Louise Gough joins Picking Scabs as an executive producer

Louise Gough (Image: Mark Rogers)

Former Screen Australia head of development Louise Gough has taken up an executive producer role with Picking Scabs, the joint venture between See-Saw Films and writer/showrunner Samantha Strauss.

Known for her work as script editor, script assessor, and dramaturgical consultant, Gough’s 30-year career has included roles as head of development at Arenamedia, head of new work at Belvoir Theatre, editorial manager at ABC TV Drama and narrative comedy script manager at VicScreen.

She was also on the development team at Madman and previously worked at Screen Australia as a development executive (story), with experience as a script advisor with Sources 2 in Europe, and as an advisor at the Berlinale Talent Campus Script Station.

Gough, who will report to Strauss and See-Saw Film’s head of film and television Australia, Liz Watts, said she “could not be more honoured and thrilled to be invited into the See-Saw Films’ family”.

“I have long admired Iain Canning and Emile Sherman and the stories that See-Saw Films bring to the world,” she said.

“It is a company with global reach, who work with the highest calibre creatives and who produce meaningful and superbly executed stories that enrich our understanding of the world. I am so looking forward to working with Liz Watts and the See-Saw team and with Samantha Strauss and Picking Scabs as well as our creative partners.

“Sam is a vivid creator who embraces rich and resonant themes in forms that hit the heart, humour, and pain of life, wrapped up in joyous rides. Liz, in her sustained and stellar career, is a tremendous role model for me as I step into this position.”

Strauss and See-Saw Films announced the formation of Picking Scabs in the second half of 2020, having collaborated on Foxtel/Sky UK’s The End, created by the former.

The writer and producer, known for her work on Dance Academy and Nine Perfect Strangers, said Gough’s story instincts were second to none.

“After every script session, I feel as if my head has been opened and my life changed,” she said.

“I’m honoured she’s joining Picking Scabs as an executive producer and, with the wonderful folks at See-Saw, cannot wait to bring our slate of projects into the world.”

Watts described Gough as “exceptionally talented” at working with writers and shepherding scripts through development right through into production.

“She has had a long and distinguished career and most recently highly regarded in her role as head of development at Screen Australia,” she said.

“We are thrilled she will be joining Samantha Strauss and the See-Saw team in our Picking Scabs joint venture.”

Gough’s appointment comes after multiple TV talent hires for See-Saw, with executive producers Moss Barclay, Ann Phillips, and Julian Stevens joining the UK office in 2022.

The company has also announced that Maria Nicholson, a development coordinator part of the teams responsible for originating Heartstopper and Slow Horses, is now a development producer.