Straight out of drama school and with no idea of how a set worked, Elise’s first gig was playing Jenny, a rape victim in a television series. Acting her heart out, weeping real tears, Elise’s pride was shattered when the first AD advised her that the camera was on a close up of another actor and they were now turning around to shoot hers.
After five years as a working actor Elise had perfected crying on cue but was frustrated by the limited roles for female actors. In an attempt to address this, Elise wrote and directed her first feature film Strange Fits of Passion which was accepted into the Cannes Film Festival. Career highlights since then include the Emmy winning children’s series Nowhere Boys and the new SBS drama Sunshine which she wrote and co-created with Matt Cameron.
Elise is also looking forward to the production of her co-written feature with Andrew Knight Ride Like a Girl, and her two original television series – Stateless and Overflow.
Elise credits Tony Ayres and Andrew Knight for their towering talent and generosity in providing her with invaluable encouragement and opportunity. Elise strongly believes in the importance of mentors and knows her screenwriting career would have floundered without this level of faith and support.
In the past year Elise has gone from 5am starts at the races, to hanging out with school girl virtuoso musicians, to interviewing refugees who’ve survived Nauru, to watching the techniques of South Sudanese basketball coaches. Elise believes one of the great joys of being a screenwriter is constantly educating yourself about things you have absolutely no idea about.
The two greatest assets a screenwriter can have are perseverance and the ability to listen. Both things she learnt from being an actor.
In the future, Elise hopes to finally make her second feature as writer/director - her personal passion project Dysmorphia. She would also like to show run her own original TV series.