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Hello. I'm James Valentine
and this is The Mix - arts, show business and culture. Now, we're going to take a little
look around this old girl today. It's in need of renovation. They're going to spend some hundreds
of millions of dollars on it. Quite frankly, I'd put in a couple
more bedrooms and a four-car garage, but that's just me. We'll have look around here and
here's what else we're going to do. The Australian Ballet's Nijinksy
hits the stage. MAN: I think it's one of
the most difficult ballets for the male dancer there is. Is there a crisis
in Australian screenwriting? We have really, really
talented people and our writers are not getting
the chance to shine. # 'Cause I want # A girl... # And David Campbell
channels Bobby Darin. He was this guy who did rock'n'roll like I was brought up with
rock'n'roll. Here's a guy who did swing music
like I wanted to do it. But Bobby sang up here,
like, "This is... "My life depends on their song."

The art of beatboxing - that is the creation of musical
and rhythmic sounds just using your voice - can sometimes be seen as
a bit of an amusing gimmick. Well, I guess we have Michael Winslow
to blame for that. (GUNFIRE) (IMITATING GUNFIRE) Goddamn it! Stop that! But beatboxer and vocalist Darren
Foreman, also known as Beardyman - and, in fact, that guy getting ready
up on stage there right now - is a whole other proposition. He's using live looping technology
and the whole techniques of beatbox to create these extraordinary
musical textures. He's a fantastic musical improviser. I'd like you all
to ask yourselves... This is how Beardyman
opened his TED talk back in 2013. ..what is possible
with the human voice? (IMITATES REWINDING HIS OWN SPEECH) What is possible with the... (IMITATES SCRATCHING HIS OWN SPEECH) (DEEP, SLOWING DOWN) ..human voice. Check it out. (BEATBOXES) This is Beardyman beatboxing. (BEATBOXES) (IMITATES ELECTRONIC MUSIC) This is Beardyman
igniting a dancefloor. Ahh! (IMITATES ELECTRONIC MUSIC) Beardyman does all this
with his voice. There are no instruments
and no pre-recorded samples. Just a bit of custom-made technology. More on the Beardytron later. But to find out exactly what's
going on here, let's break it down. This is a looping station. I can go to the music store tomorrow
and buy these. But for people who don't know
what looping is, what's looping? What is it? It's when you make music
go round and round. You record it
and then you record that sound. (IMITATES SIMPLE DRUM BEAT) Then you can be like... # Ba-ba-ba, ba-ba-ba-ba. # (VOCALS AND DRUMS PLAY IN UNISON) Basically what's happening here
is that he makes a sound, the sound is recorded and looped, then Beardyman gradually
fills in the groove with a brain full of
infinite musical ideas. It's like a revolving
Mandelbrot of confusion. Enjoy. Like this. (BEATBOXES) (RECORDED BEATBOX TRACK PLAYS)
You could be like... # Ooh-ooh-hoo # Ooh-ooh (IMITATES SAXOPHONE) I know you're a saxophone man.
(LAUGHS) You do some mouth sax.
Ah, yeah. (SCATS) (RECORDED VOCAL TRACK PLAYS) That's pretty good. Shh! Everyone...
Everyone stop a sec. I did hear 'garage'. Yeah! (BEATBOXES) (PLAYS UK GARAGE-STYLE
ELECTRONIC MUSIC) One of Beardyman's many talents is the ability to construct pretty
much any type of sound or rhythm upon request. What do I feel like?
AS SALSA MUSIC) See, what I find really interesting is that once it's settled
for a while, I don't hear it as a voice at all. You've refined the kind of sounds
that you can make with your head so that... That's a snare. Like, it doesn't sound like
BASS LINE) It doesn't take much
to set Beardyman off. This is turning into the easiest
interview I've ever done. (SINGS GIBBERISH
IN DRUM AND BASS STYLE) That was...drum and bass. I want to have a go at... This show,
you do an album in an hour, right? So can we make a song?
Can we go Beardytron? We can try.
Let's go Beardytron! Oh, we're going to the Beardytron!
Going Beardytron. So, Beardyman's loop station work
is impressive, but the biggest tool in his kit
is this thing.

