Film Making

Starting Out In The Screen Industry

Tell people’s stories in a way that makes a difference.  Giving the audience the experience, an intense ride, feel what the experience would have been like, put them there.

Behind the Scenes: Heathrow ‘It’s a Wonderful Flight’

Working closely with Havas and directors dom&nic at Outsider, The Mill helped to create ‘It’s a Wonderful Flight’, the heartwarming sequel to last year’s festive spot for Heathrow Airport. This year we see the introduction of second and third generation bears, setting an even bigger challenge for our VFX artists to create over 29 iterations of the bears, each to an astounding photoreal finish. Learn more about the project: themill.com/portfolio/4015/it%E2%80%99s-a-wonderful-flight

Travel Doc Filmmaking Tips

Look for events that your audience can relate to and then show both how different and how similar they are.  The bride’s mother is ecstatic and the single young men do whatever it takes to attract a wife.

Animal Logic Goes On the Hop for ‘Peter Rabbit’

Animal Logic was awarded the chance to design, build and animate the cast of creatures in the film ‘Peter Rabbit’, based on one of the best-known and most enduring children’s story books ever written, ‘The Tale of Peter Rabbit’. The creatures they created, and many props, were composited into the film’s live action photography in post production. Digital Media World talked to VFX supervisor Will Reichelt and animation supervisor Simon Pickard about the team’s work at Animal Logic.

How Do We Judge the Best?

MAKING MOVIES

The Shreditor’s Guide to Film and Video Pre-Production

Do you tackle your video production projects entirely on your own? Here’s everything you need to know about working as a “shreditor.”

MAKING MOVEIS:  Interviews

Top Tips from Irish Film Festival Australia’s director, Enda Murray

There’s a discipline that’s creating an audible buzz across multiple industries at the moment, that’s both the subject of serious whitepapers and excited YouTube comments: real-time production.

Yet with all the discussion – including from us at Foundry Trends – it can be difficult to work out what actually constitutes production in “real-time”, and what techniques being touted as revolutionary are currently achievable.

Pacific Rim: Uprising showcases NSW as global action-set

Hollywood blockbuster Pacific Rim: Uprising once again showed the world that NSW is a global action-set. With much of the film set in and around Sydney, we spoke to Leann Emmert, Supervising Location Manager, to find out more about the film’s NSW locations.

Drummer Girl is part of a suite of films in this year’s SEED: Regional Shorts – a Create NSW and ABC Regional initiative to unearth filmmaking talent and content creators from regional NSW. CREATE NSW sat down with Sophie Hexter and Poppy Walker to hear about their short film.

The Lost Sheep is one of seven films screening on ABC ivew as part of a joint Create NSW and ABC Regional initiative called SEED: Regional Shorts. The Lost Sheep tells the story of a young girl in outback Australia, desperately trying to escape a religious cult. Create NSW chats with the producer Jason King.

Employable Me is a three-part ABC documentary series which aired last month and follows people with neuro-diverse conditions such as autism, OCD and Tourette Syndrome as they search for meaningful employment. The series, which has become one of the most talked about documentary series on the ABC this year, was financed with the assistance of the NSW Department of Family and Community Services and Create NSW, with the aim of generating general awareness and discussion on employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Warner Bros. Boosts The Next Generation Of Filmmakers

Warner Bros is giving a voice to burgeoning underrepresented filmmakers. The studio hosted a short film festival to cap off its Emerging Film Directors Workshop, where each member of the inaugural class showcased their work in front of industry professionals last Thursday on the WB lot in Burbank. The event was the culmination of a nine-month fellowship, in which participants where given a budget of $100K to make a short film through a process that mimics WB’s feature process from script to the final cut.

Five tips for getting started on a short film for REC Ya Shorts

REC Ya Shorts Youth Film Festival 2017 is now nearly two months into its workshops program on the Mid North Coast. Young people across regional NSW are encouraged to enter a short film before the deadline of 21 August 2017 to be in the running to win a share of the $25,000 prize pool, including Blackmagic Design cinema cameras and AFTRS courses.

Thinking of entering but stuck on a film idea? Need to beg, borrow, or steal a camera? Not sure about editing? Coffs Harbour local, Mirco Guidon, aged 23, a winner of REC Ya Shorts in 2015 and 2016, shares five tips to help…

Learn The Challenges of Making A Short Film

Our inspiration comes from many different films and series as we wanted to be as open-minded as we could in order to create a whole, the developed universe for our short. There were, however, three major influences for our project, the first being the animated film Rango. Created by ILM, Rango has been our main reference for many aspects of our project, the most important being its style: it matched our overall vision perfectly.

