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Skip Ahead: Film Development Workshop

Screen Australia and Google will host two 2½-day workshops for leading YouTubers seeking to develop films and series pilots.

The workshops are aimed at content creators who are active on YouTube, make regular short-form content that finds a significant audience, and who want to apply their filmmaking skills to longer stories. Applications should be for projects that are at least 30 minutes, but no more than 90 minutes, in length.

A small number of individuals or teams who have a great idea for a feature film, short feature, or series pilot (encapsulated in a one-page outline) will be selected to participate. A maximum of 10 projects will be chosen.

The workshops will help content creators understand some of the key tools for writing a screenplay, from creating compelling characters, to structuring an engaging story, and the expectations of different genres.

The workshops will not only provide the big picture principals of developing a film or series pilot from a concept, but will also drill down into each participant’s project, making them relevant to each YouTuber’s idea. The workshops will respect the essence of what makes each YouTuber participant special, and will explore how to translate those qualities into a longer-form story that will not only engage their existing audience, but also grow their fan-base.

Preference will be given to content creators with demonstrable skills in making engaging narrative-driven short form content, with a proven track record in creating online buzz, and experience building audiences. Factual entertainment-based YouTubers can apply but applications must be for a narrative fiction project.

This initiative presents an opportunity for Australia’s top YouTubers to grow their skillset and be empowered to take the next step in their screen careers. The workshops will be interactive and collaborative, fun and engaging. The first workshop, which will take place from Tuesday 23 February – Thursday 25 February 2016, will focus on big picture principals, but will explore individual projects enough to enable to participants to get writing. The second workshop, from Wednesday 30 March – Friday 1 April 2016, will delve more deeply into each of the specific projects. Both workshops will take place at the Google HQ in Sydney.

The workshops will be led by Mike Jones, a multiplatform writer who has lead script development programs including Platform X for AWG and Digital 360 Lab for SAFC, and teaches story and writing at AFTRS, and Samantha Jennings, who has held numerous senior roles, including executive positions at Screen NSW and Screen Australia, and is a script advisor to agencies, producers and companies across Australia, including Porchlight, Werner and Goalpost. Samantha is a partner at Causeway Films with Kristina Ceyton (The Babadook), developing a slate of features with international partners.

Applications close Thursday 7 January 2016.

Want to know how to apply? Find out more here