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seeing ourselves - developing the developer: A focus on diversity

Developing the Developer is a four-day workshop aimed at increasing the pool of talented experts in the field of story development.

Screen Australia recognises that in order to contribute to our story development capacity and culture we need to continue to identify, nurture, develop and collaborate with new generations of fiction developers across story platforms and formats.

This is an opportunity for practitioners to enhance their existing screen story development skills or to transfer story skills from other areas such as theatre. For the purpose of this workshop, ‘Developers’ means practitioners who already work in or aspire to work in story development, as a script reader; script assessor; script consultant; script editor; development executive; script co-ordinator; script producer; or, dramaturg and who are passionate about facilitating other people’s creative visions on any platform (TV, VR, Online, Feature).

This workshop is not designed for creatives who wish to enhance their story development skills solely for their own projects.

Acknowledging the barriers which may exist to professionalisation in the field of screen story development, it is Screen Australia’s intent through Developing the Developer: A Focus on Diversity to increase the diversity of practitioners who work in screen story development to create a pool of developers more broadly reflective of Australian society. The outcomes will provide an enriched environment that has the potential to impact on what stories are told and by whom as well as to impact the decisions made through Screen Australia’s programs. For the purpose of these guidelines, diversity encompasses cultural background, disability status, sexual orientation and identity.

Eight participants will be selected for the four-day workshop to be hosted in Sydney from Thursday 12 April, Friday 13 April, Saturday 14 April and Sunday 15 April 2018. For interstate and regional practitioners, Screen Australia will support reasonable travel and accommodation requirements.

The Developing the Developer: A Focus on Diversity workshop will focus on development established philosophies, development methodologies and tools across fiction story platforms as well as market context.

The workshop will be practice-led and experiential and require collaboration and involvement by participants to prepare work prior to, and during, attendance.

The workshop structure includes:

  • Pre-Workshop: participants required to prepare project reading and analysis tasks
  • Day One: half-day orientation, introductions, motivations and function.
  • Day Two: building craft, analysis skills and adding to your development toolkit across early to late stage projects
  • Day Three: deepening analysis skills and adding to your toolkit across platforms, genres and strategies for development
  • Day Four: putting your toolkit into practice in preparing for development meetings, observation of development meetings, and reflecting on our individual methods and practice
  • Post-Workshop: continuation ‘interview’ to discuss areas of interest and next steps

After the workshop, Screen Australia will engage with each participant to discuss their goals and work with them to unlock support opportunities for participants to continue their practice in the story development field.

Who can apply?

Applicants must be able to demonstrate some track record in story or new work development from any genre, platform or narrative art-form (for example, theatre, screen, fiction in other formats such as a novel, or documentary). Please note: The demonstrable track-record of applicants can be professional, community cultural development, semi-professional, independent or fringe work but work history must involve either fiction or factual narrative work of any length. The applicant must have some history of practice as at least one of the following, a:

  • development executive
  • produced writer (fiction / factual in any genre/platform)
  • creative producer / associate producer / story producer / editor
  • script editor / script consultant / script mentor
  • script assistant / writer room note-taker / script coordinator
  • creative who has contributed to devising new work (for example, an actor, director, choreographer in professional, semi-professional, independent, fringe or community driven productions)
  • dramaturg
  • literary manager / dramaturg in residence
  • a track record working in a related creative role that contributes to the development of new work. For example: assistant to a producer of new work or in a production company; former executive in a network; associate director in a live performance company; or, reader / assessor for an agent, distributor, sales agent, network, or script services organisation.

Only individuals may apply. Applicants must be Australian citizens or residents.

Applicants must also meet the general eligibility requirements set out in Screen Australia’s Terms of Trade. Regretfully we will not be able to receive applications from people who are enrolled full time at a tertiary education institution, or who are a current employee of a broadcaster or government agency.

Please ring 1800 507 901 to discuss other opportunities with the Senior Development Executive at Screen Australia.

Applicants must be able to attend the workshop on the specified dates.

What materials do you need to apply?

  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) highlighting evidence and track-record in story development in new work for screen or sister art-forms, noting the cultural and geographic contexts of that work - maximum 2 pages
  • Personal Objectives Statement a written personal statementˆ - maximum 2 pagesˆ from the applicant outlining:
  • where you have worked,
  • who you have worked with
  • how your practice contributes to a diversity in screen content and practice;
  • the barriers faced and/or overcome in your work;
  • your commitment and motivation to new work development and what types of stories are of interest;
  • why participation in the Workshop is of interest to you; and,
  • your hoped for outcomes through participating in Developing the Developer: A Focus on Diversity
  • Personal Process Statement a written outlineˆ of a development process you have participated in, outlining your role, function, your process and the project’s context and outcome– maximum 1 pageˆ
  • A support reference letter from a professional industry practitioner or producing organisation, or development or community organization. For example, a theatre company, community arts or community cultural development organisation, production company, broadcaster, festival, publisher, agent, distributor. The reference letter should come from someone who has worked or collaborated with you in a development or related creative role capacity. We ask that the letter outline what they perceive as the strengths and future potential of your story and development skills and your potential contribution and impact on story development culture in Australia overall – maximum 1 page

ˆPlease note if you would prefer to provide your Personal Objectives Statement and Personal Process Statement verbally, you can submit a 4 minute (maximum) video via password protected link. 

What is the assessment process?

Applications will be assessed by Screen Australia executives and/or industry specialists/peers as required. We will advise applicants in writing of the success or otherwise of their application.

Shortlisted applicants may be required to attend an interview.

Assessment criteria

When assessing applications for this program, we will take the following equally weighted criteria into account:

  • Demonstrable experience and track record in a development or related creative role in a narrative work on any platform or art-form
  • Depth of awareness and reflection on development process and objective for participation
  • Calibre, quality and strength of peer recommendation
  • The applicant’s capacity and demonstrated commitment to contribute to a development culture reflective of Australian society.

Contact us: If you’d like to speak with one of our Development Executives or our Program Operations team regarding your application call 1800 507 901 or email Developer.