13 Podcast Reccomondations For Filmmakers

Many of these are directly relevant to filmmaking, while others may not have a direct correlation, but can deliver valuable lessons that will positively impact a filmmaker’s artistic aspirations and/or career.

The devastating Chilean earthquake of 2010 damaged over 370,000 homes. The city of Talca was near its epicentre, and many historic neighbourhoods were left in ruins. Casa Antúnez is an intimate portrait of one beloved home in Talca, and how its destruction reveals a divided family.

In our last article on real-time production, we discussed what a real-time “nirvana” could look like in the fields of pre-visualization, on-set production and post-production. While the future certainly looks exciting, reaching it will hinge on overcoming a succession of barriers.

Filming Worlds Apart

ILM on “Kong Skull Island” (Part 1 of 2)  With larger than life creatures comes great responsibility

“We began work on “Kong: Skull Island” two years before the film was released. Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts was very clear about his vision and stressed the importance that Kong not feel derivative, particularly of the recent Peter Jackson version. Yet, we were dealing with an iconic monster.

Ultimately, we landed on a version of the 1933 Kong, where he’s no longer just a gorilla but more of his own species, this half-man, half-gorilla that walks upright and is between 100 and 200 feet tall – bigger than any previous vision.

The challenge, of course, would be to make this creature credible on screen, in real environments with live actors. Kong is such an important part of film history and we took this very seriously. There’s no way we’d be the VFX studio that took on recreating an iconic character and then didn’t deliver.”  
–Jeff White, VFX Supervisor, Industrial Light & Magic

Top 40 Most Amazing Natural Film Sets

Making a filmmaker: how 13 pros got their start

Star Wars: The Process Awakens

State of the industry: IF talks to local players about the challenges ahead

Making of Overwatch Animated Shorts

How to create an animated scene

Director Gillian Armstrong on Film Making Challenges in Hollywood

PIXAR SHORT: PIPER CONCEPT ART AND MAKING OF

Explore the world of improv filmmaking with pro Brandon Li

WITNESS: on the intersection of videos and human rights

Interview with Warwick Thornton: We Don’t Need a Map

Interview Joe Weatherstone, Go-Betweens Sydney Film Festival

Interview with Erica Glynn – In My Own Words

Interview with Kate Hickey – Roller Dreams

Interview with nominated producer, Carolyn Johnson, The Last Goldfish

Interview with Frankie Fenton – It’s Not Dark Yet

Interview with Elaine Beckett: Working at Trackdown and creating sound for LEGO Batman, Gods of Egypt, The Railway Man and Happy Feet 2

Interview with Kate Blackmore: directing The Glass Bedroom

Behind the Scenes: Electric Theatre Collective

Electric Theatre Collective was started in 2011 by Lee Pavey (Producer), James Sindle  (CG genius), Giles Cheetham (one of the industry’s leading VFX Supervisors/Flame Artists) and Dan Marum (the best CTO in the business and also a genius CG artist).  We are a young collective of artists and makers with a distinct point of view. We pride ourselves on our ideas, creative integrity and above all, our people.
Since our humble beginnings in 2011, we have become an industry leader, winning a reputation for our production flair, innovation and visionary style.  In September 2015 we expanded from London and opened our second studio in LA. Our collective is now growing to produce culturally relevant, genre-defying work that consistently sets the benchmark for advertising today.

Killing Ground is the first feature film from director Damien Power. Damien has directed several award-winning shorts that have screened at festivals worldwide including Venice and Busan, Sydney and MIFF. Killing Ground had its world premiere at the 2016 Melbourne International Film Festival and its international premiere at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival in the iconic Midnight Section. The film will be released in Australia in 2017 by Mushroom Pictures and sold internationally by Films Distribution.

FKD Studio: Giving life to Yarra One

The first step is to meet the project team – the architects and branding agency – to completely understand their vision and goals. FKD aims to align with this vision through our creative visualization by adding to the strength of the collective idea.

What’s happening at TEDx Sydney with Head of Curation Fenella Kernebone

Fenella Kernebone is the Head of Curation for TEDxSydney, responsible for leading the programming for what has become one of the largest TEDx events in the world as well as TEDxSydney Salons. Fenella manages a team of over 20 curators and producers dedicated to spreading great ideas and strong stories in fields including science, technology, arts, business and design. Ahead of TEDx Sydney this week we spoke to Fenella about the program.

