Laura Nagy pursues her love of storytelling
DOP Emma Paine with Laura Nagy on the set of ‘Hook Up’ (Photo credit: Narika Mckenzie)
Laura Nagy first met Ian Collie when she was a casting coordinator on Doctor Doctor and he later hired her as his assistant at Essential Media in 2017.
Spotting her potential, Collie asked Laura to follow him and colleagues Rachael Turk and Tanya Phegan when he departed to launch Easy Tiger in 2018.
He then asked the emerging filmmaker to join the Easy Tiger development team, where the 2010 AFTRS graduate is nurturing several projects. “Laura is an absolute gem and multi-skilled – a filmmaker in her own right,” Collie tells IF.
Laura says: “I am queer and I started writing those stories because a lot of it was exploring things I felt in my real life and wasn’t necessarily talking about.
“Once I started doing it, it got easier and people keep asking me to do it, so I accidentally became a queer storyteller.”
Collie says: “We are very open to queer-related content and are developing one or two ideas. Laura has such great connections with young and emerging TV talent, that next generation of program makers, who have brought some wonderfully exciting and fresh ideas to Easy Tiger.”
Earlier in her career Nagy worked as an assistant director or in other production roles on numerous films including The Great Gatsby, The Wolverine, Unbroken, Gods of Egypt, Peter Rabbit, Pacific Rim: Uprising and 2.22 and TV shows Redfern Now, Top of The Lake and Wonderland.
“It was a robust education working on the other side of the curtain,” she says. “As an AD you get an intimate look at the production as well as a broad understanding of all the different departments.
“I worked with Jennifer Leacey when she was first AD on The Great Gatsby, with Deb Antonio as the second AD and Samantha Smith as the second second. I stayed with more or less some version of that team for my whole AD career.
“I always wanted to be a writer-director. Ian and Rachael and Tanya have given me an amazing education in development.”
(L-R) Travis Jeffery, Joshua McElroy, Kirsty Marillier and Jillian Nguyen with Laura Nagy (Photo credit: Lucy Alcorn).
In 2017 the Screen NSW/SBS/NITV Generator: Emerging Filmmakers Fund enabled her to write and direct her first short Bodies, a feminist drama exploring exploring the toxic friendship between two teenage girls, executive produced by Aquarius Films.
Free to work on projects outside Easy Tiger, her latest short is Hook Up, a queer coming-of-age drama funded by the Melbourne Queer Film Festival which will premiere on the festival’s opening night on March 12.
Produced by Sarah Christie and Maren Smith, the film stars Jillian Nguyen (Hungry Ghosts, Loveland) and Kirsty Marillier as teenagers who go on a double date with two older men they met online, played by Joshua McElroy (Frayed) and Travis Jeffery (The Heights, Bloody Hell).
The date goes awry, the lines of consent are blurred and one of the girls has to fight to protect herself and her best friend.
The project won the festival’s inaugural live Pitch, Pleez! competition last year, supported by private investor Matthew Lee and Film Victoria.
With creator Stef Smith and producer Yingna Lu she is developing Fish, a 6 x 1 hour crime drama about a young woman coming to terms with her family’s dark history, supported by Screen NSW.
Her other big project is MASC, a seven-part online anthology which will give female and non-binary perspectives on contemporary masculinity, with development funding from Screen Australia.
Madeleine Gottlieb and Nagy came up with the concept and each will write and direct an episode, together with Renée Marie Petropoulos, Hyun Lee, Imogen McCluskey, Shari Sebbens and Cloudy Rhodes. Laura describes her segment as a queer horror film.