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Acclaimed writer stars in Bond University Film and Television role

June 21, 2017

American filmmaker Billy Frolick, who co-wrote DreamWorks’ box-office hit Madagascar, will use his silver screen experience to inspire budding screenwriters as a guest lecturer and tutor at Bond University.

The New York University graduate and academic joined Bond University this semester on a temporary assignment to teach film and television students the fundamentals of screenwriting.

“After years working in Los Angeles and New York, I have really enjoyed the opportunity to share different perspective on the industry and approach to screenwriting with the next generation of talent,” said Mr Frolick.

“The film and television school at Bond is well equipped to prepare students for a career in production, and I’ve been impressed by their commitment and enthusiasm to learn.”

“Screenwriting is about emotion. You paint a portrait of the characters, and put them in complex situations to reveal something universal about the human condition.”

Along with the screenplay for 2005 animated film Madagascar, which grossed more than half a billion dollars worldwide, Frolick also wrote the highly-lauded industry text, What I Really Want To Do Is Direct, which followed the journeys of seven film school students over three years.

Frolick’s directorial debut, It Is What It Is, screened at the 2003 New York International Film and Video Festival, where it claimed several prizes including the Audience Award for Best Picture.

“One of the things I am trying to do for aspiring writers and filmmakers is move the focus from Hollywood as the centre of the movie-making business,” he said.

“Filmmaking has become a truly global industry, with film production no longer concentrated in LA, and film festivals popping up around the world.

“Locally, the weather on the Gold Coast, like LA, is ideal for filmmaking so I believe it will continue to be a popular location choice for major production companies.”

Bond University film and television student Stephanie Albert said Billy Frolick had inspired her to consider screenwriting as a possible career option.

“Billy has given us a rare insight into the film industry, providing advice on how to successfully pitch for a production and the importance of networking," she said.

“I aspired to be a producer but Billy has encouraged the class to think differently about writing, giving students the confidence to explore opportunities in screenwriting upon graduating.

"It has been invaluable to learn from someone with his level of international experience in the film and television business.”

Bond University’s Director of Film and Television, Associate Professor Dr Michael Sergi, said Billy Frolick’s visit coincided with the Australia Screen Production Education and Research Association (ASPERA) Conference, to be held at Bond University from June 21 to 23, where Frolick will open the conference with his keynote address.

“The theme of this year's event is ‘What excites you?’. It is a major coup to have a writer of Billy Frolick’s calibre teaching at Bond University and participating in the ASPERA conference, during what is undoubtedly an exciting period for the local film industry,” said Dr Sergi.