Wendy Hanna is an AWGie nominated screenwriter and creative development consultant with a passion for people, characters and big ideas. With over 15 years experience in the industry, she has worked for some of the country’s leading production companies, on projects for both the local and international market.
Graduating with a Bachelor of Media (honours) from Macquarie University, Wendy began her career in publishing as a Marketing Strategist for children’s titles at Random House Australia. She worked closely with the publishing team to help launch a number of highly successful series including Pearlie the Park Fairy by Wendy Harmer and the Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan.
Her break into television came when she took on the role of script department assistant on McLeod’s Daughters (Nine). From there she moved into factual television, working as a Production Coordinator on numerous factual entertainment programs including Atlas: Australia Revealed (Discovery US), as Researcher on Bush Slam (ABC) and as Associate Producer on the first season of Selling Houses Australia (Foxtel).
Moving into development, Wendy worked for both Beyond Television and Freehand Productions before joining Sydney-based Essential Media and Entertainment in 2009 as a Development Executive with a focus on factual entertainment and children’s content. There, Wendy worked closely with the company’s directors and executive producers to assess and develop external and internal projects, as well as developing and pitching original content to broadcasters. Her contributions include co-concepting survival format Do or Die (ABC2, DCD), co-developing teen factual format MY24 (ABC3, ACTF), and development producer on animated preschool series Sydney Sailboat aka Bubble Bath Bay (ABC Kids).
After this successful career in development, Wendy made the decision to transition back into the writer’s room as Script & Story Editor on Sydney Sailboat.
Within a relatively short period, she has managed to establish a flourishing full-time screenwriting career. Wendy has written for numerous children’s series including ABC Kids programs such as Play School spin-off Maurice’s Big Adventure, the hugely popular Giggle and Hoot, and it’s spin-off series Hoot Hoot Go!, for which she was also a development consultant, and the upcoming comedy animation series Dumbotz (Nine), due to air in 2019. She also wrote the unconventional documentary Dating the H*Bomb as part of ABC2 and Screen Australia’s Opening Shot initiative.
In 2015, she returned to drama as Trainee Script Editor on one of the country’s leading commercial drama series Love Child (Nine), mentored by Tim Pye (Season 3) and Sarah Smith (Season 4). In 2017, Wendy joined the script team of iconic Australian soap Neighbours (Ten) as an in-house Script Editor, and continues working as an ongoing writer for the show.
Wendy was nominated for her first Australian Writer’s Guild Award in 2017 for her work on Hoot, Hoot Go! Her episode ‘Giggle Fangs is Too Good at Hoot and Seek’ was nominated in the Children’s Television – P Classification (Preschool – Under 5 Years) category.
In 2018, she’s helped to develop, and wrote the pilot scripts for preschool animation series Alicia + Alexander (ACTF) and Lucy’s Cannon (Screen Tasmania) for Blue Rocket Productions, both currently in development.
As a consultant, Wendy brings with her a wealth of experience of the entire development process, from assessing concepts for their creative merit as well as production feasibility, writing and editing pitch documents to working in formal development with broadcasters and other financiers. Whether working with writers, producers or creative teams, Wendy takes a passionate yet no-nonsense approach to development, interrogating concepts from the ground up to ensure projects find their best form.
As a writer, Wendy has become known as an adaptable, trusted and insightful collaborator with a sharp understanding of character motivation and story structure. She has extensive experience working in writer’s rooms, and running development rooms, for projects in formal development and in production.
Her clients have included Blue Rocket Productions, Sticky Pictures, Windmill Pictures, Fredbird Entertainment, Essential Media and Entertainment, Ruby Girl Productions, Unko, Last Frame Productions and ABC Kids, as well as numerous other producers.
In her own work, Wendy is focussed on creating stories featuring female outsiders caught at extraordinary and challenging crossroads in their lives. Her projects currently in development include digital series Kara, Infected, a made-for-mobile thriller about a young woman who survives a modern day plague (with Taylor Litton-Strain of Last Frame Productions), and her debut feature Sink or Strip, a comedy romp about an introverted accountant who unwittingly inherits a stripper cruise boat business.
A total sucker for a good story, Wendy likes watching movies the old-fashioned way – with a choc top at the cinema.