothers Say (2014), with his sister Michelle, and Law School, with his mother Jenny Phang. He also wrote the September 2017 Quarterly Essay, 'Moral Panic 101'. He is a frequent contributor to Good WeekendFrankie and the Monthly.

Portrait of Clem Bastow

Clem Bastow

Clem Bastow is an award-winning journalist, cultural critic and cake-baker. Her work appears regularly in the Saturday PaperAge and Guardian, and she co-presents Superfluity on 3RRR. In 2017 she co-presented the ABC First Run professional wrestling podcast Behind The Belt.

Having completed the traditional 'two year stint writing at Starbucks' in Los Angeles in 2013, Clem is currently working on bringing her first film, Farewell Tour, to the screen. When she's not fighting crime by night, Clem works as a tutor in screenwriting at the University of Melbourne.