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Skip Ahead

MESSAGE FROM SCREEN AUSTRALIA'S CEO REGARDING COVID-19: CLICK HERE.

Skip Ahead is a joint initiative of Screen Australia and Google Australia. Since 2014, over the course of six funding rounds, Skip Ahead has supported 30 YouTube content creators to develop their skills, and support them to work towards sustainable careers. Past recipients include Mighty Car Mods, Skitbox, RackaRacka, Wengie, Superwog, Tibees, Bush Tucker Bunjie and more.

Skip Ahead is open to documentary and scripted projects. Documentary concepts are encouraged to have an educational and learning aspect to the project. 

Why?

Skip Ahead aims to:

  • help a new generation of online storytellers to expand their vision and ambition
  • cultivate original Australian narrative content made specifically for global online audiences
  • ensure the storytellers and stories being told reflect the diversity of people and experiences from around Australia, all of which are important culturally, creatively and economically.

Who?

Applications will be open to:

Original content creators or a team of original content creators responsible for either:

  • a current YouTube channel with at least 25,000 subscribers, OR 
  • a maximum of two current YouTube channels with a combined subscriber base of 40,000, OR 
  • a YouTube video which has achieved a minimum of 1 million views on a channel which has a subscriber base of at least 10,000.

Applicants must also meet the general eligibility requirements set out in Screen Australia’s Terms of Trade, with the exception of the restriction on full-time students, which will be waived in this case.

 The project that is the subject of the application must:

  • be for a scripted project of any genre. Story driven documentaries are also eligible as are educational formats,
  • be intended to be uploaded to YouTube, 
  • not be a ‘How to...’  or  lifestyle program,
  • not be advertorial or intended primarily as advertising or marketing material.

Genuine collaborations between a YouTube content creator(s) and established producers, production companies and/or entertainment properties are encouraged and may strengthen an application.

What?

 What you can apply for:

  • up to $120,000 is available per project for successful Australian YouTube content creators who have YouTube channels with a substantial existing subscriber base. 
  • eligible applicants can propose the format of the project, such as a series of six by five minute episodes or an alternative that is appropriate for their creative concept and the YouTube distribution platform. 
  • concepts that are more than 30 minutes total of content will be required to demonstrate an ability to successfully create this amount of content within a low budget
  • up to four projects will be funded.

In addition, Screen Australia and Google Australia will also fund successful applicants to participate in two workshops held in Sydney. Travel and accommodation support will be provided for teams outside of Sydney to attend the workshop (for up to four team members per project). Participants must be available on the 16th November (via zoom) and from the 23rd – 26th November 2021 (in Sydney). Note: the workshops may all be held virtually pending travel restrictions in place at the time. 

How?

Applications close 5pm AEST Thursday, 16 September 2021 and can be made through the application portal
 

Applications consist of:

  • An up to 3 minute downloadable pitch video consisting of:
    • information on the series format (how many episodes, length of episode) 
    • genre, characters, story arc and brief plot summary 
    • themes and tone of the project 
    • the target audience, including demographics and viewing habits 
    • the team and their past experience creating content 
    • what is unique and exciting about the project 
  • a brief profile of your YouTube channel(s)
  • a two-page pitch document that describes the proposal, details the audience development and social media strategies to promote the series to a wider audience than the creator’s existing subscribers, and a plan for how the creator might continue to grow the channel(s) following the release of the Skip Ahead content
  • outlines of episodes (or of project if a one off).

Assessment criteria

Eligible applications will be considered by Screen Australia and Google Australia executives, as well as industry specialists as required.  Funding decisions will be made against the following criteria:

  • the creative strength and distinctiveness of the proposal, including the concept and entertainment value 
  • the potential of the project to expand the subscriber base of the applicant’s channel(s) and/or reach new audiences and opportunities for commercialisation 
  • the viability of the proposal with respect to the budget and scale of the project 
  • the track record of the key participants involved in the proposal and the likelihood that this program will demonstrably develop their skills in made-for-web content production 

Other factors, including availability of funds, diversity of slate and the diversity of the team, may also influence Screen Australia’s funding decisions. Shortlisted applicants may be interviewed.

Decisions on applications are final. Screen Australia will advise applicants in writing of the outcome of their application by Friday 29 October 2021

Screen Australia and Google Australia acknowledge and appreciate the effort that goes into applications, but given the anticipated volume of applications will not be able to provide individual feedback on each application.

Further information

Successful applicants must make the production publicly available for the first time on YouTube from a date agreed upon with Screen Australia and Google Australia. They must maintain the content on YouTube for a minimum of 5 years.

Successful applicants and productions must comply with YouTube’s terms of service and community guidelines.

Other terms, including delivery requirements, marketing and credit requirements for Screen Australia and Google Australia, will be detailed in the funding agreement.

Screen Australia may also facilitate informal link-ups between creators and Australian production companies interested in skills exchange or creative collaboration.

If you are unsure about your eligibility or have questions about the application form, please email us at Online or call Program Operations on 1800 507 901. Please note that we are not able to provide creative advice or suggestions to strengthen your application.