What if I wanted to sound like
the whole of Pink Floyd? "Impossible," you say. No. (IMITATES PINK FLOYD-STYLE GUITARS) The Beardytron is a kind of super
live vocal loop manipulation machine that Beardyman had custom-made.

DEEP FREQUENCY) I just found a bass frequency
I need to notch up. But you must have practised this. Say that again,
quite loud into this microphone. You must have practised this. (PLAYS JAMES' LINE
AS A NOTE ON THE KEYBOARD) Shall I make a tune out of that? (PLAYS JAMES' LINE

My show that I'm doing here today
is I'm making an album in real-time, so it's not just improvising
the songs, but I've got to make sure
it holds together as an album. (VOCAL TRACK IN STYLE OF
ELECTRONIC MUSIC PLAYS) # Ooh-ooh. # I suppose the conceit is that
I never quite do it because it's always too tempting
to goof off and do something funny. (VOCAL TRACK IN STYLE OF
ELECTRONIC MUSIC PLAYS) Often the song title suggestions
I get are really silly, so then it becomes
a really silly song.


Do I give you, like, a title
or a subject suggestion or something like that? Yeah, yeah. I couldn't leave Beardyman
without giving him my own request. OK. Brexit ragga. Oh, Christ. You bastard.
(LAUGHS) The mere mention of the word...
Really? You might as well have said Trump. If you really...
I mean, I don't want to, but I will. Really? I don't want to force you to.
Well... Or is that a better challenge?
Now I have to. Fine. (BEATBOXES LIVELY DRUM LINE) (RECORDED DRUM TRACK PLAYS) (BEATBOXES) No, it's just... It's too upsetting.
(LAUGHS) It's too upsetting. It's just too... I was about to start just,
like, MCing. Oh, it's so upsetting, man.
You had to bring that up. And so if Beardyman is
the Superman of vocal manipulation, we've discovered that Brexit
is his kryptonite.

You can catch Beardyman
this Sunday in Brisbane and in Melbourne on Tuesday.

Celebrity, visionary, muse - Vaslav Nijinsky changed dance
forever with his extraordinary leap and his shockingly sensual
choreography before a descent into madness
ended his career. The Australian Ballet
has lobbied for some 15 years to produce a ballet based on
this astonishing rise and fall. Will Huxley visited the company
to find out more about the show and the continuing legacy
of this ballet legend.

To describe Nijinksy, I think
we wouldn't have time to do that. I think he's important to dance
for so many reasons because of the many levels -
the development of his life, the fact that he was the first
superstar of the 20th century. He was not only
technically incredible, but we know from eyewitnesses
that it was not just how he leapt, but how he looked when he leapt. Then he was a groundbreaking
choreographer. The first... Surely the first modern
choreographer, I would say. From quite young age, I...
I read and knew about this figure which is so full of myth about his amazing jump
and his incredible stage presence. It was always a dream to be able to dance one of
the ballets he danced, actually.

He's sort of like
this almost mythical creature because, you know, while there's
beautiful photographs and things, there's absolutely no film. I think his fame and his notoriety
was so extreme that through the ages, people have
kept remembering his legacy and all the new dancers,
male dancers that have followed him have always been referred to
as the next Nijinksy.

First of all,
when you see the photos, what is extraordinary
is the power of transformation. In the roles he portrayed, whether it was something
that was extremely androgynous like portraying, at that time,
a man portraying a rose, the scent of a rose, was...
revolutionary. Or as the Golden Slave
or as the faun. I believe I can see
the sensuality in the photograph. He had this way of moving
which was so... ..unique to him and so different to all the other men
who were dancing at that time. He was a chameleon.
I mean, every single role. And you see the photos of him and he doesn't look like the same
dancer in any role that he performed. The Russian Ballet really brought
the brilliance of colour, of music, of design, of physical sensuality. It was the thrust and the dynamic, the sensuality
of the Russian Ballet, and incorporated in the importance
of the male dancer that was such a sensation
in Paris at that time.


