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Curtin graduate dreams of making award winning TV script into a hit

Media release

C249/08

10 September 2008

Curtin University of Technology Film and Television graduate James Breen is looking forward  to working with top Australian screenwriter Kelly Lefever on his award winning television script The Ring, about independent pro-wrestling in Perth.

24 year old Mr Breen, of Dalkeith, is a former pro-wrestler. He recently won the ScreenWest 2008 Television Writers Award for his proposed drama script about the dreams and conflicting egos of independent pro-wrestlers.

His prize was a support package of $6,000 from ScreenWest – some of which is going towards employing Ms Lefever to help him to develop the script to the next draft level.

A respected script producer Ms Lefever has worked as story editor, script editor and writer on popular TV series such as Blue Heelers, Something in the Air and All Saints. She is also the co-creator of Media World Pictures’ six part drama for SBS titled The Circuit that was nominated for an Australian Film Institute (AFI) award.

“I am excited to be working with James on his project. It’s a fresh idea that’s based in a world that has never been seen on our screens before and I can’t wait to see how it evolves,” Ms Lefever said.

Mr Breen said to be working with Ms Lefever was a tremendous opportunity.

“I am pleased to be working with a writer as accomplished as Kelly Lefever and I expect to learn a great deal about the craft from her,” Mr Breen said.

“As a kid I watched wrestling on TV and as a teenager I attended a pro-wrestling training camp in Sydney.  After leaving Christ Church Grammar School, I became a professional wrestler for Explosive Pro Wrestling until a back injury pushed me into retirement and gave me the opportunity to concentrate on writing.

“I am a real fan of the US smash hits The Wire and The Sopranas which have been an inspiration for this work. While the script is partly based on some of my own experiences as a wrestler, I plan to incorporate many of the narrative techniques used in these shows into my work.”

The Ring tells the story of Tim Smith who is just entering the world of wrestling as a trainee and it follows his experiences showing what it takes to become an independent pro-wrestler. The series follows Tim’s journey and through his eyes the viewer can see the back stage antics, showmanship and acting that is all part of independent pro-wrestling.

The script explores the dreams of an eclectic set of characters and how ego, politics, and life can conflict with their dreams. It will introduce viewers into not only the in-ring aspect of wrestling but also the backstage and all the sacrifices that have to be made to be a wrestler: not-quite an actor, not-quite an athlete.

Mr Breen completed a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Politics at Curtin, graduating in 2005 while he was working as a pro-wrestler.
Realising his passion lay more with entertaining than politics, Mr Breen decided to go on to complete a Graduate Diploma in Film and Television at Curtin last year.

“In many ways it is very fitting that wrestling was the subject of my first work,” he said.

“I am very appreciative of the support of my Film and TV lecturer Ron Elliott who provided great encouragement for this project.

“Mr Elliott was instrumental in pushing me to take on this ScreenWest project and to write about wrestling.”

ScreenWest is Western Australia’s screen funding and development agency, committed to working in partnership with the screen industry to develop and promote film, television and digital media production.

Attention Editor/COS: A photograph is available on request.

Modified: 10 September 2008