fighting injustice

SCRIPTING MISS FISHER MURDERS  

by Wendy Morriss 2014

Gippsland Country Life magazine

Television scriptwriter, Ysabelle Dean started her career as a story liner for Grundy Productions popular soap ‘Prisoner’ in 1984. She is now writing scripts for the second series of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Melbourne’s own, extremely popular 13-part television series that was first aired in February 2012 on ABC1.

The series is based on Australian author Kerry Greenwood’s novels, the first written in 1989 about the Honourable Miss Phryne Fisher, a daring, glamorous, lady detective that fights injustice with her pearl handled pistol in late 1920s Melbourne. Phryne (pronounced Fry-nee) is a thoroughly modern woman with an acquired taste for the best, but from impeccable working class origins.

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries starring Essie Davis as Miss Phryne Fisher and Nathan Page who plays detective inspector Jack Robinson, was created and produced by Deb Cox and Fiona Eagger and their production company Every Cloud Productions. The first series was filmed over a six-month period in and around Melbourne from July 2011 with a budget of one million dollars per episode. Since then the ABC drama series has been purchased by 120 territories worldwide including Europe, Canada, USA, Asia and Latin America.

Ysabelle, who has written and edited scripts for many Australian television series, wrote or co-wrote scripts for three episodes of the first Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, which were‘Murder in the Dark’, ‘Away with the Fairies’, and ‘Murder in Montparnasse’. She also did some over writing and script editing. She is now writing three scripts for the second series, which she said is shooting now and is due to come out later this year.

“I am one of a few scriptwriters for the project,” she said. “I’ve just finished episode 12 and started working on episode 11. When I write an episode, I take one of the stories the producers have developed and work with them through various stages of it to shooting stage. That goes on for three or four months for each script.

“Each scriptwriter does complete episodes but if there are time issues the creative producer Deb Cox, may take over and do a polish on the last draft or running changes. If someone is ill, or a location can’t be used or something goes wrong, then the script is adjusted quickly before going on set.

“We also work with a fantastic bunch of script editors who edit and make adjustments after the scripts are written. We hope after the script writing stages of scene breakdown, first draft, second draft and polish that they don’t have to do a lot of re writing. There are serial strands though that change and evolve as you go and sometimes they have to be adjusted right up to the last minute, and it’s pretty much a team effort.”

She said there’s a lot of respect from the crew for the producers Deb Cox and Fiona Eagger. “Fi and Deb are so great to work with.”

When asked if she knew before they started how successful the series was going to be Ysabelle said she had a pretty good idea. “Kerry Greenwood’s books were already successful and Fi and Deb and their production company Every Cloud Productions have a very strong track record. The work they do is painstakingly crafted and when the ABC take on a project like that they become very involved and operate in the same way, so I knew with that sort of formula it would be a goer, and it has been. With everyone on board, the last detail, the last second of shooting and film editing is so well crafted.

“Initially I didn’t know the series was going to be set in Melbourne, which was exciting. I read the books a few days before going to Byron Bay where we plotted at Every Cloud Production Company. I knew it was set in Melbourne in the books but I still didn’t know for sure if it would be filmed in Melbourne or Sydney.

“What was more exciting was that it was a period piece which gave it a new and interesting flavour. I have worked on several shows set in Melbourne that weren’t able to really make use of the location like this show has. They were shows that were shot in Melbourne because that’s where the studios were. In Prisoner, Cell Block H was in Channel 10.

“Because it’s a period piece, I’ve had to do a lot of research. When I write verbal expressions, I have to stop and think about what was used in 1929 or when someone goes to the fridge, I have to remember they go to the ice chest. There are little things like that all the way through but it makes it really interesting. For Murder in Montparnasse there had to be a French restaurant in Melbourne and French characters so I had to learn a lot of French in a hurry, but Google makes it easier.”

Ysabelle’s first contact with Australia’s film industry was while studying a Bachelor of Arts in Writing and Literature at Victoria College. “In my third year, someone from Grundy’s approached my script writing tutor looking for a trainee to work on Prisoner and I was recommended. I still had the last semester to complete but my tutors allowed me to finish the work at home, which was great and I finished with high distinctions.

