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Podcast – Director Lucy Gaffy: Learnings from Australian TV

Takeaways and advice from Doctor Doctor and The Unlisted director Lucy Gaffy as she reflects on her career so far.

Director Lucy Gaffy is standing in the middle of a field. A camera crew is out of focus behind her.

Lucy Gaffy on the set of Doctor Doctor

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Lucy Gaffy’s first time directing a full episode of television also happened to be one of the largest episodes for Doctor Doctor that season.

She remembers the shoot (for episode 7 in season 2) involved a beauty pageant, lots of extras and a huge action sequence.

“I think the way I managed it was to just say to myself ‘you can do this’ [and] to overprepare: I tried to be the first in at the production office every morning and the last to leave,” she says. “I created shot lists and breakdowns and birds eye views and everything so that I could just come in and be really present on the day.”

On the latest episode of the Screen Australia podcast, Gaffy breaks down this experience as well as other frank observations and learnings from her career as an Australian television director on the likes of Doctor Doctor and ABC/Netflix series The Unlisted.

Gaffy started out studying an undergraduate film degree at QUT in Brisbane, where she met filmmakers Will Goodfellow and Tom Noakes and together started the director’s collective GOONO. A Masters at AFTRS followed and directing credits on short films. Something she learned from that period and encourages any emerging filmmaker to do is: “apply, apply, apply”.

“I would put in for every funding round I could… in order to make another piece of work,” she says. “I got knocked back a lot, but on occasion I was successful.”

It’s what led to creating short films such as 2016’s AACTA Award-winning short Dream Baby, which in turn led to “the real thing”: working on Doctor Doctor as part of the ADG’s Shadow Directing scheme, and then returning to direct her own block on season 3.

Pulled together from interview outtakes in the Next Step video series, in this episode of the podcast Gaffy explains her takeaways from being a director’s attachment on Nine Network’s House of Bond, her advice for emerging directors, and how she was able to direct episodes of The Unlisted while seven and a half months pregnant.

“I ended up going into labour in the edit suite of that production,” she says.

Also joining the podcast again is Screen Australia Distribution Manager Anthony Grundy to give an update on the current cinema landscape.

For feedback about this episode, please email [email protected]

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