Executive Producer & Writer: Posie Graeme-Evans

In a career of over 30 years Posie Graeme-Evans has embraced writing, directing and producing as one of Australia’s pre-eminent television creator/producers. Amongst her many national and international awards are 16 Logies, including the against-all-comers MOST POPULAR AUSTRALIAN SHOW (2004), for McLeods Daughters. A board member of the Australian Film Television & Radio School from 2004 to 2010, Posie was Director of Drama for the Nine Network, Australia from late 2002. In November 2005 she resigned from the network to concentrate on her career as a novelist and running her production company, MILLENNIUM PICTURES with husband and creative partner Andrew Blaxland.

The Producer…

In November 2001 the Screen Producers of Australia named Posie as the Inaugural Australian Independent Producer of the Year for her body of work. And, in December 2002 Variety Magazine noted her as one of 20 Significant Women in Film and Television along with MERYL STREEP and JENNIFER ANNISTON in its annual worldwide survey. In late 2010 she was a nominee for the Inaugural IF Television award. Co-nominees included Kym Williams, Brian Walsh, John Edwards, Hal McElroy & Penny Chapman.

Her early career included roles such as assistant editor on MANGANINIE for the Tasmanian Film Corporation & Posie later directed education, gardening, current affairs and sporting programs for the ABC in Hobart. She became part of the directing team for the BRISBANE COMMONWEALTH GAMES after being selected by the broadcaster as one of 8 people from around the country for Executive Producer training.  Posie topped the course.

Describe yourself in 3 words: A buoyant pessimist.

What is your life motto? Never trust a sword to a man who can’t dance.

When did you start pursuing your career and how long did it take to become successful? I was 25 when I got my first job in television; my first job as a producer when I was 31, so about 6-7 years to get the first snippet of what would become the rest of my life.

How many hours did you dedicate to pursuing your dream? Essentially if you want to succeed, you do what it takes. Generally in production you do 13/14 hour days anyway – countless.

Describe how difficult the business really is? Tremendously so! Always has, always was, always is, always will be because there are always fewer jobs available in television for the people that want them; and it’s always about other people’s money. You’re trying to persuade people to give you their hard earned cash to gamble with. As more project fail than succeed, people are reluctant to give away their money.

What is the mistake that taught you an extremely valuable lesson?What just one? (laughs) Einstein said my favourite quote, “Fail more, fail better.” I almost lost my house twice due to third parties; each time that worked but if it hadn’t we would’ve gone down with everything.What is the best piece of advice you have been given to date? Keep Going.

In your mind, is formal training essential? It depends on what you want. In film and television its increasingly specialised, so maybe the formal training is an advantage, for example if you want to specialise in digital effects. My learning was experiential, it worked for me to work from the inside and go from the ground floor up because by the time I got to be really seriously producing, I’d worked in so many departments I had a pretty good overview. It depends on who you are.
Do you think having a mentor is important? How would you go about getting one for this industry? Sure, if you can find one. Not just one – many! If you’re prepared to listen, their experience can give you shortcuts. There are plenty of times I had wished I had someone who had been through it all before. On a couple of occasions I was able to find good people but (or good people found me) but mostly I had to muddle on, some success and other times no success at all. I think a mentor is always good.How do you find one? I think some people are very targeted and do research and find their way to someone who inspires them – that’s what a mentor should be about someone who inspires them and encourages them.

What are some steps emerging talent can take to start/further their career? Be good, be creative, and be persistent. It’s like happiness; I think happiness is a by-product of following your passion. I think success and increasing your chances of success come from energy and from having fabulous ideas and chasing down those ideas to come into fruition. You create your own luck; you open your own doors. It’s an irony, but the more you push, when you become successful doors open for you and not necessarily on the way. There is no solution but to work harder and be braver.

What kept you going when you felt like giving up? There were plenty of times I fell flat on my face and felt terrible; generally speaking feeling terrible lasts 2 days for me and then the horror retreats a bit and then I stumble back and off I go. I wanted to be a Chief and not an Indian. Time teaches you where your strengths lie.

You have to live through the bad times and if, if the bad times crush you then, it’s what you do then that counts; not everyone succeeds by the way. It’s such a cliché but it’s true; it’s much more about one foot in front of the other each day, because fame, money and achievement are a by product of effort and if you only seek fame, money and achievement they will elude you.

Do you believe that ‘making it’ is about luck and being in the right place at the right time? Sometimes. There are no unchanging truths about this. Being in the right place at the right time definitely works but how on Earth do you do that? Well, shamelessness is all.

Ring that person, stick your foot in the door – what’s the worst they can do? Tell  you to go away. Sure. That happens, but sometimes it doesn’t. But I do  believe that if you keep on doing what you’re doing, if fate is on your side, one day you get there.”

 You can read more about Posie and her latest projects at http://www.posiegraemeevans.com/

Posie is a woman filled with spirit, kindness and drive. It was an incredible interview, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and took away so much; Thank You!

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