From Fisherman to Filmmaker: The Career of an Artist from the Scottish Highlands with David Hutchison,

In this entry, David shares with us how he went from filming whimsical, short animations in a cow barn with his parents to building up a successful career of writing and directing feature length films. David’s experience shows us that creating art truly takes practice, persistence and passion.

LESSON BUCKET:  Brett Lamb is a media educator and writer. He is co-author of Heinemann Media, a regular contributor to the magazine Screen Education and maintains the media education website www.lessonbucket.com. Throughout his career, Brett has presented workshops and seminars on topics as diverse as comic books, film noir, superhero narratives, social networking, action movies, filmmaking, Final Cut Pro and VCE Media. He has worked for the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA), Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) and the Intellectual Property Awareness Foundation (IPAF). He currently works for East Doncaster Secondary College.

Titmouse & FOX’s Son of Zorn Step Out with mocha Pro

FOX’s Son of Zorn is a fresh take on the classic fish out of water story — if that story follows a Barbarian cartoon character (Zorn voiced by actor Jason Sudeikis) as he leaves his war torn home to reconnect with his human son in real world suburbia. The hybrid animation/live action comedy concept is one of the many projects the wonderful and wacky Titmouse works on out of their three studio locations in Los Angeles, New York, and Vancouver.

Pearl Tan’s 3 Top Tips for Working with Actors

Go Behind the Scenes of The Jungle Book (2016)

SFX Secrets: The Power of Aspect Ratios

Rowan Woods’ 3 Top Tips for Emerging Directors – Award-winning film and television director Rowan Woods’ (The Boys, Little Fish, Rake, The Kettering Incident) continued success can be attributed to his agility and a complete command of his craft. Find out the top three pieces of advice the AFTRS Head of Directing gives to emerging directors.

FILMS THAT FIGHT BACK

The Activist Documentary

VIDEOS

My notes from this very interesting OzDox event.

CHAIR:  Ruth Hessey from Total Environment Centre

Ruth Hessey‘s documentary film about the beauty of garbage, Waste Not, has been translated into 4 languages, and screened in over 30 countries. Her other documentary projects include The Mural (distributed by Ronin Films) and Under Threat, an animated short film about Australia’s threatened native species.

Ruth is also a high profile writer – (SMH, TimeOut Sydney, Vogue, Australian Art Review); radio broadcaster (ABC Radio National, 702, Green Velvet Eastside Radio); screenwriter, and novelist (half done!). Her contributions to anthologies include Bewitched & Bedevilled: Women Write the Gillard Years (Hardie Grant); Screwed: Stories of Love and Sex (Allen & Unwin); Interviews with Jane Campion (University of Illinois at Chicago); Dennis O’Rourke’s The Good Woman Of Bangkok (QLD University Press); Baz Luhrmann (University of Michigan).

Since 2009 Ruth has worked in environment advocacy, creating campaign videos, websites, and educational guides which have accumulated over 10,000 views online.

Ruth has also worked as a TV Host/presenter (World Movies); educator and history guide (Museum of Sydney); education consultant (Rooty Hill High School, Eden College); environment consultant (Fremantle Media); ABC radio film reviewer (ABC 702, Radio National); and copywriter (Film Australia, Village Roadshow, TM Publicity). She was named one of Sydney’s Most Influential, Inspiring, Creative People in 2012 by Sydney magazine. Ruth is also developing a 6 part mini series for television based on a new Australian novel with producer Tracey Mair.

A discussion about who makes the films, why they make them, why they have wandered into this particular area with people who have worked across the board in terms of production, direction, writing, putting things to gather with very different approaches.

An interesting area because it has its own particular challenges and the presses of an activists film are often quite different.  Their experiences working on documentaries from large broadcasters, small scale projects, with large community members, projects that already have a ground swell behind them, communities that have invested years and others where that is what they are attempting to create. 

 

Why do we make films?

Do they work?

What is the whole point?

An Inconvenient Truth came along and this changed the landscape, changed how the media engaged in environmental stories,  where now there are regular environmental pieces of reporting in newspapers. 

Films that fight back play a hug role in engaging audiences, leading to behaviour change and helping us all work together for a better world. 

Introducing some lushness, some beauty into campaigning and overcoming the boring in campaigning for environmental issues. 

Australia is now deforesting the fastest of any developing nation in the world and in the top 10 of deforesters, up there with the Amazon and Congo.

Karina Holden started her career as a conservation biologist before becoming a wildlife film maker 21 years ago. She now has a dynamic track record working in both the independent sector as Head of Production and Creative Producer, as well as within the national broadcaster as Science Commissioning Editor and Head of Factual for the ABC. Her first theatrical film, Blue, was directed and produced as part of Goodpitch initiative through Northern Pictures. The film screened at the United Nations before having its official debut at Vancouver International Film Festival where it won best Impact Film and later the Okeanos Foundation award for services to the Ocean. The crux of her creative work is to create change, truth tell and find unlikely heroes who challenge our perceptions.