“I was a story liner on prisoner because I was a trainee. There were four story liners and we all worked in house to come up with two episodes a week of was called a scene breakdown and the screenwriters wrote from that. They only did one draft for Prisoner and then a script editor would make all the changes.

She said she felt a bit bemused by it all. “At the time there was a bit of a set amongst my fellow university students against television soaps. I was never really interested in them, but when you are asked to write, and given an idea that you don’t know anything about or you have a strong opinion on, you have to try to find a way to become part of it and it has to become part of you so that it’s authentic. That’s what I had to do with prisoner, but once I did that, I was able to get right into it.”

After working on Prisoner, Ysabelle went to Sydney to write storylines and scripts for ‘Son’s and Daughters’. She left Sydney in 87 to come back to Melbourne and started working as a freelance scriptwriter and editor.

Since then she has written or edited scripts for Neighbours, SeaChange, Blue Heelers, Wormwood, Bed of Roses, Home and Away, McLeod’s Daughters, Always Greener, Guinevere Jones, Ship to Shore, Chuck Finn, Return to Eden and The Rogue Stallion, a television movie.

“I have enjoyed script producing, writing and editing children’s shows for Paul Barron of Barron Entertainment in Perth and the series ‘Ship to Shore’ was my favourite. I also wrote scripts for ‘The New Adventures of Skippy’, not the original version – I was too young. You need to make a point of that.

“Of all the adult shows I have scripted, my favourite would have to be Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries although the scripts have been the hardest I’ve written because it is so complex and there’s so much to pack into it, but it’s been very satisfying. Essie Davis is beautiful. She’s just gorgeous on screen and Nathan Page is incredible and they work so well together. I look at it and think this is great, and then I forget how many nights I’ve been up trying to finish the scripts.”

By Wendy Morriss

yknow what I love the idea of

the stories of rogue one being passed on to the current generation

Finn hearing the story of Bodhi Rook, a pilot who was encouraged to be brave enough to defect and became a hero who helped destroy the Death Star

Poe hearing the story of Cassian Andor, a captain who grew up a part of the cause and chose his conscience over orders to save lives and protect the future

Rey hearing the story of Jyn Erso, a woman who was indifferent to the rebellion but grew and changed and helped and became a hero just as much as Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa, if a martyr

BB-8 hearing about K2-SO, a droid who had an attitude but was loyal and fought to the end because it was important to support his friends and allies even if that meant pulling off the unthinkable

All of them hearing about Chirrut Îmwe and Baze Malbus, who fought tooth and nail to protect their history and preserve it, and then fought tooth and nail again to give the future a chance as well

All of them being told about the words that inspired countless others to join the Rebellion and fight against injustice and cruelty in the light of seemingly hopeless odds, when reminded of the impossibility of destroying a planet killer:

“Rebellions are built on hope”

I have seen way too many posts all over social media from so-called leftists essentially throwing Muslims on the bus in the name of other causes. Between the radical feminist on my friend’s FB wall who said Islam was not compatible with feminism, the white lefty atheist who derailed my friends post about intersectionality for Jewish people in order to pin all antisemitism on Muslims, and the tweets I saw basically saying “meh, who cares” about the Muslim ban, because Arabs didn’t show up enough for Black Lives Matter, I’m just about to tear my hair out. 

I can’t believe I have to clarify this, but just so everybody knows:

We fight against injustice, not because those affected have done us favors or endorsed our values, but BECAUSE IT IS WRONG.

If a specific individual makes statements with which you disagree, then you’re absolutely within yours rights to comment on their words. If solidarity not being extended to you is hurtful, I utterly and completely understand how you feel. But we cannot make assumptions about people’s beliefs or turn the protesting of dangerous policies into something that is solely an act of reciprocation. That only leads to division oppression, and that is not a path we can afford to take.

