Laura Jones (screenwriter)

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Laura Jones
Born 1951 (age 65–66)
Australia
Occupation Screenwriter

Laura Jones (born 1951)[1] is an Australian screenwriter.[2]

Jones started her career writing teleplays for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Her first feature film credit was the original screenplay for High Tide (1987), directed by Gillian Armstrong and starring Judy Davis. This was followed by her adaptation of the Janet Frame autobiography, An Angel at My Table (1990), which was directed by Jane Campion. She collaborated again with Campion, this time on The Portrait of a Lady (1996). The following years saw her team up with Armstrong on Oscar and Lucinda, as well as work on other literary adaptations for Hollywood.

Jones is a strong supporter of Australian filmmaking and during the 1990s served on the Australian Film Commission.

She is the daughter of Australian author Jessica Anderson.[3]

Career[edit]

Laura Jones spent the beginning of her adult life doing odd jobs. During the mid- 70s she was living in Canberra with her husband and daughter, who took up most of her time. In her mid-twenties she bought her first TV and after watching many shows she thought that writing for TV “would be a way of making money without going to work”.[4] Jones’ screenwriting career began after she sent a play to Australian screenwriter Tony Morphett. Morphett got Jones her first screenwriting job for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Certain Women series in 1975.[5] Jones continued to work in television for a time and she that: "you learn a great deal writing for soaps".[6]

Jones’ career in film began with her original screenplay for High Tide in 1987 that was directed by Gillian Armstrong and “garnered high praise”.[6] Following her success, Jane Campion hired Jones for a television miniseries that turned into the film Angel at my Table, an adaptation of Janet Frame's autobiography. After this Jones' career turned into adaptation after adaptation.[6] Her films are generally about women and feature strong female characters[7] and she is now “considered one of the world’s best movie adapters”.[5]

Jones has never been interested in being a director, however "in interviews Jones has stated how closely she likes to work with directors, and how strongly she believes in the importance of having the writer on the set".[8] She sees the importance of working with directors who share her passion, for example she has a "strong commitment to collaborative working with female directors, notably Jane Campion and Gillian Armstrong".[9] She was especially fortunate in her film High Tide as Armstrong and Sandra Levy (the film's producer) continued to let her take part in the film during production. Jones states that Armstrong and Levy "regarded me as very much part of the process and when some minutes had to be cut out, I was asked about it".[10]

Jones served on the Australian Film Commission during the 1990s and is "very active in encouraging women's (and alternative) women's cinema".[8]

Awards[edit]

Laura Jones has won the Australian Writer’s Guild Award three times, the New South Wales Premier’s Prize for Screen Writing twice, and the Australian Film Institute’s Byron Kennedy Award in 1997.[1]

Filmography[5][edit]

Year Title Role Adapted[9]
2007 Brick Lane Screenplay Yes
2002 Possession Screenplay Yes
1999 Angela's Ashes Screenplay Yes
1997 Oscar and Lucinda Screenplay Yes
1997 A Thousand Acres Screenplay Yes
1997 The Well Screenplay Yes
1996 The Portrait of a Lady Screenplay Yes
1990 An Angel at My Table Screenplay Yes
1987 High Tide Writer Original

Television Series[edit]

Year Title Role
1997 Say You Want Me Writer
1981 The Bush Gang Writer
1980 Spring and Fall Writer
1979 Patrol Boat Writer
1979 The Oracle Writer
1978 Cass Writer
1976 Clean Straw for Nothing Writer
1973 Certain Women Writer

Plays[edit]

Year Title Role
1986 Every Man for Himself Writer
1985 Cold Comfort Writer

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Aerts, Hollie (January 4, 2011). "Jones, Laura (1951-)". The Australian Women's Register. Retrieved February 1, 2016. 
  2. ^ Susan Sheridan, “Tirra Lirra and beyond: Jessica Anderson’s Truthful Fictions,” Australian Book Review 324 (2010): 48.
  3. ^ "Jessica Anderson, 1916 - 2010". www.smh.com.au. Retrieved 2013-05-14. 
  4. ^ McCreadie, Marsha (2006). Women Screenwriters Today: Their Lives and Words. Wesport: Praegar Publishers. p. 79. ISBN 0-275-98542-3. 
  5. ^ a b c McCreadie, Marsha (2006). Women Screenwriters Today: Their Lives and Words. Wesport: Praegar Publishers. pp. 11, 79–81, 156, 157. ISBN 0-275-98542-3. 
  6. ^ a b c McCreadie, Marsha (2006). Women Screenwriters Today: Their Lives and Words. Wesport: Preagar Publishers. p. 80. ISBN 0-275-98542-3. 
  7. ^ McCreadie, Marsha (2006). Women Screenwriters Today: Their Lives and Words. Wesport: Praegar Publishers. p. 11. ISBN 0-275-98542-3. 
  8. ^ a b McCreadie, Marsha (2006). Women Screenwriters Today: Their Lives and Words. Wesport: Preagar Publisher. pp. 156, 157. ISBN 0-275-98542-3. 
  9. ^ a b Murray, Simone (2012). The Adaption Industry: The Cultural Economy of Contemporary Literary Adaption. New York: Routledge. pp. 149, 150. ISBN 978-0-415-99903-8. 
  10. ^ McCreadie, Marsha (2006). Women Screenwriters Today: Their Lives and Words. Wesport: Preagar Publisher. p. 81. ISBN 0-275-98542-3. 

External links[edit]