Billy Marshall Stoneking
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|This article needs additional citations for verification.|
Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.(March 2008)
|This article's tone or style may not be appropriate for Wikipedia. Specific concerns may be found on the talk page. See Wikipedia's guide to writing better articles for suggestions. (March 2008)|
Childhood and education
Billy Marshall Stoneking was born in Orlando, Florida, the second child of Charles and Florence Marshall. Born William Randolph Marshall on 31 August, 1947 (his sister, Barbara, named him 'Randolph' after her favorite movie actor, Randolph Scott, and his mother selected 'William', after an old family friend, later aide de camp to President John F. Kennedy). The name "Stoneking" derives from his paternal great-grandfather, Reuben Stoneking (of Hundred, WV, Wetzel County), who abandoned mother and child shortly after his grandfather was born. Stoneking's early years were spent growing up on military bases around the United States, including Randolph Field (Texas) and Fort Slocum (New York). When his father retired in 1961, the family moved to northern California where he attended high school in Folsom and Rancho Cordova, California. He graduated from California State University (Sacramento) in 1970, majoring in English, with minors in philosophy and education; and in 1972, he migrated to Australia. "The bumper stickers said, 'America, love it or leave it', so I left." In 1983, after more than a decade living in Australia, four years of which were spent living with tribal Aboriginal people 275 km west northwest of Alice Springs, Stoneking graduated from the Australian Film, Television and Radio School in Sydney, specialising in screenwriting.
After completing a year's post-graduate credential in teaching, Stoneking migrated to Australia and spent five years teaching high school English and humanities subjects in Lake Bolac and Cobden, Victoria, before travelling to Papunya Aboriginal Settlement, Central Australia in 1979 where he was employed to set up a "literature production" programme for tribal Aboriginal people to enable them to teach their children to read and write in their native language, Pintupi/Luritja.
By this time, Stoneking had already been publishing his poems in little magazines around Australia for a number of years. He was also active in the burgeoning performance poetry movement, which included fellow poets, Pi O, Amanda Stewart, Jas H. Duke, and others. His poems have been featured in the Oxford Book of Australian Poetry (edited by Les Murray), and The Penguin Book of Modern Australian Poetry (edited by John Tranter and Philip Mead). He is also the author of seven books, including Lasseter, In Quest of Gold (Hodder & Stoughton, 1989), Singing the Snake (Angus & Robertson) and Taking America Out of the Boy (Hodder Spectrum). In 2008, his poem "The Seasons of Fire" was chosen by Australian poet, Les Murray, as "one of the 10 best Australian poems ever written." All ten selections, including Stoneking's, are featured in the Fall issue of the University of Liverpool's literary journal, The Reader.
After four years at the Papunya Aboriginal Settlement in the Northern Territory, Stoneking returned to Sydney, and, in 1982, was admitted to the full-time screenwriting program of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School.
Stoneking's first films were made in the mid-1980s, including a chronicle of his work at Papunya Aboriginal Settlement, Desert Stories. He also had success writing for television, including the AFI award-winning drama series, Stringer, which he created and wrote for ABC TV.
These early successes were followed by scripts for Paramount Television's Mission: Impossible, and the full-length stage play, Sixteen Words for Water, which went on to successful productions in London, New Zealand, and the U.S.
Mentor, script editor, producer, & story consultant
Stoneking is a teacher of dramatic writing in Australia. He is in constant demand both in Australia and overseas. He has presented his legendary workshop, the Drama of Screenwriting, in every capital city in Australia and New Zealand. He has also been a featured speaker at Tropfest's Roughcut in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
Stoneking is also a much sought after script editor and story consultant. He was script editor of the award-winning Australian feature, Chopper (2000); and script editor/consultant on Darlene Johnson's much acclaimed short feature, Crocodile Dreaming (2007). More recently he edited Maya Newell's biographical documentary, RICHARD The Most Interestingest Person I've Ever Met.
He is the producer of several critically acclaimed films, including Nosepeg's Movie (which he also wrote), Call It Poetry (50 mins, ABC-TV) and more recently, the groundbreaking 30-minute film drama, Jelly's Placenta, written, designed and directed by Christina Conrad, which he co- and executive produced.
Stoneking travels extensively, running workshops and seminars all over the world. When not on the road he advises and works as a mentor at the International Film School, Sydney.