Auckland-born and raised — but based these days in Los Angeles— scriptwriter Norelle Scott has amassed many hours of screen time on her writing resume.
Scott's first writing credits were for the theatre, and stage plays continue to dot her CV. In the early 80s she began creating plays for Auckland's Theatre Corporate. Her play Promise Not to Tell won impressive reviews following professional productions in Auckland, Wellington and London. Further raves followed after she adapted Stevan Eldred-Grigg's novel Oracles and Miracles for the Kiwi stage. Starring Miranda Harcourt and Fiona Samuel, the coming of age tale did a sellout national tour in 1990.
In the late 80s Scott started devoting more of her energies to screen writing — although she had already made an auspicous screenwriting debut back in 1984, with short film Rud’s Wife. The storyline involved a widow (Yvonne Lawley) breaking free of her family's expectations. Scott co-wrote the script with director Alison Maclean, and Maclean learnt a lot from her. "Her way is to research things," Maclean told Onfilm, "to talk to people like the characters, and I'd never thought about that".
Scott went on to write for hit soap Gloss, the short-lived Homeward Bound, and four episodes of Shark in the Park — including this one, which sees a female cop facing a rough ride from her male colleagues. Scott's sole contribution to primetime series Marlin Bay was nominated for an International Writer's Guild Award in 1992. She was also in at the beginning of soap Shortland Street, and was one of the trio of writers on madcap big screen romp User Friendly.
In 1994 Scott completed a Bachelor of Arts at Auckland University (she later topped it off with First Class Honours in Women's Studies). At the same time she was busy amassing more credits: including writing the narration for this documentary about a man retracing Kupe's journey across the Pacific, and two episodes (including the first) of award-winner True Life Stories.
Scott began teaching at Auckland's Unitec School of Performing and Screen Arts in the late 90s. She took up the Head of Writing position in 1999 and went on to lead Unitec's directing and writing major.
Her work as a script consultant includes landmark Samoan drama series Tala Pasifika and te reo anthology show Aroha, (which she also script edited). In 2001, Aroha was judged Best TV Series at Canada's Imagine Native Arts Festival. In 2009 her as yet unproduced screenplay Uncle's Story won the award for Best Screenplay at a festival of Australasian cinema in France.
Scott originally trained as an actor at Auckland's Theatre Corporate. Stage roles aside, she played one of the terrorised victims in early Kiwi horror Death Warmed Up (1984), and starred in 1988 short film Scarlet Fever. She also coached the child-heavy cast of Sylvia Ashton-Warner teacher tale Sylvia.
Norelle Scott is currently based in Los Angeles — although she continues to develop a number of New Zealand based movie scripts.
'Norelle Scott' Playmarket website. Accessed 27 February 2017
'Norelle Scott' (Broken link), New Zealand Writers Guild website. Loaded 21 April 2016. Accessed 27 February 2017