PIM HENDRIX: Screenwriting from both sides of the Pacific
Screenwriting from both sides of the Pacific
By Ian Browne Shamrock News
Pim Hendrix is an Australia writer with a bountiful experience in screen writing, both here in Australia, and across the Pacific in Los Angeles. He recently returned to our shores and I was curious about the work he was involved in leading up to the 2016 Byron Writers Festival.
When did you first move to Los Angeles?
I moved to Los Angeles in 1998 after winning a Green Card in the Green Card Lottery.
What did your work entail and how long did it take you to become established there?
I spent the majority of my time writing spec screenplays and looking to sell them. I had four screenplays optioned during that time, with some excellent talent attached. At one stage I had two screenplays in circulation, one with actor Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner) attached as the lead, and another with Jason Connery (son of Sean) attached to direct. I was also working as a writer for hire and wrote a number of screenplays for a variety of producers and directors, including Japanese cult director, Ryuhei Kitamura. I was also working with the screenwriting department for the Academy of Arts University, San Francisco.
What was the highlight of your time working as a screenwriter in Hollywood?
Funnily enough, it was when my first feature film, Liquid Bridge, was shot in Australia in 2003. At the time I was extremely broke and my car had just died on me, I didn't have enough to get a new car, and I was dreading the thought of having to catch buses to get me around LA. I suddenly got a call from my then agent in Australia, Anthony Williams Management, telling me Liquid Bridge was about to go into production. In a matter of a week, I went from having zero in my bank, to having $100,000 in my account. I was working at Fox Studio that day, doing catering, and I went to the lot and bought a copy of the Hollywood Reporter and looked in the back to check the list of projects in pre-production and there it was. When I showed it to my work colleagues, they couldn't believe it. After that, I saw the first official screening of the film at the American Film Market in Santa Monica with a theatre full of my Aussie friends and then flew back to Sydney for the Australian premier in Sydney. Great experience.
Was what you missed most about Australia that which eventually brought you home to us?
I missed the relaxed attitude of life in Australia and of course the beautiful beaches and wonderful environment. America was an interesting experience, but I have to say it was a relief to return. America is such a cut throat environment.
Having recently settled in the Northern Rivers, what do you now hope to achieve?
I am hoping to get involved in the film community here in the Byron area. I am teaching a beginners course in screenwriting through the Byron Bay Community College in Term 4, which I am really looking forward to. I also have a feature film screenplay starting to gather some momentum in LA and my latest screenplay is in competition in the Austin Film Festival Screenplay Contest, one of the premier screenwriting contests in the world. Other than that, I am pushing a number of screenplays in Australia.
Describe the role you played within the 2016 Byron Writers Festival and the process leading up to the event.
I was one of three screenwriters selected to team up with three best selling novelists to develop a pitch to present to a panel of high profile producers and in front of an audience at the Byron Writer's Festival. I teamed up with writer Kylie Karen to develop a pitch based on her novel Losing Kate. We worked over a two month period to develop the verbal pitch and to also write a treatment, synopsis and logline for the book, as well as a flyer and a video presentation. It was a very interesting and rewarding experience.