Five Minutes With...Last Year's Monte Miller Award Winner James Cripps

03 October, 2023

James Cripps received the long form Monte Miller Award last year for his series High Rotation, and since then has worked on the upcoming NCIS: Sydney and been a finalist in the 2021 AACTA Pitch: Bite competition.

When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?
I was in Year 7 and I thought it was time to decide what to do with the rest of my life. I asked myself, “What do I like?” I answered, “Movies and writing.” There was a pause.  Then it hit me. “I’ll write movies!” The whole decision took about five seconds. 

What inspires you?
Emotions that are unexpected and complex. That could be something I’ve personally felt, or something expressed in books, movies, art or through conversations with others. They linger and can be revealing and are fun riddles to try to solve through story. I’m also partial to balls-out action sequences and cheesy one-liners.

Why did you join the Guild?
To be able to draw upon AWG resources and to support my fellow writers. What I wasn’t expecting when I joined was the level of support I would later receive through Pathways, mentorship as well as general career progression. It’s been phenomenal. 

Best moment of your writing career?
Winning the Monte Miller long form award. It came after several years of career stasis, and I was getting very close to lighting that script on fire and doing something else with my life. The win provided a nice wave of momentum that I’m still benefitting from.

Best advice you’ve received about writing?
Don’t overwrite.

What is your best tip for writers?
Don’t overwrite.

What are you working on now?
A supernatural noir one hour pilot. 

What are you currently reading?
The Fourth Man by Robert Baer. 

What are you currently watching?
NCISAhsoka and movies about treasure hunting – an inordinate amount of which star Matthew McConaughey.

Find out more about James and High Rotation here