This past weekend, leaders in the screen and television industry met for the TV Week Logie Awards Exclusive Industry Leader Event, and Theatre Haus was part of the action.
On arrival at The Star Gold Coast, invitees were greeted by a red carpet photoshoot, canapes, and a half hour networking opportunity. With a diverse guest list, including actors, producers, photographers and journalists, the platform was a boiling pot of South East Queensland creatives.
Following the networking, the group moved into the Theatre for panel discussions with industry leaders. These conversations included two panels, the first focusing on the future challenges and opportunities facing broadcasters and content makers in Australia, and the second exploring the regulations on Australian content.
The first panel, moderated by Deanne Weir of Weiranderson.com, included Adrian Swift, Head of Content, Development and Production at the Nine Network; Tracey Vieira, the CEO of Screen Queensland; Ross Crowley, the Director of Content at Foxtel; Nick Forward, the Chief Content Officer of Stan; and Alastair McKinnon, the Managing Director of Matchbox Pictures.
Discussion points throughout included the significance of US producers hiring Australian creatives, the rise in digital platforms, and the impact of the digital age on the way media is consumed. One point of contention, which took a large portion of the discussion, was regarding the difficulty in defining a film as Australian or not.
Tracey Vieira suggested films produced by US filmmakers, but which are shot in Australian territory and include the work of mostly Australian cast and crew, are in many ways Australian films. Adrian Swift, however, disagreed somewhat, highlighting that Australian films shot on location overseas were still to be considered Australian, and making mention of ‘The Gallipoli Clause’.
Ross Crowley, reading the audience, steered the conversation in a more pragmatic direction. Acknowledging the local producers and performers in the room, he provided insight into the stepping stones needed to be recognised as a filmmaker in Australia and to gain the attention of industry leaders. Crowley discussed the importance of a recognised director, the weight that an already established lead actor can bring, as well as the need to have both a national and a global appeal in the content.
Others in the panel added to the conversation, bringing up the value in simple sets and storylines, clever branding and mindful cinematography. All in all, an array of aspects worth considering for both film and theatre producers.
In wrapping up the session they held a Q&A, in which an audience member brought up Quibi, a new platform looking to create films in short bite-sized chapters. The panel encouraged up-and-coming creatives to be courageous, to trial new platforms, and to help build Queensland up, rather than moving south or abroad.
The second panel discussion included Matthew Deaner, the CEO of SPA; Bridget Fair, the CEO of Free TV; Hamish Turner, the Program Director for Nine Network; Monica O’Brien, the Executive Producer of Ambience Entertainment; Michael Tear, the CEO of Wildbear Entertainment; and was moderated by Leila McKinnon, a Reporter for the Nine Network.
Following the trend of the previous panel, the second group explored the shift toward digital platforms. They shared their perspectives on the purpose and value in regulations on media, and the need to extend these restrictions to new technologies.
This industry leaders event was presented by Screen Producers Australia, in partnership with Tourism & Events Queensland, Screen Queensland, The Star Gold Coast, Nine Network, Gold Coast City Council and the Queensland Government. For more information about this, and other similar events, visit https://www.screenproducers.org.au