Screen Community Out In Force

By September 4, 2014 Blog
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Sydney’s screen community came out in force on Tuesday night to Metro Screen’s forum, You’re On Your Own Kid, to consider its response to Screen Australia’s cuts to the sector.

We no longer feel alone!! Thank you to everyone who was there on the night – both future and established filmmakers and also representatives from Screen Australia, Screen NSW, Australian Directors Guild, Screen Producers Australia, Australian Writers Guild, Screenrights and the Arts Law Centre.

We’re not out of the woods yet but its great to know that so many people across the industry share our serious concerns about screen pathways and what our screen culture will look like in five years time.

But there wasn’t enough time on the night… While it’s still fresh we’d love to get your feedback on the state of the emerging sector, Metro Screen’s future and/or your screen career journey. If you weren’t at the forum we also want to hear from you.

Send us an email to have your say.

Key points from forum speakers include:

  • The only way to develop talent is to have the opportunity to make content and the emerging sector needs opportunities to see their work on screen, but there is diminishing investment in new players and a reduced appetite for risk. Sally Riley (ABC TV)
  • My friends are more focused on paying their rent than crowd-funding my film. The rungs on the screen career ladder for the emerging sector have been removed. Sam Leighton-Dore (emerging filmmaker)
  • Screen Australia has decided that the emerging end of the market is no longer part of its core business. My question is – whose business is it? If our only national body is not responsible, then who will take responsibility? Kath Shelper (producer and Metro Screen President).
  • It is clear that Metro Screen and the other screen resource organisations are part of the screen industry, rather than separate from the industry, like universities and colleges that operate in a different sector – education. Marcus Gillezeau (producer and forum facilitator).

From the floor we heard:

  • strong endorsement about the importance of short film as a story-telling development tool.
  • vigorous statements of support about the importance of creating pathways for diverse voices.
  • a vote of confidence in the effectiveness of Metro Screen’s programs and the role of staff and mentors as the critical value add offered.
  • commentary about the lack of research and consultation that led to Screen Australia’s fast-track decision.

We know that a tertiary degree and internships are not enough to get you there. We know that there’s a limit to how much money you can raise on pozible. We believe that the strength of our current screen culture is built on a long and consistent investment in nurturing talent – those who become our industry – so we’re concerned about investment in the next crop.

We welcome Screen Australia’s invitation to talk about alternative project funding as we believe we deliver on the mission to create successful screen practitioners and stories. But we also need to explore other options and we need your help.

What do we do next? We were overwhelmed with the energy and support in the room and the clamour for action. We’re developing a more detailed plan to harvest ideas and activate our community (including a Working Party) but your feedback now would really help us finesse the plan.