Media Resource Centre's Screen Makers Conference 2017 & Podcast

Words by Paul Maland
Photos via Media Resource Centre, Thomas Jackson

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Now in its third year, the Screen Makers Conference boasts another impressive line-up of guest speakers and marketplace representatives to attend the 2017 filmmakers conference held at the Mercury Cinema on Friday the 28th and Saturday the 29th of July.

"It [was] originally conceived as a conference for emerging and early career filmmakers, but also very much we want the mainstream filmmakers to come as well," says Media Resource Centre production executive Kath McIntyre.

This year, The Media Resource Centre is debuting a podcast series showcasing interviews with the talent and organisers behind this year's Screen Makers Conference. In its inaugural episode, Kath McIntyre provided an insight into what conferences like this mean for emerging filmmakers. 

"First and foremost it's to get the great people in the industry down to Adelaide to be able to talk about what the market is after — so that's the commissioning editors, the prominent producers, the distributors, the sales agents, the big digital content creators like YouTube — all to come down here and actually tell us what the market is looking for, because it changes every twelve months," she says. 

"Second thing is to create real collaborations and relationships between filmmakers in South Australia, and also interstate filmmakers as well. This year for the first time we also have a one-on-one pitching market,

"So now the conference is not only an amazing two-day conference with masterclasses, meet the market, in conversation, case studies — we've now got a market attached to it where you can come and pitch your project to the people who can help get the projects up,

"We've deliberately invited industry heavyweights to come who want to work with early career and emerging people, as well as established filmmakers." she says. 

"We really tried to put two amazing days together where there's something for people who are interested in just particular things. We've got television people, we've got film people, we've got digital content people,

"Across the board, all these speakers — you're going to learn something from all of them. It's all about what is happening now. We want the conference to be the place where people come and they know what's happening now: what are the trends, where are the opportunities, how do you get work, and what's the market after," she says. 

"It's not just sitting there and you're being talked to all day. Nearly every single speaker will do a round-table. [It's] where you get to ask more personal questions that you might not feel like asking in front of a main auditorium in front of two hundred people," she says. "They're pretty intimate and private, deliberately, so that you can get a chance to ask those questions that you've always wanted to ask,

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"It's the first stage of creating a relationship with that speaker, so that if you want to reach out to them later on you can go 'hey, I saw you at the Screen Makers Conference, I loved your masterclass, I loved your market talk, and I came to your round-table'. It's just a better way of entering into that conversation," she says. 

"For early career or emerging filmmakers, it is the place where you can come and find other filmmakers to work with and collaborate. We are happy to go out of our way to make that happen for you. If you want to meet somebody, a director, a producer, a writer — come up and speak to us, and we'll make sure you get to meet the people you want as you're collaborating with other filmmakers,

"It is so important in all our careers to keep up with what the market wants, to keep educating ourselves, and to keep watching content. Out of these speakers, they're going to tell you what they're after, but you're also going to start looking at their shows that you might not have come across before. It's part of that big education process and just keeping job ready at all times," Kath says.

Marketplace representatives looking for content include broadcast commissioning editors from Foxtel, and ABC iview, feature film distributors including Roadshow, Arcadia, ‘Video On Demand’ (VOD) executives from YouTube and Pozible, state and federal funding agencies, and leading production companies keen to connect with industry talent.

The New Screen Makers Conference will be taking place on the 28th and 29th of July, with tickets available at: www.screenmakersconference.com.au/. The Media Resource Centre's podcast series is available on their Soundcloud.