Artyfax Creative

Artyfax Creative

A personal memorial to the man who had the greatest impact on my life ...

‚Äčuntimely passing on November 6, 2001, Mr. Ewing held a personal conversation with me and made a point of telling me that the thing Mr. Shaffer loved most about me was my belief in what we were doing. He loved my passion, and he had wanted to mould me into becoming a much better writer. He embraced a project I had been working on (with Calgary artists Carl Bishop and Cameron Falkenhagen) based on his 1973 cult-classic film, The Wicker Man. Unfortunately, Mr. Shaffer passed away shortly after we'd been to Stratford (home of the famous Shakespeare Festival), and after also seeing David Mirvish about possibly producing and mounting our work. The Wicker Man was optioned, and eventually turned into a (forgettable) Nicolas Cage film, in 2006.

His personal life was about as crazed and chaotic as you'd expect the life of a playboy British author to be. I was fortunate enough to have spoken to two wonderful women he shared his life with: his last wife, the great actress Diane Cilento (with whom he founded the magnificent Karnak Theatre complex in the Australian rainforest,) and his companion, author Marie Jo Capece. The latter made sure I got a signed copy of his memoir, published shortly before his death, with a beautiful personal letter detailing how much I had meant to him in the last few years of his life. I grieved for many years for my friend and mentor because of that letter.

A Man for all Reasons

A Man for all Reasons

Colleague and Friend

Screenwriter

Playwright

(Continued)

Anthony Shaffer

1926 - 2001


Diane Cilento

(1933 - 2011))

I would like to take a few moments and tell you about my mentor - and my friend  - British suspense writer, Anthony Shaffer. He taught more about how to be an effective writer in four minutes than any amount of schooling could possibly have accomplished in four years. Many things have been written about Mr. Shaffer, and I shall not attempt to add to his biography here. I want to tell anyone who reads this what kind of a man my friend Mr. Shaffer was.

He was 'Anthony' to almost everyone who ever met him. He was 'Tony' to his closest friends and his intimate circle. I simple called him 'Mr. Shaffer'. He never failed to leave me in respectful awe of his narratives and his story-telling abilities - and there were some great tales. If you ever meet me in person, do ask about his first row with Dame Agatha Christie. That story is what being a professional writer (and having fun doing it) is truly all about.


There were two of us under his wing in the late 1990's and early part of the new century. I won't mention his other protege by name, but I am fond of saying "I'm the Shaffer student who didn't marry Madonna." He had no reason to want to work with me: In fact, his agent in London, Kenneth Ewing, although kind to me himself, seemed bemused and confounded as to what Mr. Shaffer saw in this particular young writer (ie, me). After his

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Playwright

Screenwriter

Colleague and Friend