MIFF is here!

MIFF began, somewhat shakily, with an awful Almodovar film I’m So Excited!. I’m a big fan of Almodovar’s films but this is one that someone should have suggested he leave alone, I believe.

Anyway, this weekend saw the seventh 37 Degrees South (latitude of Melbourne, not to be too parochial) Market. Quite a few local and interstate producers, sales agents and distributors milled around, and some of the talk sessions were interesting.

It was also the seventh Books at MIFF, where book publishers attempt to sell the film or TV rights of their favourite projects to producers. I don’t know of any that have been picked up at the event. However, a few years ago Warp Films did purchase the screenplay Snowtown, based on a non fiction book that had been cannily optioned by writer Shaun Grant. So there is hope!

Writing for reality TV and documentary

US-based Australian producer, Brian Armstrong (Red Rock Films) talks the modern art of not writing documentaries for the American networks.

Armstrong mainly talked about how to write narration and structure documentaries for today’s television world, and to provide the latest trends from an American perspective. He was also shamelessly promoting his recent book, The Exotic Booze Club, which mainly follows his exploits in making docs for Nat Geo around the world.

So why the not in the secret art of not writing?

Because, according to Brian, if you do it right the pictures will say it all. It’s not a new philosophy, but it’s even more relevant in programs with a ‘reality’ feel. You get information in these programs, but you shouldn’t notice that you’re getting it.

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Graeme Mason new CEO of Screen Aus

Screen Hub
Wednesday 24 July, 2013

Graeme Mason, currently the CEO of the New Zealand Film Commission, will be the new head of Screen Australia. He will start in November, and his term will run for five years.

Pundits have claimed for some time the job would go to an Australian who has worked overseas for some time, has strong commercial experience, and can work with government. Graeme Mason was an obvious possibility.

According to Deanne Weir, the new deputy chair of Screen Australia, Mason “brings strong and commercial experience of distribution. It will be great to have that perspective over the next five years, while there is such change in distribution models.”

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The Business of Development

Published in Screen Hub 5 July 2013.

This week the Australian Writers’ Guild hosted a lively session on script development, with speakers from both Screen Australia and Film Victoria.

It was a timely opportunity to hear from three people central to development decisions, namely Jenni Tosi, CEO of Film Victoria, Veronica Gleeson, Senior Development Executive of Feature and Professional Development at Screen Australia, and the new person on the block, Jo Dillon who has just taken up her post as Development Executive at Screen Australia, based in Melbourne.

The session was pointed at times, if not outright heated, and each participant spoke from the heart about what moved them in a screenplay, which was fascinating to hear. However it also reflected the development limbo we’re in at present.

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