BLUE THE FILM

Funding about the impact campaign around the film.  An impact film is there to create change, not only a story that you want to tell and create awareness, an opportunity to interact with communities, about the audience making commitments.

In the pre-production and conceptual phase:

  • what is your film about
  • what do you want to change
  • what do you want to make happen
  • what are you up against
  • how will you define success

Had the opportunity to expand the story, about behaviour change and giving the audience the opportunity to walk away with what is this about, what can I do.  Could provide this in the credit roll and on the web site.   It is not only an economic conversation, an ecological conversation on how we are reliant on systems on the earth.

Hitchcock – The film is only as good as the villain you are up against. 

We are complacent, human complainancy, ignorant, we consume and we are not looking at the consequences of this. We forgot to take notice of the ocean and thinking we are always going to have it in this state. 

Al Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth

Activism is about engaging communities, the opportunity to convene and these films are a great opportunity to create change.  It was a challenge to go into the cinema space, how to bring people to this space, gently, intimately, thinking about the experience of the audience, telling the story with respect, leading people into some dark places and not scaring them.  Experience what is challenging in a gently and intimate way, 

Clip – Baby Chick was shown, was very powerful and could not find online.

Coming out of the film, left feeling like you want to do something, coming out of the film.  What you are going to do, in a gentle way, not a problem that people have been dumped with and there are solutions that can make a difference. 

The activation part of film making is critical, the call to action, how to engage people, individuals can make a difference and how people will be lead forward. The experience of watching the film has given  meaningful pay off for people.

Dr Gene Sherman

Ethical Fashion

A village in China is skinning live animals because it makes the leather softer, film makers could not get finance to make a film about this.   It is about balance.

Nell Schofield is an actor turned activist whose passion is bringing the creative sectors and conservation movements together. With The Sunrise Project she produced and directed the films Guarding the Galilee and A Mighty Force about the movement to stop Adani’s massive Carmichael coal mine in Central Queensland. She also worked as Senior Project Manager with Solar Citizens, and helped spearhead the Land Water Future campaign in NSW as Sydney Coordinator with Lock the Gate Alliance. In 2007, Nell trained with Al Gore as one of his Climate Leaders and has worked in the Office of the Lord Mayor of Sydney on local government issues. She has also worked as a presenter with ABC TV, Showtime, CNN and Channel 9, and as a broadcaster with Radio National. As a teenager Nell famously starred in the cult classic Puberty Blues and, with fellow NIDA graduates created the self-devised work Strictly Ballroom. Nell currently works with the Historic Houses Association of Australia to preserve our nation’s built environment.

In 1991 the land come under a coal exploration licence, think you have found paradise and it is ripped out from under your feet.  Went down the road of starting a local action group, putting in submissions, talking to MP and did not get anywhere.   Then Lock the Gate came along, NSW – 80% under coal, gas and mining licences and then started making little films.   Australia is the number one exporter of coal in the world. 

Putting stories on facebook amplifies their voices, getting their stories can have a larger impact. 

GUARDING THE GALILEE  was the first film Nell made for the Adani campaign. 

It was a film that was not pre-scripted, went out on the road, had some contacts lined up and the film unfolded.  People and communities did not choose to be on the front line, the campaign was a responsibility they took on.

A half hour film, supporting communities, given to the community for community screenings, including an expert, panel discussion afterwards.  A guide on how to have a screening, discussions, questions to talk about, how to form a group to empower the community with the tools to build the movement. The importance of these screening sand discussions. 

Galilee Basin

Galilee Basin coal mines will go ahead without Adani, says Clive Palmer

How much courage it takes to go up against a big corporation. 

Shark Island Productions 

The second film A MIGHTY FORC

Having access to footage from many different organisations.  

What are you going to do, what are you going to give people to do.  Came up with the idea of human signs and was going to be the end of the film, people power.  The film has book ends with the farmer on the tractor.  

