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[black space]: web series production

Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department is calling on Indigenous filmmakers, online content creators and vloggers from across Australia to produce online series.

The creation of online content is fast becoming the future of screen storytelling and in the same vain as successful web series, Bondi Hipsters, Broad City, Black As and The Katering Show, we are on the hunt for dynamic proposals for online series with refreshing voices, daring stories, courageous characters or even a couple of oddballs!

Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department will fund two Black Space submissions (three to five standalone episodes, each around four minutes in duration). The initiative is designed to bring Indigenous stories, authored and crafted by Indigenous people to online audiences.

We are looking for Indigenous talent, with big ideas at a production ready stage. As part of the Black Space initiative the successful teams will attend a two day workshop focussed on marketing online content. Each series will be made entirely for online delivery in conjunction with YouTube and Facebook.

The production ready series can be comedy, drama, mockumentary, factual and/or any other relevant genre.

All applicants should be able to commit to production by June 2017, for delivery and launch by October 2017.

What funding is available?  

The successful applications will receive funding of up to $200,000, and key creatives must be available to attend the two-day online marketing Workshop being held in June 2017.  

Who can apply?

  • Applications must come from Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Australian writers, writer/directors, presenters or writer and director teams.
  • Applicants must meet the general eligibility requirements set out in the Screen Australia’s Terms of Trade.
  • There are no minimum credit requirements for writers, directors or writer/directors. However, applicants should be aware that the intention of the initiative is to develop new and emerging creative teams who must display a commitment to working in the film and television industry, and have a genuine interest in developing multiplatform content.
  • An application must have at least one Producer who has one of the following:
  • an eligible short drama credit (see Definitions box below) as a Producer OR
  • an eligible documentary credit. (see Definitions box below) as a Producer

The project application:

  • Should be no longer than three to five episodes, each with a duration of around 4 minutes. Applicants can submit a variation of the number of episodes, as long as the total duration for the series is a maximum of 15 minute and episode length supports the distinctiveness of the idea.
  • Can be achieved within the parameters of Screen Australia’s Terms of Trade and $200,000 budgets. Please use the Multiplatform A-Z Budgets See our FAQ sheet.
  • Incorporates a maximum of two main characters with minimal extra/support characters.

Please note, that in the case of those applicants or teams who have a great idea but have limited production experience, Screen Australia may encourage collaboration by attaching an Executive Producer or an experienced Line Producer and/or First Assistant Director.

What Materials do I need to apply?

Applications must be made via the Screen Australia online portal and include the following information:

  • 200 word bios for creative team members
  • Production Schedule

  The following supporting materials must also be attached:

  • Series outlines
  • Full shooting scripts
  • A Director’s statement  
  • A Producer’s statement which addresses the production methodology and how the $200,000 budget will be adhered to
  • Fully itemised A-Z budget
  • A Video Pitch (of up to two minutes) with the applicant detailing to camera the proposed series and why they think it is capable of generating a strong online following if produced.

Definitions

In these guidelines:
  • An ‘eligible drama credit’ under this program is a drama film or program of at least 5 mins which has:
  • screened at a recognised film festival (Cannes, Berlin, Toronto, Sundance, Clermont-Ferrand or Annecy; Adelaide Film Festival, Brisbane International Film Festival, Melbourne International Film Festival, Revelation Perth International Film Festival, Sydney Film Festival; Flickerfest or St Kilda Film Festival); or
  • been nominated for an AACTA Award; or
  • been broadcast by a recognised broadcaster or channel; or 
  • had a commercial theatrical release.
  • An ‘eligible documentary credit’ under this program is a 25’ documentary which has been broadcast by an Australian broadcaster (Hot Docs, IDFA, Sydney Film Festival, Melbourne Film Festival or Adelaide Film Festival.

What is the Assessment process?

Eligible applications will be considered by Screen Australia’s Indigenous Unit and industry specialists as required against the following criteria:

  • The originality and distinctiveness of the scripts and overall concept (25%)

  • The skills, experience and track record of each of the key principals and the potential to advance key creative careers (25%)

  • The degree to which the story idea embraces the Black Space Initiative challenge: one or two dynamic main characters, minimal support characters and a single location. To be shot with minimal crew. To be created with the viewing habits of an online audience in mind (50%)

Screen Australia will advise applicants in writing of the outcome of their application. Where an application is declined, the applicant will be advised of the reason.

Terms of funding

Funding will be provided in the form of a grant. Screen Australia will not require a copyright interest. Funding recipients must deliver all delivery items listed in the PGA (Production Grant Agreement), including DVD copies of the completed film, plus related paperwork including an expenditure report and press kit.