Who I am

Cracking Yarns was created by Allen Palmer, an Australian screenwriter who’s worked in Hollywood and the UK, and who now teaches at AFTRS, Australia’s national film school in Sydney, and one of the Top 20 Film Schools in the world.

Me with my wonderful wife, Meredith Curnow

After a fumbling first screenplay, I was encouraged by US-based Australian producer/director, Lynda Heys, to head to Los Angeles to study at UCLA Extension and it was a life-changing experience. Alongside writers like fellow-Australian Stuart Beattie (Collateral, Pirates of the Caribbean), I studied under tutors like Christopher Vogler (The Writers Journey) and was introduced to the work of mythological guru, Joseph Campbell. (I also worked on the lot at Universal Pictures and one day did photocopying for Steven Spielberg – but humbly declined a credit.)

After graduating, I honed my understanding of story as a reader for the Sundance Institute in LA, and the Script Factory and Granada Film in London. I was also a Reader for the UK Film Council and was a judge for their “25 words or less” competition.

I’ve also done a bit of writing. My TV series Close Quarters was developed for the BBC and optioned by Company Pictures (Shameless). I adapted the novel Happiness for FilmFour and my feature, Like me only rich, was optioned by Harbour Pictures (Calendar Girls).

My romantic comedy Falling for Figaro (aka Her Bloody Opera) was funded by Screen NSW and Screen Australia, and was recently financed by a major US investor – 17 years after I started writing it.

My most recent screenplay Celebrity Leave Pass was a Quarter Finalist in Final Draft’s 2012 Big Break Screenwriting Contest.

I consult on story to several Australia film production companies, mentor past students, and share my thoughts on film through my screenwriting blog.

I am now on the teaching staff at AFTRS, Australia’s National Film & TV School, where I teach on both the Award and Open programs. Here aremy upcoming screenwriting courses.

Cracking Yarns is my business and my passion.

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