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at The Wheeler Centre

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’ll explore the unique challenges and rewards of adapting books to TV, with three people who have first-hand experience of the process. Our speakers will share their own stories and discuss some other famous and favourite examples.

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 very delicate creative process.


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 writes books, TV screenplays, columns, essays and feature journalism. He’s the author of the memoir The Family Law (2010), the travel book Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East (2012) – both nominated for Australian Book Industry Awards – and the Quarterly Essay on Safe Schools, Moral Panic 101 (2017). 

He also created and co-wrote three seasons of the award-winning SBS TV series The Family Law, and his sold-out debut play Torch the Place (Melbourne Theatre Company) ran February–March 2020.

Portrait of Clem Bastow

Clem Bastow

Clem Bastow is an award-winning cultural critic and cake-baker. Her work appears in the Saturday Paper and Guardian, and she co-presents Superfluity on 3RRR. In 2017 she co-presented the ABC professional wrestling podcast Behind The Belt, and she co-produced the first wrestling 'death match' ever held on Tasmanian soil, Night Massacre, for Dark Mofo in 2018.

When she's not fighting crime by night, Clem works as a tutor in screenwriting at the University of Melbourne, and she is currently undertaking a PhD in action cinema and screenwriting at RMIT.


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