The artist needs to have
a touch of madness and I guess Nijinsky just had
a little bit more than most. The story of Nijinksy
is interesting because we say that
he had 10 years to grow, he had 10 years to learn,
he had 10 years to dance and 30 years to die.

His career
really only lasted for 10 years. I mean, he began dancing in 1907 and
he did his last performance in 1919 and then he died in 1950,
so this whole... ..huge amount of time of his life was really lost in
the wasteland of mental illness.

It is incredibly sad that such a
gifted person had such a short time and so much more could have
come from him if he had longer and the sadness is one of the most
difficult things to perform.

To be able to transform myself
into his state of mind.

For me, I think it's the... of the most difficult ballets
for the male dancer there is. That's why every time to do it,
I know that there's going to be...

..difficult and painful
and I'm going to be hurt after, but at the same time, it is
extreme overwhelming excitement knowing that
I get to perform this role again. (DOMINANT, MILITARISTIC

It is sort of like
the Swan Lake for men, really. It's an opportunity
for the men to really shine, and that's rare in ballet. And it's... Apart from that, being an amazingly
emotional and beautiful work, it is a great opportunity
for all the men in the company. It's the sort of ballet that if you have never thought of
going to see a ballet because it's not, you know, for you - it's all sort of fairy wands
and tutus - this is definitely
not one of those ballets.

JAMES: The Australian Ballet's
Nijinsky is on in Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney.

Well, we're just about to
head off to the pub to take a look at the state of
screenwriting in Australia, but before we do so, I thought we'd give you an insight
into a little-known writing sideline. It's called script doctoring. This is when a writer is brought in
to give a Hollywood script - usually a Hollywood script - a little bit of a touch-up
before production and sometimes even
when it's in production. They don't get any credit,
but they do get lots of money. So this week on the top five, the top
five Hollywood script doctors. Where'd you get the midget? Now, it might not come as a surprise that a number of our writers
are actual Oscar winners. Take Robert Towne, for example,
who has a nose for great dialogue. You know what happens
to nosy fellas? He won the Academy Award
for Roman Polanski's Chinatown, but wouldn't take credit
for his gun-for-hire work on Bonnie and Clyde, Armageddon
or The Godfather, telling director Francis Coppola
to mention him if it won an Oscar, which it did. Giving credit where it's due,
I'd like to thank Bob Towne.

Playwright and screenwriter
Tom Stoppard put quill paper to win the Oscar for
Shakespeare in Love... Who's that?
Nobody. He's the author. ..but chose to remain
behind the scenes for his revisions to
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Sleepy Hollow, The Bourne Ultimatum and a little bit of housekeeping
he did for Schindler's List. On second thought, I don't really
want someone else's maid. All those annoying habits
I have to undo.

Into the garbage, fly boy. OK, she didn't write that, but Carrie Fisher has blasted her way
through plenty of other scripts, like Sister Act, Lethal Weapon 3
and The Wedding Singer. She was even brought in to overhaul
all three Star Wars prequels with writer and director
George Lucas.

Joss Whedon has been at the heart
of cinematic geekdom four years, with The Avengers
and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but he's also known for
his incognito superhero rewrites to action thrillers
like the Quick and the Dead, Twister, Speed, X-Men and the most expensive movie
of its time - Waterworld.

Oh, you're Bruce Baldwin.
Yes. Well, who is he? Who are you? The identity of our top script doctor is none other than playwright,
novelist and wildly prolific screenwriter
Ben Hecht. He bashed out over 160 movies
from the 1920s to the 1960s. Get a load of this -
71 of them are uncredited, which posthumously earns Mr Hecht The Mix's lifetime Achievement In
The Field Of Script Doctoring Award.

