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Breath
Fran Date: Thursday, 10-Mar-11, 2:24 PM | Message # 1
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Breath by Tim Winton – Winner 2009 Miles Franklin Award

Pikelet and Loonie are two friends who will do anything for a dare. As young kids they would dive into the river and and hang on tight to tree roots until they saw spots. As adolescents they graduate from the river to the surf along the wild Western Australian coast and discover a new kind of danger. Out in the ocean they feel truly free, even immortal, as they take greater and greater risks in the water. When they meet the enigmatic Sando and come into his thrall, the boys test themselves in bigger and wilder waves, seeking an experience to top all the others.

Together they form a maverick trio, with a discipline and outlook all their own. They surf secret breaks, ride unimaginable storm swells and paddle to crazy shark-infested reefs miles out to sea, pushing each other to the farthest limits of courage, endurance and sanity. But the bond between them begins to warp and the game changes. When Pikelet finds himself on the outer he gets to know Sando's wife, Eva and he discovers just how far you can travel in a single breath.

This is a story about the damage you do to yourself when you're young and think you're immortal.

In his first novel in seven years, Tim Winton has achieved a new level of mastery.

http://jd-associates.com.au/authors/author/tim-winton

 
Fran Date: Thursday, 10-Mar-11, 2:25 PM | Message # 2
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November 2009: http://www.sbs.com.au/films....-Breath

Simon Baker takes a 'Breath'

"The Mentalist" star Simon Baker and producer Mark Johnson have teamed to acquire feature rights to the Tim Winton novel "Breath."
Baker and Johnson will produce together, and Baker plans to play one of the lead roles. They plan to enlist a director before setting up funding for the pic.

Published in 2008, the novel is set in a small town in Western Australia where two 16-year-old boys take up surfing under the tutelage of an enigmatic surfer named Sando (Baker) and his mysterious wife. Spurred on by their mentor, the boys test the limits of courage and recklessness as they try to escape their mundane lives.

Winton, one of Australia's top authors, won the Miles Franklin Award for the book, marking the fourth time he's won the honor. His 2001 novel "Dirt Music" is being turned into a film by Phillip Noyce, and "Cloudstreet" is being turned into a miniseries by Screentime.

Johnson and Baker first teamed on CBS legal drama "The Guardian." Baker, who has been surfing the waters off Australia since childhood, was last seen on the big screen in "The Devil Wears Prada" and next stars in "The Killer Inside Me," the Michael Winterbottom-directed adaptation of the Jim Thompson novel.

"Winton's book beautifully captures the excitement and brutality of growing up in a way I've only experienced but have never been able to articulate," Baker said.

Johnson is no stranger to Australia, as he has been camped there while producing "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader," the third instalment in "The Chronicles of Narnia" series for Fox 2000 and Walden Media. He also wrapped the remake of "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" in Melbourne for Miramax, with Guy Pearce and Katie Holmes starring. Johnson produced the latter pic with Guillermo del Toro.

"While 'Breath' is at its heart a coming-of-age story, I see it primarily as a celebration of teenage anarchy and a youthful rejection of anything that smacks of the ordinary," Johnson said.

 
Fran Date: Thursday, 10-Mar-11, 2:27 PM | Message # 3
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November 2009: http://www.theage.com.au/enterta....h3.html

Tale of sun, surf and sex set for big screen

TIM Winton is a patient man. Perhaps that's because he's a surfer and is used to waiting for the right wave. He'll need that patience now to deal with a different sort of wave - the wave of interest film makers are showing in adapting his novels for the screen.

His best-known novel, Cloudstreet, was published in 1991 and in February filming will begin on Winton's script for a six-hour miniseries to be shown on cable TV. Australian director Phil Noyce has been trying to film Dirt Music for several years, but the project has faced a series of delays.

