Mar 30 2009
Imagine the heading on your resume reading ‘Film / television actor’, a tremendous achievement in itself, now add another four categories; theatre, director, writer and producer/executive producer. Oscar Redding can boast all of this as a star on stage and screen.
This home grown star from Wee Jasper has just wrapped up his final week in a six week theatre production of the classic play, Hedda Gabler at the Belvoir St Theatre in Sydney, and he’s not slowing down.
Raised in Wee Jasper valley near the foothills of the Brindabella Ranges, Redding attended the local primary school, one of only five students. “I remember the school winning the small schools sports carnival, for no other reason of course than we were guns.”
It all started for him at the Jigsaw Theatre Company is Canberra, touring regional NSW with a theatre production for children.
Redding studied Bachelor of Creative Arts in 1997 at the Victorian College of Arts and in 2003 undertook a Directing course at the same University. Although he has many successful screen-plays, Redding has not had any formal writing training.
“One of the greatest highlights for me was co-writing, producing and acting in the film ‘Van Diemen’s Land’ and receiving a box office average for it. Another was my involvement in ‘The Turning’, by Tim Winton.”
Some of Redding’s other television and film work includes Sea Change, Puberty Blues, The Secret Life of Us, Blue Heelers, Stingers, Ponderosa, Skeletons, Backlands, and the short film Hell’s Gates.
Heading to the Melbourne film festival this weekend, Redding believes in the importance of staying in touch with all aspects of the theatre and film world. “At the moment there is a big push for genre based production, with high demand for vampires and zombies. The internet has fundamentally changed the way in which we look at things, on all levels, whether it is acting, producing, directing or the audience itself.”
He describes these long films as taking you right inside the guts of the story, creating a tendency to mirror its audience. “Viewers are engaging more in long feature series like ‘the Game of Thrones’; they feel more involved in the characters and stories.”
Redding’s company Noise & Light was set up in 2008 and have been working on an internet series called ‘Cophard’, “so far we have fifteen episodes written for the series.”
Redding tries to avoid the treadmill of using agencies to find work, focussing rather on gaining experience from multiple projects. For him it was directing Hamlet and Van Dieman’s Land, which he believes was a more rewarding and pleasant way of gaining exposure.
“Projects create different kinds of traction for different reasons, that’s why we have multiple projects happening; one might get off the ground, whilst others sit on the backburner, biding their time.”
Redding, not surprisingly, is easily inspired, believing that different people teach you new things in different ways.
“It’s really hard to just say one person inspires when people are inspirational in their own way. Simone Stone, a director with fresh young ideas and Elizabeth Moss from Madmen both make the act of story telling look easy as is Peter Evans in the construction of directing. All the teachers in my years of education were inspiring in their own ways.”
Where Redding ventures from here, he is unsure, (or doesn’t want to ruin the surprise) “perhaps directing some big projects in the near future. Either way what I am looking forward to is heading home next week and working on the farm.”
His advice to anyone dreaming of entering the industry is simple, “The more life experience you have and exposure to the world, the better off you will be. There is no hard or fast way to do it.”
by Jessica Cole. Courtesy Yass Tribune August 15, 2014