Lyrics

It’s only four degrees, it’s only four degrees

It’s only four degrees, it’s only four degrees

It’s only four degrees, it’s only four degrees

It’s only four degrees, it’s only four degrees

I wanna see this world, I wanna see it boil

I wanna see this world, I wanna see it boil

It’s only four degrees, it’s only four degrees

It’s only four degrees, it’s only four degrees

I wanna hear the dogs crying for water

I wanna see fish go belly-up in the sea

All those lemurs and all those tiny creatures

I wanna see them burn, it’s only four degrees

And all those rhinos and all those big mammals

I wanna see them lying, crying in the fields

I wanna see them burn, it’s only four degrees

I wanna see them burn, it’s only four degrees

I wanna see them burn, it’s only four degrees

I wanna burn them, I wanna burn them

I wanna burn them, I wanna burn them

I wanna burn the sky, I wanna burn the breeze

I wanna see the animals die in the trees

Oh let’s go, let’s go it’s only four degrees

Oh let’s go, let’s go it’s only four degrees

Oh let’s go, let’s go it’s only four degrees

Oh let’s go, let’s go it’s only four degrees

I wanna burn them, I wanna burn them

I wanna burn them,

Songwriters: Ross Matthew Birchard / Daniel Lopatin

4 Degrees lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Warp Music Limited

Artist: Antony Hegarty     Album: Hopelessness    Released: 2016    Genre: Alternative/Indie

Mark Gould is a producer writer and director with over 40 years’ experience in Australian theatre, film and television. Mark has, in the last 2 years made over 120 short videos for the web in the fight to stem the tide of neo-liberal greed in Sydney. His documentaries have been commissioned internationally and nationally, by the BBC, ABC, SBS, Nat Geo, Arte, YLE, RBTF, RTE and others.

Recent projects for the ABC:-PILGRIMAGE TO THE KALACHAKRA (COMPASS 2016) ABOUT A BOY (FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT 2015) EASTER IN JERUSALEM (COMPASS) 2014 THE HOLY DIP (COMPASS) 2013.  IN GOOGLE WE TRUST (4 CORNERS 2013) MISS TIBET AND THE LIMBO OF EXILE (ABC FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT 2012) GUT INSTINCT ABC FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT 2011) TIBET: Murder in the Snow (Nov 2008) commissioned by BBC & SBS with YLE TSR and RTBF and NAT GEO. This film won best film at NYC Home Planet Festival 2010.

People’s Choice Award at Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival 2009. Award of Excellence at Accolade Mountain Film Festival. This film screened to over 2 million viewers on the BBC and has played at many other major festivals.  A WINNERS GUIDE TO THE NOBEL PRIZE 2006 was commissioned by ABC Science in 2006 and won the Golden Dragon Award for Best Science film at Beijing Film Festival and was nominated for a Eureka Prize.  A PIG, A CHICKEN AND A BAG OF RICE ABC 2005.  His landmark series MOULIN ROUGE GIRLS 2004 still holds the ABC ratings record for an ABCTV half hour series. It was nominated for a Logie and sold worldwide.

Mark is contributing to the work of Ryan Jasper as a mentor, EP and script editor.

The battle to save Sydney, the push to develop Sydney and make more money by squeezing more people into it, developing and developing at the cost of heritage suburbs and the tree canopy.  Has worn many hats.

Miss Tibet and the Limbo of Exile:  The Politics of a Tibetan Beauty Pageant.

Working on a small stage, Waverley Stage and the last 10 years run by pro development and amalgamation, forcing more people in and destroying the place.  

The environment where he lived, Bondi basin was changing too fast and nothing could be done about it, the gross overdevelopment where planning powers were taken away from local communities and councils. 

Went to a Save Bondi Pavilion from being privatised.  Needed social media, put together some simple, short, vox-pop based films, one take making a montage of people speaking.  In a car with a pollie. 

People started sending in video from their phones, Vertical Video Syndrome (VVS).

Bondi Pavilion redevelopment to be dumped for cheaper, community-friendly upgrade

The campaign was becoming effective and started to build an interaction with an audience, facebook 6000 members and some of the videos started to take off and changed the fate of Waverley, the government of Waverley. 

It is possible to define an area, target a few streets and that clip will be boosted to those streets and that area was won by 140 votes.  Social media needs to get them in the first 10 sec, the attention is very important when making little videos.  The battle grounds will be social media.  