Feminist Jason todd

No shit he would be a feminist like I don’t think anyone could argue about that. He would fight for the injustices of women worldwide. He’d be the type to teach a girl self defense. Or go after a rapist. Or escort girls out of nightclubs or go to marches for women. He would do it not for anyone but himself. Because I believe that Jason would want justice and equality for everyone

In 2017...
  • Let’s see more black girl magic and black boy joy.
  • Let’s keep celebrating black excellence.
  • Let’s remind the younger generation and ourselves that black is beautiful.
  • Let’s continue to fight social injustice.
  • Let’s keep reminding everyone that black lives do matter.
  • Let’s support black businesses more.
  • Let’s be more kind to our brothers and sisters regardless of their shade of skin.
  • Let’s read more black books, listen to black podcasts and show love to black media/blogs.
  • Let’s stop calling black women angry.
  • Let black women remember they are valued. Show them respect.
  • Let black boys and men explore their sexuality without judgement.
  • Let’s remember that mental health does affect the black community.
  • Let’s speak out on cultural appropriation.
  • Let’s keep creating amazing music, TV shows and films.
  • Let’s push for greatness in all aspects of our lives.
  • Let’s make sure more of our young brothers and sisters stay in school and graduate college.
  • Let’s show the world what it means to be black and proud.
  • Let’s no longer be afraid to be black.
  • Let’s embrace our past, work on our present and ensure a great future for our people.
  • Let’s remember that we are forces to be reckoned with.
  • Last, but not least. Let’s stay woke.

Wishing you all a prosperous and fulfilling 2017. It’s our year for the taking.

Much love.

SOME FUN BIBLE VERSES THAT DON’T GET A LOT OF PLAY IN AMERICA

FOR SOME REASON. I can’t imagine why.

I cannot bear your evil assemblies. Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts my soul hates. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands in prayer I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. –Isaiah 1:13-17

For day after day they seek me out; they seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right and has not forsaken the commands of its God. They ask me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near them. “Why have we fasted,” they say, “and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves and you have not noticed?”

Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers. Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high. Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for a man to humble himself? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord?

Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter - when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

…If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. –Isaiah 58:2-10

Woe to him who piles up stolen goods and makes himself wealthy by extortion! How long must this go on? Will not your debtors suddenly arise? Will they not wake up and make you tremble? Then you will become their victim. Because you have plundered many nations, the peoples who are left will plunder you. For you have shed man’s blood; you have destroyed lands and cities and everything in them.

Woe to him who builds his realm by unjust gain to set his nest on high, to escape the clutches of ruin! You have plotted the ruin of many peoples, shaming your own house and forfeiting your life. The stones of the wall will cry out, and the beams of the woodwork will echo it. –Habakkuk 2:6-11

And the word of the Lord came again to Zechariah: “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.’”

But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and stopped up their ears. They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the Lord Almighty had sent by his spirit through the earlier prophets. So the Lord Almighty was very angry. –Zechariah 7:8-12

No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. –Matthew 6:24

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’“ –Matthew 25:34-45

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if not accompanied by action, is dead. –James 2:14-17

Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you have failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of the slaughter. You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you. –James 5:1-6

Gee, it…kinda seems like God doesn’t care all that much about your surface religious observance (in fact, is personally offended by it) as long as you oppress and exploit people? Kinda seems like he’s got a soft spot for orphans and widows and immigrants and refugees and the poor and the powerless, no?

There’s pages and pages and pages of this stuff, America, go and READ the Bible you like to simper about so self-righteously.

I, ever the novice,

I, always whom respects,

seeking for the mentor,

seeking for effects.


all overtaking strictly,

the novice quickly,

blind, with no advise,

annoyance towards noble eyes,

chained as a persistent student.


patronizing and big grins,

from noble skins,

feeling the  unfairness,

in it’s beastly glory.


fighting is the injustice,

when they pass easily,

the novice always making

no time they taking.


this vexes the perpetual student

but never starts lamenting

it would be very imprudent

it would be a novices sin:


to whine and criticize,

to not writhe for a deed.


So I always search and look,

keep on reading in my book,

maybe the mentor very close

or was it a dream that I chose?


white hair, male, wise

but not too old for advise

but brighter enlightener ever seen

fights for freedom in between.


me finding you.

eventually true.