New film Ruby’s Choice written by former Bendigo resident Paul Mahoney premieres | Bendigo Advertiser

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LESS than ten years ago, Paul Mahoney had never written a film script. Now he has a film starring Jane Seymour heading to cinemas. Mahoney’s film Ruby’s Choice is about a grandmother who has been living alone with undiagnosed dementia. She moves in with her daughter and grandaughter after accidentally burning her house down. The film was inspired by Mahoney’s time working with Goulburn Valley Health in Shepparton where he met a man who had been living by himself with undiagnosed dementia. Read more: Jane Seymour charms Bendigo businesses during her day-trip “He neighbors and family members considered him cranky and difficult,” Mahoney said. “It wasn’t until later I worked out he was struggling with dementia. “There are probably hundreds of people in Australia living alone with dementia. That stuck with me and when I started writing film scripts, I thought it would be interesting.” Mahoney originally wrote the script for Ruby’s Choice in 2016. After working on a previous film, a chance meeting at its premiere started the ball rolling on getting Ruby’s Choice made. “One of assistant directors had met with a producer in Sydney, and invited me to a premiere,” he said. “We started chatting, they asked for a script and he connected with Ruby’s Choice and wanted to get it made .” The film premiered nationally on March 3 but will arrive in Bendigo on March 17. Mahoney grew up in the Goulburn Valley and originally had planned to work on his family’s dairy farm in Kyabram. He studied business and accounting at La Trobe Bendigo to be able to assist with the farm’s finances.”I also did a Loddon Campaspe TAFE course on marketing to go with my degree in business and accounting,” he said .”The only reason I did accounting was to help the dairy farm. I wanted to work full time on it. “I’ve changed a few roles quite often (since then). I worked at Golbourn Valley Health for 16 years and worked three years WA Country Health Service. That’s when I had a spark of inspiration (to write film).” Read more: Milestone show for theater group as 200th production takes to stage The inspiration came after him Mahoney and his wife were disappointed by a film that had got good reviews. He felt he could do better. Now living in Brisbane, the 54-year-old recognizes his path to feature film writing has been fortunate way to get one of his first scripts from him made into a feature film. “It is a relatively short period of time – eight years,” he said. “It can take 10 years more for the first film to be made. “There is no one way to get something made. It can be difficult. Some people do a lot of short films and go into TV before making movies. I’m fortunate. “I think that I have had lots different experience, met a lot of different people, lived in three different states has helped. I have had varied career and been a tutor, worked in factories, butchers shops and in disability. “This is the first major film that have been shown in cinemas. It has been amazing to see it on the big screen. While most writers would see their role with a film end after the final script was submitted, Mahoney was able to stay involved in production to help with re-writes. Read more: White Night to return to Bendigo in September – four years after its debut “I was very fortunate they wanted to keep me on board,” he said. “They changed scenes and had adjustments and I was fortunate enough to keep going through that process and work with the actors and film crew. “Getting funding was so hard. I wrote multiple versions – one in West Australia, on in Queensland, another in NSW – it had to be very flexible. It’s not something you can just type, send and that’s it. It’s something you always have to work on.” The film was eventually shot in Windsor, NSW. It was originally being written for Queensland but coronavirus restrictions made it difficult and expensive to shoot in the sunshine state.” Along with Jane Seymour, Ruby’s Choice stars Australian actors Jacqueline McKenzie (Romper Stomper, The Water Diviner), Coco Jack Gilles (Oddball, Mad Max: Fury Road) and Stephen Hunter (The Hobbit franchise). Read more: Play about pioneering female swimmers relaunches rural touring theater program “(Casting Jane) was fantastic. She is universally known and has prior experience with dementia in her own family. “She was also a friend of US country singer Glen Campbell who suffered from (Alzeimer’s) and she helped produce a documentary called I’ll Be Me. “A lot of people feel uncomfortable talking (about dementia) – it is something that effects us all in one way or another. So I am hoping the film allow people to discuss it.” Mahoney is already working on his next major project which has a distinctive Bendigo flavour. Titled Do It Scared, the film is a biopic that will follow the life of Father Rob Galea who serves as a priest in the Diocese of Sandhurst and is a prominent musician. Before joining the priesthood, Fr Rob was in Malta and had a troubled youth before turning to music and moving to Australia in 2006. He was part of The X Factor in 2015. “We had a producer and director, based in LA, on board ,” Mahoney said. “The biopic will tell Fr Rob’s story from being involved in gangs as a teenager to coming to Australia and performing on the X Factor. “We have also got him lined up to perform several songs and help on the soundtrack of the film.” Journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community.This is how you can access our trusted content:


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