Director, writer, producer
BA (Hons) 1975 Hon DLitt 1997
Driving to work one day down Sunset Boulevard, on my way to direct Anthony Hopkins, I found myself wondering, as if in some Talking Heads song, "How did I get here?"
I became a filmmaker quite by accident. When I enrolled at Flinders I wanted to read English, French and history, but the rules of the day forbade mixing humanities and social sciences. I had to choose another humanities subject to chime with the English and French courses I was committed to, drama seemed to offer an interesting option. Read a few plays, and that would be that I thought.
It wasn't that simple. Drama was in fact the great talent magnet of the day, throwing me into the company of the bright, the provocative, the gifted, the outrageous, and the doomed who had come from far and wide, equipped with what passed for worldly experience to my teen mind. The stimulus of that company remains with me today, in ways both intangible and very direct as well: thirty seven years on, my wife Kerry and I (two children later) are still together - we met on the steps to the Matthew Flinders Theatre.
Filmmaking was just a small part of the Drama course, but it was the Demon Seed which was to morph into a ‘career' (ignoring for a moment the dictionary definition of career as ‘a headlong rush, usually downhill'). I had no idea you could actually make a living out of filmmaking - I did it because it was simply the most fun thing to do with your friends.
After my film "Shine" won seven Academy Award nominations and took over $100 million at the box office, life changed quite dramatically. But the journey began with the world of ideas that opened up for me at Flinders, through the stimulus of my companions, the provocation of my lecturers and the creative opportunities that a Bolex camera and 100 feet of 16mm film could offer.
Scott received an honorary doctorate in 1997.
Photo by David Bromley.