The latest interest comes from Australian actor Simon Baker and American film producer Mark Johnson, who have acquired the rights to Winton's most recent novel, Breath, for which Winton won his fourth Miles Franklin literary award.

Breath is the story of two risk-taking adolescents growing up on the coast of Western Australia and falling under the influence of a gun surfer, Sando, and his American wife, Eva. While Sando draws the boys into the more intense physical and emotional risks posed by huge surf, Eva leads one of them into confronting sexual experience.

Johnson, who is in Australia completing The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the third of the Narnia films, read Breath and liked it, he said, because ''it was such a celebration of youth and youthful anarchy''.

He met Tim Winton last year in Oregon while the writer was on a US book tour. ''He said to me that of all his books he could see this one being set in the US, but I said I had to respectfully disagree. I said it was so specific.''

Johnson said he immediately thought of involving Baker, with whom he had worked on the TV legal drama The Guardian.

''Simon had heard of Tim Winton but didn't know of the book. He read it over a weekend and said he had to sit down once he'd finished it. It really spoke to him,'' Johnson said. ''I think surfing had also been an escape for Simon, a passion when he was growing up and had helped him with his family.''

Baker, who stars on the small screen in The Mentalist, said in a statement that he was keen to play the part of Sando, the older surfer. ''Winton's book beautifully captures the excitement and brutality of growing up in a way I've experienced, but have never been able to articulate,'' he said.

Now the search is on for a writer and director. ''Simon and I are determined to make it an Australian film,'' Johnson said. ''I would hope that both the writer and director would also be Australian. In a perfect world I would be the lone American involved.'' He added that Baker had yet to meet Winton.

 
Fran Date: Thursday, 10-Mar-11, 2:28 PM | Message # 4
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November 2009: http://blog.moviefone.com/2009/11/19/simon-baker-breath-surfer-movie/

Simon Baker Hits the Waves for Aussie Surfing Movie 'Breath'

CBS's gain has been a loss for the movies. Why oh why isn't Simon Baker a huge film star? For the Tiffany network's hit-maker ('The Guardian,' 'The Mentalist') maybe a trip back home will change all that.

Baker -- born in Tasmania -- has taken in 'Breath,' based on a novel by one of Australia's most celebrated writers, Tim Winton. It's the story of two reckless teens mentored by a surfing guru named Sando. Variety reports Baker intends to co-produce and star as the aforementioned wave-riding master.

Also under the beach umbrella is Eva, Sando's mysterious American wife. The role of Eva should be coveted by any number of actresses, since Baker clicks onscreen with most co-stars, from The Mentalist's alluring Robin Tunney to a bunch of pesky zombies ('George Romero's Land of the Dead').

Baker's Stateside big break was in Oscar winner 'L.A. Confidential' (alongside fellow Aussies Guy Pearce and Russell Crowe). Baker played doomed young actor Matt Reynolds. He was also seen in the hits "The Ring Two' and 'The Devil Wears Prada.' If Baker and producing partner Mark Johnson ('The Guardian') can get 'Breath' set, it may be the biggest wave of Baker's career. And Simon Baker in a wetsuit? Hey, would 'The Surfing Mentalist' be too much to ask for?

 
Fran Date: Thursday, 10-Mar-11, 3:06 PM | Message # 5
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December 2010: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news....1813572

Excerpts:
Winton was not involved in any of those scripts but he tells Review he is working on a screenplay for his most recent novel, the surfing and sex coming-of-age story Breath, which won him a record fourth Miles Franklin last year. The film rights have been secured by US-based Australian actor (and keen surfer) Simon Baker of The Mentalist fame and American producer Mark Johnson, who won an Oscar for Rain Man.

Winton says he is "working on a couple of fiction things" of his own but "I don't know how far along with them I am and if I did I probably wouldn't say anyway". One thing he is unlikely to do is write a sequel to Breath, though he acknowledges lots of readers would like to know what happens to Pike, the main character, who we know as a boy and young man but only glimpse as an adult at the start and end of the book.