There are 150 protest groups in Sydney basin, totally and utterly done over by bad manipulative politicians and bad politics.  Save Sydney Coalition 

 

Ivan O’Mahoney received the 2016 Australian Directors Guild (ADG) Award, the Walkley Documentary Award, the Australian Academy of Cinema & Television (AACTA) Award and the Amnesty International Media Award for ABC’s domestic violence series ‘Hitting Home.’ He is also the recipient of the 2013 AACTA for Best Documentary Series and the 2012 ADG Award for Best Direction in a Documentary Series for his work on the SBS refugee series ‘Go Back To Where You Came From.’ Ivan has directed and produced films for HBO, BBC, ARTE, Channel 4, PBS & Discovery Channel. A former lawyer and UN peacekeeper in Bosnia, he holds degrees in international law (Leiden) and journalism (Columbia). Ivan’s other acclaimed projects include Baghdad High, about teenagers in Iraq (HBO); ‘How To Plan a Revolution,’ following democracy activists in Azerbaijan (BBC) and ‘Surviving Hunger,’ a film on famine in Ethiopia (CNN). His 4 Corners film ‘Code of Silence received’ the 2009 Sports Journalism Walkley. Screened at major festivals (Tribeca, Sheffield, Human Rights Watch), Ivan’s other gongs include the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, the Prix Europa, two Logies, two Rose d’Ors, the Japan Prize for Educational Media and a Golden Nymph. Ivan is a director and executive producer of Sydney and LA-based In Films, a film and television production company established in 2013. In Films is a partnership with producer Nial Fulton. The company received the prestigious 2015 Enterprise Grant from Screen Australia, the federal funding body for the television and film industry. Over the last three years In Films has produced and delivered “Hitting Home” (ABC, 2 x 60 documentary on domestic violence); “Matilda and Me,” (1 x 60 on Tim Minchin and the making of his smash hit musical); “The Outlaw Michael Howe” (1 x 60 period drama for ABC); “Borderland” (4 x 60 series on US illegal immigration for AJAM); “1999” (10 x 3 comedy for YouTube/Screen Australia); Caged (1 x 60 documentary on mixed martial arts for SBS); The Queen & Zak Grieve (a 6 x 10 vocast series for The Australian” and ‘Making Muriel (1 x 60 for ABC Arts on the making of Muriel’s Wedding the Musical). In Films has been nominated 2016 Breakout Production Business of the Year at the Screen Producers Australia Awards.

There is a difference between activist film makers who from the beginning set out to achieve a goal with a film with a very clear point of view and then there are films that are made with a more journalistic approach.  The effort is people talking for themselves and can follow their stories and can tell of their plight as the film maker are not necessarily invested in the cause, want to tell the story as well as you can, because it has a place and needs to be told.  The outcome is and not as dear to you as it is for the people on the ground who are fighting the fight. 

Shit government stays in power if the opposition cannot unite. 

6 x 12 minutes Online documentary series, The Australian stories.

The Queen & Zak Grieve ( 6 x 10 vocast series for The Australian)

 The Queen & Zac Brieve

Make stories in a way that people will remember them.  Crime Investigation. Digital side of newspapers, News Corp, Screen Australia, Foxtel and Create NSW came onboard and was broadcast by NITV with a coalition of broadcasts and  partners. 

Unlike when film makers have a clear vision of the film, passion and topic they wanted to tackle they had the opposite problem.  Opposite problem, the film was fully funded and was looking for a story, wanted to achieve something in the true crime sphere and a social justice component to it.  Needed a really good story. 

For funding agencies and broadcasters you need to show a fair level of excellence and they need to know you go somewhere you will get what what you has been promised them.

Make three of them:

  • the one you pitch
  • the one that you find in the field 
  • the one you find in the edit

and they are never the same, have to convince it is going to be a good one and have some strong content. 

Slowly a wealth of material started to build up, people start to say yes and people came forward. 

‘I can’t go through with this’: How Zak Grieve backed out of a murder plot but got life anyway

Zak Grieve: Mercy plea lodged in murder case

The Queen & Zak Grieve: Dan Box probes conviction in new series

Have a licence to be noise.

The power of the campaign, enter for awards and other sales keeps the project in the public eye. 

QUESTIONS

Are the films about preaching to the converted, is it successful in raising awareness?

Initial time was about movement building, in real time and space, building and supporting activists group, is there going to be an action.  Can be effective with main stream media, keep an open mind when considering where to place stories and who to work with.  Focus on catching interested people.  The first audience can be the converted, they convert others and some of it sticks through social media, pick up and can shift the way people perceive issues.  Can communicate detail, be engaging and show emotion in a way the print media cannot.   

About finance?

Hard to get government funds and a broadcaster to put it on if it is anti-government. 

The line between getting the message out and have the audience give up and we are all doomed?

As a film maker you are taking action, do not want to give up for the audience, engaged in the action of communication, creating awareness, change and giving the audience some tools.  Making a change in someone’s life.  Communities being activated. 

Solutions journalism, stories that offer solutions are read more not about pointing the finger about where the pain is and point out the injustice, corruption and where are the examples where there has been success to write about it with it. 

