Earlier this week I had the pleasure of conversating with someone who’s work has been an inspiration and a motivator in the recent months. Someone who’s making a name for himself at home and abroad through his ideas and writings. This is my interview with playwright and novelist Gabriel Bergmoser.
Deep Talk Radio Network: Alright Gabe, can you tell us a little about yourself?
Gabriel Bergmoser: I’m Melbourne based, from Australia obviously. I’m a writer predominantly a playwright. I’ve got my published first novel, Boone Shepard, is coming out in April and I also have a regular spot on Sanspants Radio on the show “Movie Maintenance” where we basically fix bad movies.
Deep Talk Radio Network: You just mentioned being part of Sanspants Radio so can you talk about how you got involved with the Sanspants Radio Team and where that is today?
Gabriel Bergmoser: So, involvement started out about four years ago when I worked a placed called Draculas which was like a vampire themed theater restaurant in Melbourne. Its like a big tourist attraction and I met and became friends with Emz O’Keefe, who is Joel Zammit’s girlfriend. So obviously Joel Zammit is the head honcho at Sanspants and I met him though Emz and he asked me to part of this podcast that he started up. So I was on one their first shows which was called “An Hour Of Your Life You’ll Never Get Back” which was just basically film talk and back then we just sort of got together every now and then recorded and recorded an episode where we just talked shit about film. And then I sorted dropped out of it for a few years…Zammit asked me back early 2015 right when they were about launch “Movie Maintenance” and said you’re a writer and a film geek and we can get you in on this show to talk about films and how you would fix them and things like that and I said yeah sure thing.
Deep Talk Radio Network: So you said in another interview that you started writing around the age of 13. Can you talk about your writings back then?
Gabriel Bergmoser: Yeah 13, I wrote my first novel though I hesitate to call it a novel because it was pretty awful. And I never looked back. During my teenage years I was sort of half into acting half into writing and writing was always sort of my first love and as I got older I realized I wasn’t a very good actor at all. Where as I seemed to be getting better and better with the writing.
Deep Talk Radio Network: Was there anything in particular that drew you to writing and kept you going?
Gabriel Bergmoser: As a young kid, I always tried to write books, but I never finished anything. They were obviously the random scribbling of a small child, but when I finished that first novel when i was 13, the crappy serial killer thriller that was a ripoff of Silence of the Lambs and Saw, once I finished that which took me about a year to write. And when I finished it I suddenly found that all these other ideas that I had before and all these other things floating around in my head became much much easier to write. It was almost like I just had to get that first one out of the way and after that I found that if I had a story in my head I just had to write it and the more I did that the more I enjoyed it. I supposed the driving force behind it was as a kid I always loved stories…I love them so much, but they weren’t my stories.
Deep Talk Radio Network: Is there anyone/anything that inspires your writing?
Gabriel Bergmoser: …Martin McDonagh, that’s a guy who’s entire body of work I’ve consumed, everything he’s ever written. Tarantino [Quentin Tarantino] is sorta the same. In terms of other influences…Bruce Springsteen…there’s a certain feeling and a certain mood and a certain power to him and a certain lyricism to the way he writes his music that I love and that I would love to sorta capture some of that in my own writing.
Deep Talk Radio Network: What is it like seeing words that were conceived in your mind, written on paper, and then preformed on stage?
Gabriel Bergmoser: It’s like nothing else. It is just something else…when you sit down on opening night for the first time and actors walk on stage as your characters and start saying your lines its unbelievable. It’s a real take your breath away kind of moment.
Deep Talk Radio Network: You were the winner of the 2015 Sir Peter Ustinov Television Scriptwriting Award. Can you tell us what it was like to be invited to America and accept an award for something you created?
Gabriel Bergmoser: Even when it first happened and for the months afterwards I didn’t believe it. I was still waiting for that email saying that we actually got it wrong, sorry, our mistake. I was very ready for that and I didn’t believe it til I got there and then it wasn’t until I had the award in my hand that it hit me how much of a life changing thing this was. Because you can have people watch your plays and tell you that was really good and have good reviews of your plays come out which is really nice when it happens, but getting that award was validation beyond anything I ever expected…you get flown to America, you go to the International Emmys and you’re looking at celebrities all around you’re surrounded by the cream of the crop filmmakers from around the world. And you’re thinking this a real thing that actually happened.
Deep Talk Radio Network: After being granted the Sir Peter Ustinov Award, are there anytalks to turn “Windmills” into something bigger?
Gabriel Bergmoser: Straight up full disclosure there are some conversations, but I can’t really talk about them, not in the public forum anyway. What I can say is what was really interesting about being in America and having the meetings I had was that “Windmills” was the project that got the least interest…what worked in a novel becomes a lot harder in a TV show. “Windmills” starts in a high school and it takes place over four distinct parts that take place a couple of years apart. My idea for the TV series was that it would be a 6-part mini-series that would tell the whole story over six episodes, but it becomes really hard to sell as a TV show…I’ve got a five season plan to tell the whole story from start to finish…now its just a matter of if it happens and if I can have the right conversations.
Deep Talk Radio Network: Jumping over to what you’re currently promoting and working on, “Boone Shepard,” your first published novel.
Gabriel Bergmoser: This being published by a small book publisher in Melbourne called “Bell Frog Books.” Boone Shepard screws a bit younger, the early high school young adult audience. Its a story about a journalist who travels around a slightly steampunk version of 1960’s England and he solves crimes, he chases mysteries, and he rides around in a motorbike that’s full of gadgets all its all kind of quirky and tongue and cheek. The best way to pitch it is that its Tintin crossed with Doctor Who crossed with Lemony Snicket.
Deep Talk Radio Network: What made you turn away from the general realism of Windmills and the Lucas Conundrum to something more fun and loose like Boone Shepard?
Gabriel Bergmoser: I think writing too much of any one thing can get stale. It can get stale very quickly…it’s exercising different elements of your personality and elements of your imagination and sometimes I want to let out the bloodthirsty action packed fun side and sometimes I want to let out the deep serious dark drama side and sometimes I wanna let out the fun, cooky, stupid adventure side.
Deep Talk Radio Network: What’s on the horizon for Gabriel Bergmoser?
Gabriel Bergmoser: I’ve got my play, Regression, which is the next thing up. I’m talking to a really exciting director in Melbourne who might want to take it on. Windmills talks are ongoing. A lot of the conversations that were started in America are still ongoing and some conversations here in Australia with different production companies are ongoing. At the moment I’m also working on the Boone Shepard series. I’ve finished all five books, but a couple of them need to be heavily rewritten so I’m in the process of doing that right now. I’m working on outlining a series about Boone Shepard’s daughter set twenty years later…there’s another sci-fi series that I really want to write that I’m working on outlining and yeah a couple screenplay ideas are inching along. Theater wise were hoping to do a stage version of Boone Shepard at the end of the year…and a web series with a couple of friends about a broke Uni student who moonlights as a low rent assassin and all her jobs are on campus and she’s terrible at her job and every job she screws up. There’s a lot going on.
I would like to thank Gabriel Bergmoser for sitting down and talking to me. I encourage everyone reading to listen to our recorded interview listed above because there some interesting concepts and ideas we delved into that I couldn’t fit into the written transcript. Information and Excerpts on Gabriel Bergmoser’s novels and plays can be found on his website here and you can follow Gabriel on twitter here
Boone Shepard will be available for pre-order soon!