SLIGHT SPOILER:
Winton has observed -- complained would be too strong a word -- that many readers use the novel as a form of therapy and want a story that ends in redemption. He understands the need, he says, but he's a writer, not a therapist. "Look, certainly when I was writing Breath I did [think about fleshing out Pike's adult life] but it's always suited me to say less than more," he says. "I wonder if anything I added would be depleting. He strikes me at the end of the book as a man who is declaring that he's almost all right, but clearly he isn't. Then maybe I'm a bit hard on him."

 
Fran Date: Thursday, 10-Mar-11, 3:07 PM | Message # 6
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December 2010: http://www.tracksmag.com/2010120....rs.html

Wanna Be A Movie Star? Tim Winton's Breath Needs Actors.

Novelist and die-hard surfer Tim Winton is one of Australia’s most successful writers. Not because of the sheer volume of his unit sales, or the fact he has won four Miles Franklin writer awards, but because he’s managed to achieve all this following his heart. Tim’s books offer readers narratives of Aussie characters in their natural element rather than superficial humans in far away metropolises. No super sleuths jetting around Rome searching for holy grails that don’t exist in Tim’s work.

Tim’s latest novel BREATH is set to become a major motion picture – exciting stuff for the longhaired West Australian and budding Aussie actors. Tracks has been informed by Barrett Casting that, “A nation wide search to find two boys aged 14-17 to play the lead roles in the feature film adaptation is underway.

MOVIE AUDITION - BREATH
Based on Tim Winton’s bestselling and award-winning novel, two young boys come of age in a small coastal town and form an unlikely friendship with an older big-wave surfer, who pushes them to take risks that will have a deep impact on their lives.

Breath is a story about youthful recklessness and the lengths we will go, against our better judgment, to avoid feeling ordinary. Bruce “Pikelet” Pike is a boy growing up in Sawyer, a small, charmless coastal town. Together with his unlikely friend Loonie, the boys discover the adrenaline rush of surfing and fall under the spell of an enigmatic bigwave surfer named Sando, who takes the boys under his wing and challenges them to take on bigger risks and ride waves beyond their control. As the boys mature into adolescence, each discovers his own longings and limits, and the rift that develops between them threatens to push each toward self-destruction.

Breath will star Simon Baker (The Mentalist, The Devil Wears Prada) as Sando, and will mark his feature directing debut.

Barrett Casting is looking for 14-17 year old boys to play the lead roles in the feature film adaptation of Tim Winton’s award winning novel BREATH. No acting experience necessary but you need to be a good swimmer and have some surfing skills.

 
Fran Date: Thursday, 10-Mar-11, 3:08 PM | Message # 7
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Don’t know if this one is genuine – difficult to tell on Facebook but it does have the same contact email address as the casting call in the TracksMag link above:

December 2010: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Breath-movie-auditions/170175156337742

Breath movie auditions: We'd like to thank everyone who submitted themselves for the BREATH audition. Unfortunately due to Actor availability the film will be postponed until early 2012. Your submissions will be kept on file. We thank you again and hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

 
Fran Date: Thursday, 10-Mar-11, 3:09 PM | Message # 8
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March 2011: http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest....-screen

Excerpt:
Showtime's adaptation of Cloudstreet (which Winton co-wrote) is due on pay TV in May and his first play, Rising Water, is being mounted by Black Swan. Next up will be Breath, which is being produced by Mentalist star Simon Baker, who will also take one of the lead roles in Winton's wrenching death-haunted surfing tale.

 
Fran Date: Monday, 23-May-11, 10:37 AM | Message # 9
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Excerpt from an article about Cloudstreet confirming that Breath is still in development and not close to production:

"The children's book series Lockie Leonard has happily moved to television and a screen version of The Riders, directed by Julian Jarrold, is close to production while adaptations of Breath, The Shallows and Dirt Music, to be directed by Phil Noyce, remain in development.