Point at better solutions and better ways of doing things to avoid these mistakes, to hold people to account.  Levels of engagement of audiences will rise because they feel empowered.  Do not need to wrap up with all is ok, it is all fine, do not worry – need to empower the audience and is now up to you to be actively engaged.  Personally going to the very challenging places.  Where there are very impassioned communities, carrying lots of emotions often for years. The resources people have are often their imagination.  People speaking from the heart in short, one take recordings, needed to be efficient as volunteers were doing the video for the campaign.  Changed public opinion with short grabs,   presenting passion, opinion as effectively as possible, keep short and simple, use celebrity shamelessly, have the common touch at all times and go for it.  Sometimes have a second wave when relaunched.

Attention span to make something that has meaningful content for the audience?

Watch social media with the sound off, consider subtitles.  

The use of different platforms?

Need to be flexible with the content and find different ways to edit the content depending on the platform you can get it on.

Six  part series online, web series, an hour version, 90 min version and on it goes.

Top 3 Filmmaker Tips from 2015 MetroScreen

As I am not sure how long the Metro Screen Web site will be accessible via the link above I have posted the whole article below.

In Metro Screen’s final month we asked a few of the talented people we funded and trained in 2015 to tell us the top three things they learned about this thing we call ‘filmmaking’.

Kevin Hudson is an American Film Maker and Digital Artist who is currently part of the team at Walt Disney Animation Studios. His work can be found in some of the studio’s recent biggest hits including Big Hero Six, Zootopia and Moana. Before making the leap into the world of Digital Effects, Kevin worked in traditional special effects on such films as Edward Scissorhands, Predator 2, and The Addams Family.

Chelsea Thistlewaite – Breaks Funded Filmmaker

Be generous with ideas. A few months before we started shooting there was a lot of interest in the story, and I thought that if I shared too much the magic would disappear or change in some way. Keeping ideas to yourself only diminishes them, and telling people, getting them excited and curious is storytelling again and again. Every time you start from scratch and tell someone what your film is about you are practising how to tell the story. It sounds incredibly obvious but I found it extremely useful. Ask questions, and give honest and specific answers.

Producing and creating are different things. During pre-production and something that definitely happens on low budget, skeleton crew films is that inevitably you’re going to be doing a lot of jobs at once. This is often totally fine, and necessary to do what needs to be done for the film, but I found that I had to carve my own space where I couldn’t think of logistics or planning. Focusing on character, atmosphere, theme, and story cannot exist in the same space as logistical thinking. It took a long time to learn that they each need to exist alone.

Be a good person. It sounds really simple but I’ve learned that whatever you do is not worth it if you are not a good person in the process. There is really no reason to be rude, arrogant or demanding in any capacity, especially when people are offering their time, services and skills for often no money. Empathy is incredibly important, and allowing your collaborators to approach the project with their own thoughts and expertise always elevates the work.

Still from Tether directed by Chelsea Thistlewaite and funded by Metro Screen.

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Alana Hicks – Digital Content Producing Diploma Graduate

When I went through my notes from the past six months of the Digital Content Producing course, an idea that came up repeatedly was about knowing your audience. It was said in many different ways by our main tutor Kate, by our digital guru Stuart and by numerous guest speakers. Know. Your. Audience. You have to research your target market, whoever that might be. You have to understand how they interact with the technology on which your content is presented and you have to engage, develop and build that relationship. Why else are we telling stories, if not for the eyes and ears that we hope will see and hear them? Another big takeaway was about the ecosystem of the story world; multiple platforms require specifically tailored content, the message has to be relevant to the medium. The story of “why” and the platform of “how” exist symbiotically. Lastly, my main impression from this course (which was articulated so well by Emma Morris in one of our guest lectures) was simply, to “tell stories you are truly passionate about”. In this vain, I hope to utilise the skills I developed at Metro Screen to create compelling content for a shifting and evolving digital landscape.

Behind the scenes with Alana Hicks directing a scene from web series Fix it In Post, which she created with sketch comedy collective The Kvetch Set.

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Will Goodfellow – Breaks Funded Filmmaker

Prep until you can’t prep no more. Preconceive every edit point, every prop, every performance cue. The more you know your project inside and out, the freer you’ll be to experiment when things are going well, and the greater your ability to troubleshoot when the wagon falls apart.

Surround yourself with a killer team. We had an all-star crew on The Spa and it was the best shooting experience I’ve ever had. All credit goes to our producer Lucy Gaffy who, while being the sweetest person in the world, also brought our production together like it was a high stakes military operation.

