5 minutes with Cody Greenwood

Cody Greenwood

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Western Australian production company, RUSH Films, has received eleven nominations in the 2021 WA Screen Culture Awards, across a slate of diverse and compelling films.

Celebrating the achievement, innovation and ambition of our local industry, the WA Screen Culture Awards (WASCAs) embrace all forms from new, established, and emerging screen practices.

The industry’s leading awards are proudly presented and produced by the Revelation Perth International Film Festival in collaboration with the WA screen industry.

Founded in late 2016 by WA Producer Cody Greenwood, RUSH Films fosters collaboration with individuals united by a passion for artistic creation and driven by unique and diverse cinematic visions. 

Frances Elliott, Samantha Marlowe and Cody Greenwood on the set of Girl Like You.

Recognised by Screen Producers Australia as ‘One to Watch’, Cody Greenwood has earned herself a reputation as one of Australia’s most promising film producers having spent the last decade working alongside some of Australia’s most prominent & diverse storytellers, to create authentic and thought-provoking content.

In 2021 Greenwood was the recipient of the Screenwest Breaking the Celluloid Initiative, which has been designed to support three female and/or non-binary producers to create bold work for film and television. 

RUSH Film’s output to date has been anchored in factual production – across shorts, series and feature films – working with some of Australia’s most distinctive filmmaking voices. The criteria for Rush Films projects is based on the following three components: an original vision, artistic integrity, and universal appeal. 

Tina Fielding, Jacqueline Pelczar, Gary Cooper and Cody Greenwood on the set of Sparkles.

Rush Films productions received nominations in the following categories:

Girl Like You Innovation In Documentary Feature
Girl Like You Outstanding Achievement in Sound
Under The Volcano Innovation In Documentary Feature
Under The Volcano Outstanding Achievement in Original Music
Under The Volcano Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography or Visualisation
Sparkles Outstanding Achievement in Directing
Sparkles Outstanding Achievement in Editing
Sparkles Outstanding Achievement in Writing
Sparkles Outstanding Achievement in Sound
Tooly Outstanding Achievement in Writing
Tooly Outstanding Achievement in Directing 

All four film’s that were nominated in the 2021 awards were directed by women and cover a broad range of subject matter. 

We grabbed five minutes with Greenwood to discuss her processes.

Your recent short films have had an incredible run of success on the festival circuit, your production company Rush Films has been nominated for 11 WA Screen Culture Awards, and your feature film Under the Volcano has received an AACTA nomination for Best Editing. Do you consider yourself a modest filmmaker, or do you openly celebrate your success so far?
I would like to think of myself as a modest filmmaker, however I also feel its important to celebrate success. As Australians we have a natural tendency to shy away from this. All of the films I’ve had the privilege of producing have been successful because of the efforts of a team of dedicated filmmakers. So any success I have had, I have celebrated with those who have been a part of that particular films journey. I’m very proud of the teams and projects I’ve worked on.

Your films have explored a diverse range of subjects. Is part of your focus going forward to make something different every time?
My slate has always been talent driven, with an eye for stories that will have global appeal. It has never been my intention to make something different each time, I’ve just been fortunate to work across an array of unique stories. My current slate across scripted and documentary ranges from the world of adult content to mental health to gender bias… Each story could not be more different and I’m working alongside directors and writers who I consider to be some of the most exciting creatives in Australia.

What do you look for in a filmmaker when you’re searching for a new project to produce?
Passion, determination and a sense of humour.

You’re mostly known for your producing work, but you also have a co-writing credit (Under the Volcano) and even an acting credit on the short film The Rest is Silence. Do you have any desire to explore acting again, or other roles on set?
I loved writing Under The Volcano and am really passionate about the writing process of documentary in particular. I loved crafting the script in development and then evolving that script as we moved into the edit. As for acting, you will never see a more awkward person in front of a camera so I don’t think that will be repeated any time soon.

From your perspective, what’s it’s like to be working within the Western Australia film industry at the moment?
I feel really invigorated by the West Australian industry and in terms of space, setting and talent – we have every reason to succeed as a local industry. There is so much opportunity right now in WA and I think the focus must be in understanding that the stories we choose to tell, will monumentally shape the beliefs and values of Australian culture for future generations.

I imagine this next question will be the equivalent of asking a parent who their favourite child is, but what film of yours has had a lingering impact on yourself? Or to put it bluntly, which one is your favourite?
You’re right – it would be way too hard to pick a film. All of my films have been so different, each with their challenges and successes along the way. I do have a particular fondness for the first documentaries I ever worked on, when I was starting out in the industry as a Production Manager. These were documentaries for NITV that were first time Indigenous filmmakers, telling the stories of everyday Australians in the face of adversity. I still consider that time in my career a highlight and have continued to work with those filmmakers today.

Do you ever find time to sleep?
[Laughs]. I do now! While making Under The Volcano I didn’t sleep for about four years, as I was working across multiple time zones, however when I’m on an Australian project I always make sure I get my sleep. No one wants to deal with a sleep deprived producer.

The 2021 WASCAs will be held on Sunday 5 December at Luna Cinemas Leederville. Tickets are available online at http://www.wascreencultureawards.com.au.


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