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Video Editing Timeline

Our Story

Creators, Lynda Heys and Steve Turnbull established The Filmmaker’s Tools in 2001.  To date, they have presented sessions on filmmaking, screenplay development and reading film as text to over 250,000 students, teachers, lecturers, and professional filmmakers worldwide.


Lynda studied at AFTRS (The Australian Film, Television and Radio School) and received a Masters in Fine Arts (Film Producing) from the University of Southern California.  After working in development within the Hollywood studio system, she returned to Australia to co-write, produce and direct the $4 million Australian feature, TACKLING ROMEO (co-starring Radha Mitchell (FINDING NEVERLAND), Martin Henderson (VIRGIN RIVER) and Jason Clarke (ZERO DARK THIRTY, DAWN OF THE PLANET OF APES). TACKLING ROMEO starred Rebecca Yates (THE AUSTRALIAN BALLET) and Russell Page (BANGARRA DANCE COMPANY).

Steve co-developed and manages the Filmmaker’s Tool for schools and professional filmmakers and writers.  A working screenwriter for twenty years, Steve completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Media Studies at Deakin University and was a writer and AP on the award-winning ABC doco BLACK GOLD KINDRED SPIRIT.


He joined forces with Lynda on TACKLING ROMEO to work on the rewrites needed to secure production financing.  They went on to form Faraway Films with the objective to develop a slate of mainstream stories across genres with characters their audiences could care about. They have teamed up with a New York-based investor/producer to further adapt film projects for Broadway.

Along with presenting “The Filmmakers’ Tools” Sessions at High Schools, Lynda and Steve have held popular sessions on Film as Text at the Annual NSW English Teachers’ Association Conference, along with presenting at National and International English Conferences; The Victorian College of the Arts; North Sydney TAFE and The Australian Film, Television and Radio School.

Their professional course on screenplay structure, “Slaying the Dragon” has toured Australia with the support of the Australian Writers Guild and various State and Federal film bodies.


Other clients include animation studio PIXAR (TOY STORY, FINDING NEMO, CARS, UP).  Over 6 weeks, sessions on storytelling in film were presented at Pizar studio headquarters in San Francisco. The feedback from Pixar was that it was the best approach to cinematic storytelling they had ever had. Disney Studios immediately organized to bring the course to its filmmakers in Los Angeles. Since then, the team has returned to Disney, Pixar, and DreamWorks Animation and Indies for numerous presentations to their executives and creative teams.   

Screen Australia engaged the team to present a two-day Master Class for 200 writers, directors, and producers in the Australian film industry this landmark event in Sydney was sponsored by Screen NSW and the production company, Animal Logic.

The Filmmakers’ Tools took a hiatus to allow Lynda and Steve to work and live in Los Angeles for a number of years.


Most recently, their project, THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED was selected from almost 5000 USA & international projects for one of the 20 places available to develop their project with Imagine Entertainment (A BEAUTIFUL MIND, APPOLO 11) Led by Academy Award Winners, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer Imagine Entertainment Impact initiative provided the resources and space to for the team to deliver from concept to a fully developed feature film script in 8 creatively charged weeks.       

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