Letter dropping actually works. We had a location confirmed but I felt there could be a better one out there so I decided to make a last ditch effort and start letter dropping houses. It was excruciatingly tedious but we ended up with five or six homeowners agreeing to let us recce their homes. One of them happened to be the absolute perfect location. So if all else fails – letter drop.

Behind the scenes with director Will Goodfellow and lead actor Chris Haywood from The Spa funded by Metro Screen.

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Emma Bjorndahl – Digital Content Producing Graduate

Resourcefulness – utilise the connections and the people around you, and work together to achieve something bigger than anything you could have done on your own. Networking is more than just “meet and greet” it is about building true, strong and lasting relationships. I have met some wonderful people through Metro Screen, that I intend to work with again on real world projects.

Be a lifelong learner – never stop learning and adding to your skills. Metro Screen has made me realise that this course is only the beginning. I need to continuously extend my skill set and challenge myself. The course has opened my eyes to the world of possibilities as a Digital Producer, especially at this time with the industry in its infancy and exciting possibilities ahead.

A tool is just a tool – it’s about the story and the connections to human beings. Tools and new whizzbang shiny technology are just another vehicle to tell a story. A good story or a good idea transcends the tools that we are using. I have learned through this course, that it is about the human connection, that the tool should not make us feel further from our humanity but draw us closer together. This has been a particularly inspirational realisation for me.

I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to take one of the last courses at Metro Screen. I thank all the people who made it happen and my amazing tutors. It is with great sadness that I will be saying adieu.

Image created during Emma Bjorndahl’s work as behind the scenes content and social media coordinator forAustralian film Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead (2015). 

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Rosie Lourde – Emerging Producers Placement Graduate

Flip a coin. People say “trust your instinct” but that’s not so easy when you’re surrounded by opinions. I was once told, if you can’t decide then flip a coin. Whichever side it lands on you’ll know what you really want either through disappointment or excitement, then take it from there. Whether it’s deciding on which project to pursue, who to collaborate with, or what to eat for breakfast, your instinct is the only way to know what’s right. Don’t underestimate how important this is, it’ll keep you motivated through hard times (and there’ll be a lot over a looooong time).

Don’t flip a coin – put your hand up for everything. It’s too easy to justify why you shouldn’t apply for this grant or that placement or this initiative but even if you don’t meet all the criteria, apply. At best, you’ll be given an incredible opportunity and need to decide if you can do it. At worst, you practice application writing skills, which are necessary to a career in this industry.

Look after your health. It’s no-one else’s job – if your health goes, so does your ability to work. Balance is necessary if you’re building a career.

Behind the scenes with Rosie Lourde on location for thenext season of webseries Starting From… Now! photo credit Ella Mackenzie Taylor

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Daniel Collins – Practical Filmmaking Diploma Graduate

The three things I have learned or rather the three things I valued most are: teachers, students and knowledge.

I’m now on the other side of six months looking back and on the cusp of achieving a Diploma in Practical Filmmaking. I’m seeking a mentorship with an established director and also planning my five-year career goals in the film industry. Something I never would have believed possible six months ago and all of which I couldn’t have achieved if it hadn’t been for Metro Screen.

Metro Screen has given me the opportunity and confidence to discover my potential, helped me realise my dream for a career in the film industry and helped me gain comprehensive inside knowledge into the various roles a filmmaker undertakes in the production of a project. I’ve written, starred in and edited my own documentary. I have been the Director of Photography on a short drama and Camera Assistant on another, giving me practical experience in what the film production process is like.

All the knowledge I have gained, everything I have learned and unlearned about the film process, industry and everything that I have been fortunate enough to do while at Metro Screen, has only been possible because of the immense help from my teachers and the support of my fellow students.

All the practical and theoretical knowledge that has been graciously and generously passed on from the teachers and staff at Metro Screen has been invaluable and insightful. In putting these lessons into practice I have fallen and made mistakes constantly, and I would have stayed down and made the same mistakes again and again if it wasn’t for the patience and encouragement of my fellow students who helped me in my times of struggle without judgment or condescension.

Thank you Metro Screen. With the 34 years of history, experience, integrity, quality, generosity and reputation that you had when I first entered your doors, I can now say with pride and appreciation that I am a student of Metro Screen and it was an honour to be a part of your last intake.

Still from A Mathematical Equation For Human Intelligence directed by Daniel Collins during the Diploma of Practical Filmmaking.

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VALE METRO SCREEN 1981-2015

Posted by Nunavut Tourism on Wednesday, 07 December 2016.  Blog Post Courtesty of Adventure Canada – http://blog.adventurecanada.com.   An interview with filmmaker-photographer Jason Van Bruggen

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