An Insider’s View

Last week, I spoke with Martin Brown and we reflected on a busy year of AFTRS (Australian Film Television and Radio School) Friday on My Mind workshops. We also looked forward to the newest AFTRS series, Industry Insiders

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Martin, beyond his truly impressive credits as the producer of Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge, he also heads up the AFTRS National Open Program

Operating for just shy of ten years, this national short course program is aimed at those who are currently working in or are interested in working in the screen arts and broadcasting industry. Courses are facilitated by highly respected professionals who draw on their own wealth of experiences to provide guidance for attendees. 

Martin Brown, producer extraordinaire

Martin Brown, producer extraordinaire

As Martin and I talked, I found it hard to believe that a year had already gone by since we partnered with AFTRS to deliver our first set of Friday on My Mind talks with industry gurus! 

To date we’ve had some spectacular visitors, from director Kate Dennis (The Secret Life of Us and Love My Way) to playwright/screenwriter Matt Cameron (Kath & Kim, Seachange and Crashburn). Martin has definitely made sure we’ve had a variety of speakers from many different fields, each bringing something different to the table. 

With the Friday on My Mind talks taking a short hiatus for the summer, we’ve been working with Martin to explore ways that we can partner again to deliver another series of informative and exciting screen arts and broadcast industry sessions. 

Just quietly, we think we’ve found a pretty good solution in the AFTRS Industry Insider Series, a program of in-depth, one-day seminars with an ‘insider’s view’. 

Martin stressed the importance of imparting  a “really up to the minute understanding” of the industry. With three experienced key speakers – John Collee, Philippa Campey, and Martin himself – the series is shaping up to be well worth a visit. 

John Collee is delivering the Writing for Hollywood session in early December. He will be taking us through the ins and outs of the Hollywood system, offering his insight as the successful screen writer of Oscar-wining film, Happy Feet, and the Oscar nominated, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

John will cover everything, from the craft and the business of writing to investigating the specifics about selling scripts. 

A movie poster of the award-winning film, Happy Feet

A movie poster of the award-winning film, Happy Feet

Martin himself is conducting the Introduction to Producing seminar, which aims to give people a solid understanding of what is involved in producing long-form drama. Think current practice in the industry and the big picture ideas behind being an active producer! 

For those specifically interested in documentaries, award-winning producer Philippa Campey will conduct the Introduction to Documentary session that gives an overview of the entire sector for emerging practitioners. She’ll answer questions, such as “What makes an entertaining and compelling documentary?” and “How do I get funding for my documentary?” 

Philippa was the producer of Murundak – Songs of Freedom, which I’ve provided a short teaser to below.

If you have dreams of writing and selling a script for a successful feature film, producing a long form drama feature, or securing funding for a documentary, then the AFTRS Industry Insiders Series is ideal. Between the Friday on My Mind and Industry Insiders programs, AFTRS definitely has you covered.

Helen Simondson – Manager Screen Events

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