“Shane Brennan is an amazing, extraordinary creature,” Australian actress, Jacqueline McKenzie, told FilmInk in 2015. “He should have won The Australians In Film Awards several times over by now…he runs NCIS: LA and NCIS, and he’s done all sorts of other things. Oh my god, he’s amazing. He wrote for Snowy River: The McGregor Saga years ago, and lots of other Australian TV shows. He’s a show runner and writer, and he’s one of our most successful exports. Shane Brennan, there you go! He did CSI: Miami for like 24 episodes, and that’s how he started out. He did NCIS for 190 episodes, and then NCIS: LA for 140. He’s amazing.”
It’s high praise from the Australian actress (who Brennan cast in a guest role on NCIS: LA), but Shane Brennan certainly deserves it. The TV veteran has gone way above the call of duty with an extraordinary act of encouragement and generosity. Brennan has put an initial $1 million of philanthropic seed funding into the new programme, Scripted Ink. Also backed by The Australian Writers’ Guild, Scripted Ink is designed to find, develop, and promote talented Australian screenwriters and their work. The donation from Shane Brennan is among the most generous private donations to any writing organisation in Australia.
Using the infrastructure and track record of The Australian Writers’ Guild’s acclaimed script development Pathways programme, Scripted Ink will identify high quality scripts and concepts through proven peer review; provide support to ensure creative and commercial reward for the successful exploitation of writers’ copyright; provide tailored incubation and facilitated script and project development; showcase high-quality concepts and scripts to local and international producers, broadcasters and investors for commercialisation; and partner with the industry in getting the best scripts and writers to the market. There are no direct comparisons to Scripted Ink in Australia (though the name does sound a bit like, well, FilmInk), but it does share some of the most successful elements of schemes such as The Black List in the United States, a network of script buyers, script representatives, and script writers.