OK, let's have a little pub chat.
Let's talk writing. Hello, Jan Sardi, President of
Australian Writers' Guild. Hi, James. How are you?
For you. Thank you very much.
Shane Brennan, how are you? I am very well, James. Much better
that you've bought us a beer. I'm pleased that we did. Uh, OK. Before we begin,
a few facts about our guests. Jan Sardi is one of Australia's most
successful screenwriters, best known for the
Oscar-nominated movie Shine. And Shane Brennan was,
until recently, the showrunner of NCIS: Los Angeles and has just donated $1 million
to create Scripted Ink, a development fund for screenwriters. What are we trying to fix
with Scripted Ink? What's the issue? Scripted Ink is trying to fix
a problem that's only become a problem,
really, in the last... Well, Jan and I
have been talking about this. Probably since the mid-'80s. And the paradigm has changed. Back in the old days, when Jan
and I were much younger writers, all of the big production houses
used to look after their writers. They'd see them through the system. This is like Crawford's
or something like that. Yeah, Crawford's in Melbourne
and Grundy's in Sydney. Now there are... There's Hulu, there's Stan,
there's Amazon, there's Netflix, there's everyone, and there's this
enormous requirement for content and the rest of the world is
supplying it and Australia's not. But when you say
we're missing out, you know, Jan, I'm thinking of things like The Code
is on Netflix, isn't it? The Kettering Incident
is getting a run in the US. That sort of thing.
So, are we missing out? Well, I think that these shows... There's this explosion
of content that's happening, but when you look at shows like
The Bridge and The Killing and... I mean, this is Danish television
with subtitles, which is taking over the world,
in a sense, and what they've got there is very
consciously what they've set up and it's almost
a mission statement of theirs that it is a writer-driven industry. And this is often not understood. I think we have a film notion
of the writer's status, don't we? And that's still the same, isn't it? The writer has lowly status
on a Hollywood film, for example. Spider-Man or, you know,
most other things. Normally there's eight writers
on one of those. There's eight writers. (LAUGHS) But it's not the same
in television, is it? If I'm watching Stranger Things
or I'm watching Fargo or I'm watching The Sopranos
or something, these are things
that the writer created and made. And that's where
the title showrunner came from. Right.
It's a writer-driven medium. Film is largely
a director-driven medium and sometimes a star-driven medium, but television -
and everyone acknowledges it, they all understand it over there. You get the best product, you have the best chance
of succeeding if you put the writer in charge
and say, "It's your vision. "Put it on the screen." Right. And we don't do that here? No, I don't think we do, and it's really about
wanting to build an industry which comes from stories
and storytellers. And I think that writers here... In many ways, it does come from
that culture which developed, that post-Crawford's, where
the writer delivered the script and then it just sort of
was taken away from them and it was part of the... ..the system of
making television then in a sort of sausage factory way. So how will Scripted Ink
address that, then? You've given a sum of money,
there'll be additional funds and I'm sure, additional
sort of input going in. How will it address that issue? Well, the first thing we'll do
is make sure writers get the chance to develop pitches
and concepts and scripts so that they're ready
to take to the market. What happens here is a writer says,
"I've got a great idea!" and pitches it to a producer. The producer says,
"OK, sign away all of your rights.