Winton wrote the Breath screenplay for producers Mark Johnson and Simon Baker, but generally resists adapting his own work."

There's nothing more about Breath in the article, but for references purposes it's here: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news....7281445

 
Fran Date: Wednesday, 29-Jun-11, 11:45 PM | Message # 10
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Excerpt from article 'Stars line up to make Winton movies', which provides location information for Breath:

He (Winton) did the recent adaptation of the television mini-series version of Cloudstreet and has written the script for his coming-of-age award-winner Breath, which The Mentalist star Baker hopes to shoot in Margaret River.

http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest....-movies

Margaret River is in the South West of Western Australia, 277 kilometres (172 miles) south of Perth. If you want to see some photos (looks fabulous): http://margaretriverphotos.com/library/
 
Fran Date: Sunday, 31-Jul-11, 1:17 AM | Message # 11
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Book trailer video for Breath by MacmillanUSA (6:21): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uPhGHa7ymk
 
Fran Date: Saturday, 20-Aug-11, 6:24 PM | Message # 12
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The French Magazine Tele7Jours has stated that Breath is planned for 2012. I hope they're right, but the French press is frequently inaccurate with regard to Simon, so best not to bank on it wink
 
Fran Date: Thursday, 13-Oct-11, 11:08 AM | Message # 13
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Looks like there's another producer on board and some changes to the script:

Excerpts:
Screen Australia has thrown its support behind 17 new feature projects, currently in development.

Actor Simon Baker (The Mentalist) will work with Hilton, producer Mark Johnson (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader) and writer Peter Duncan (Unfinished Sky) to develop an adaptation of Tim Winton’s novel Breath.

“I’m proud of our association with this compelling group of feature projects by such talented filmmaking teams,” Screen Australia’s head of development, Martha Coleman, said in a statement.

“The quality and range of projects we are seeing is hugely inspiring and our development team care passionately about assisting the filmmakers we are working with to achieve the best possible version of their story. This is a very exciting time.”

BREATH
Genre Drama
Producers Jamie Hilton, Simon Baker, Mark Johnson
Writer Peter Duncan
Synopsis When surfer boys Pikelet and Loonie fall under the spell of older enigmatic big-wave surfer Sando, they are pushed to their limits towards self destruction. Based on the best-selling novel by Tim Winton.

Source: http://if.com.au/2011....CU.html
 
Thrill Date: Tuesday, 20-Mar-12, 12:41 PM | Message # 14
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Hi Fran and everyone
I have just caught up with all the Breath info. I am a Perth girl (well since 96) and am very excited about the fact that Breath will (one day??) be filmed in Margaret River area - best surfing near Perth).

Re #11 - opening shots are Esplanade in Perth, then moves to Margaret River region for coastal shots (possibly Prevelly beach), red dirt road and trees (Karri trees) - not sure where the inland town is - possibly Manjimup.

Saw this today in our local paper (The West) re Pro surf comp at Margaret River

http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest....s-crowd

Enjoy smile
 
Fran Date: Friday, 01-Jun-12, 5:51 PM | Message # 15
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No doubt everyone saw in the Gala.fr interview posted today that Simon was asked “Would you like one day to direct a film?” and his reply was “I'd love to! I have lots of ideas running through my head, but I don’t have enough free time to explore them. I need to have time and mental energy for it. Everytime I’ve tried to think about it, opportunities arose that I couldn’t refuse. But I’ll try to take a year off one day after The Mentalist, to let my mind wander and gather the pieces together.”

This seems to me to be a strong indication that Breath will not be made until after Simon finishes on The Mentalist. On the one hand, I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed that we’ll almost certainly have to wait at least 4 years before this film is released. On the other hand, this is such a personally significant project for Simon, that it would be lovely for him to have the freedom to be able to put his heart and soul into it – and I think we’d get a better film as a result.
 
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