"Here's 1,000 bucks. "Go away and write it
for the next six months." And at that point, the writer
can't do any more work on it. He's not being paid enough money. The producer doesn't want to
put any of his own money in, heaven forbid. And so they take it to the market and the market goes,
"It's not very good." And the thing is, it probably is, it just hasn't been given
the chance to develop. The best writing is rewriting. And then, of course, the other thing that we probably don't
do enough of here is take the sort of risks
that you can take in television. Which is basically
the basis of the whole HBO model. I mean, when Vince Gilligan was
pitching um, you know, Breaking Bad and they sort of said, "Boy, that's
really going out on a ledge there. "Do you really want to do that?" And he said, "Yeah, I kind of
think so. It might work." And right there's the difference. They said to him,
"Do you really want to do this?" Not, "We don't want to do it."
That's right. "Do this version." "We can't sell that to the audience.
We can't sell that to advertisers." And that is one of the issues I think we need to address
in Australia. We are playing too safe. I mean, there's so much
content out there that a lot of it is really edgy
and it's really out there and we're still playing
in the safe side. Yeah. Ultimately,
it comes down to quality. You know, how do you get
the best quality? And the best quality around
the world is this model, which is a writer-driven model. Shane, you've been away
for a little while. Do you think it's gonna
change in Australia? It's not gonna change overnight. This is a three-year initiative and
it's about getting funded bodies to, for a start,
to start thinking about - REALLY thinking about and not,
I guess, paying lip service to it - but really thinking about the role
of the writer in all of this. You know, what we've got now
doesn't really work very well. There's not a great return
on any of the money that goes into the funding. And the reward for them
is that if they actually invest, start looking at this... ..this model as, "Let's invest
not just money in the licence fee "but in the production and
own some of the back end of this, "if we make a great show
and sell it to the world, "we actually will make money
instead of losing it." Yeah. And so it's about making them
see the potential profits. Yeah. Fantastic.
Look, let's drink to that. Shane, congratulations
on the initiative. Thank you so much. Let's drink to all the writers
getting out of the pub and back to the desk. Oh, well...

David Campbell is set to star in Dream Lover -
The Bobby Darin Musical. This production will open in Sydney. It's written by a Frank
and John Michael Howson and it's a world premiere. Bobby Darin - The Musical
will tell the story of Bobby Darin using songs that were his hits such as Mack The Knife,
Splish Splash and, I imagine, Dream Lover. This is a dream role
for David Campbell, but how he manages to fit it in,
I have no idea. # I know # Beyond a doubt # My heart will lead me there
soon... # I want you, you insane person, to list off
everything you're doing right now. OK. I'm doing Today Extra. Great to have your company
this morning, isn't it? I get there at about 7:30, 7:45 and then come off the air
at about 11:30. OK, that's morning television. This is morning television,
five days a week. After the morning show, I come off and I have 10 minutes
in my dressing room where I get changed and
I do warming up at the same time. And then I come over here
and grab a cup of coffee and I eat my lunch in, like,
45 minutes, and then we start at one o'clock and then we go till
nine o'clock at night. And I have twins.
Yes. You have twins. And an older son. And then I do
a radio show on the weekends. You're also part of
the Hayes Theatre Company. Part of the Hayes. Yeah. For this period of time, the Hayes have said, "We don't need
you for the board meetings." Have a little rest.
Yeah. We first got to know David
some 20 years ago when he was a rising star of cabaret. # Money can buy... # Then David, and the rest of us, learnt an extraordinary fact
about him. His father is Oz rock legend
Jimmy Barnes.

David had some success in cabaret. He starred in Shout
as Johnny O'Keefe. But then found an even higher profile
gig hosting morning TV. What's the drive?
The drive in me? Yeah, what's the drive in you?
You know what? I don't know. I think for a long time there
it was... my early career
was just to prove myself, and then I think
I really got into loving working. I think there was a period where... Before I did the swing albums,
so, post Shout, before the swing albums happened
and where I sort of hit a lull. And I recorded a pop album
and that didn't work and then, you know, as pop does, it gets old very quickly
if it sits on the shelf, so it didn't get released. Smelly in a fortnight, really.
It really did. And all of a sudden, work dried up and I was, as I called it,
in the wilderness where it's just
hard to get a job and hard to pay your bills and thought, "I never want to
be there again." And when you've got somebody
in your life that is a legend, that's sort of
not even a trailblazer, but has burnt a meteoric path
through the landscape and you're just trying to chip
away behind, that sets a high bar. Are you talking about Dad there?
I'm talking about my dad there. Yeah. He sets a high bar. # Crying like a refugee... # Once you let go of, like, "No, I don't have to live up to
his reputation anymore. "I can just forge my own." And once that happened, which was probably when I hit
New York first in the mid-90s, I could finally find my feet
and go, "Hang on. "This is all happening in my own
time and I can control it." I feel that we should be
doing this on a couch. Some therapy. Oh, I'm very well therapied.
Very well. Extremely in touch with my emotions. # I want # A girl # To call # My own # I want a dream lover
so I don't have to dream alone... # I think the Bobby Darin show
is really, really interesting. I almost, like, think,
well, you'd do a Frank Sinatra show. Sure.
You'd do a Sammy Davis show. Ooh, Bobby Darin. Ooh, you sure? I fell in love with him in the '90s. So, when I went to New York
and I was doing swing music, I knew that Frank was great,
I knew I loved Sammy. But he was this guy
who did rock'n'roll like I was brought up with
rock'n'roll. Here's a guy who did swing music
like I wanted to do it, because he did it with an attitude. It was this sort of rock'n'roll
style he brought to it. You know, Frank sang backwards
and sang back and was really cool. But Bobby sang up here,
like, "This is... "My life depends on the song." # Splish splash # Forgot about the bath # I went and put my dancing shoes on # Yeah... # It is a far bigger song book
than people remember. You know, this is a guy who did
rock'n'roll and pop songs, with Splash Splash and Dream Lover. Then he, at 23, went, "No, hang on. "I'm gonna sing swing music
and big band. "I want to be like the big guys
and have a long career." So he did Mack The Knife and Beyond
The Sea and that huge body of work. # Somewhere # Beyond the sea... # He had a very strong
civic conscience in the '60s. He was a big follower of
Martin Luther King. Very involved with Robert Kennedy. He was in the hotel
when he was shot. So, he was very
politically minded, so he started singing folk songs. And actually then started
to have hits singing that. He was booed offstage in Vegas, but then turned that around with
songs like If I Was A Carpenter. And then all of a sudden realised
that on top of all this, he had all these personal things
going on in his life, outside of his relationship
with Sandra Dee, where he didn't know
his mother was his grandmother and that his real mother
was his sister. All the things
that I had in my life. And he had a heart condition
as a child, which... He didn't think
he was gonna live past 16. Now, this sounds like a lot
to the audience at home, but actually,
when you look at it as a show, you wouldn't be able to write that
in Hollywood and get away with it. The fact that it's a true story
and he had the drive. He had the drive to keep changing
and probably because he was... In a way,
his heart was a ticking time bomb. # Now that Macky's... # Back in town! # You had no choice
but to do this show. I had no choice. I mean, Lisa and I had a long talk
about it when it came up, but I said, "Look, I have to." Well, great to talk to you.
You look annoyingly well. (LAUGHS)
It's like... Look at you. I'm so sorry!
Look at you! Like... How can you be doing all this? I've just given up everything. If you give up everything,
if you live off air, you can look this good. This is what could happen to you.
Fantastic. Thank you. # Hey, oh! #

If you look at a film clip by
a modern pop performer like Rihanna, it's easy to forget
that those kind of racy images were once the pretty much illegal if you put them on television or
on the cover of a magazine. One man responsible for
blowing all of that away is Oz magazine founder and all-round
upstart Richard Neville. Richard passed away this week, but we thought we'd leave you
with a clip of the man himself talking about the times that spawned
his illegal satire and commentary.

In those early years -
'61, '62, '63 - you know, you have a president... ..the first enlightened President
of America being assassinated. Certain world events were
beginning to have repercussions. And as we began to get
a little bit more concerned with the rest of the world
and with our society, so society hit back at us and they're going to dismiss us
as educated louts. And I think it was out of
the sense of confrontation that Oz was launched.

Even people who didn't like Oz
all that much suddenly realised they were going to
have to take sides on this issue of censorship
in Australia. If you were going to have
three young men sent to jail for six months for, you know, satirising
the powers that be of that time, then you are really are in
a pretty stagnant sort of society.

We were basically bulldozer drivers, trying to absolutely flatten
some of the prejudices of the past. That's what we were about. So we did respect things.
We respected freedom. OK, well, that's been The Mix
and the Sydney Opera House. Don't forget to follow us on social
media, on Instagram and Twitter. We've got lots of great stories
on the ABC arts channel on iview. I'm James Valentine.
I'm going to go fix my hair. Captions by Ericsson Access Services Copyright Australian Broadcasting

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