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Podcast – Alastair McKinnon: Matchbox Pictures

Learn how much time projects take to develop, how to find the right ‘home’ to pitch to, pitching tips, and more.

Alastair McKinnon

Alastair McKinnon

Find this episode of the Screen Australia Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher or Pocket Casts

Matchbox Pictures is one of Australia’s most successful and prolific producers of television, and in this in-depth interview Managing Director Alastair McKinnon talks about the company and industry at large.

Expanding on a recent video interview, McKinnon discusses the benefits and challenges of working with a global parent company like NBCUniversal (which acquired Matchbox Pictures in 2014).

He also explains how long a series like the highly-anticipated Stateless, starring Cate Blanchett, took to develop and the factors that can impact that journey.

“Definitely 12 months would be tight (to develop something) and anywhere up to five years, plus,” he says.

As well as his advice on the ‘do’s and ‘don’t’s of pitching, McKinnon also talks about the success stories for Matchbox Pictures, including the decision to produce the 30-episode ABC serial The Heights as a talent escalator for the industry.

“We love the show and we think it’s terrific and telling stories that haven’t been told before, but really unless you have something that’s long running you can’t give new voices a chance,” he says.

“So The Heights for us is a real industry builder and happily that’s very much how it’s playing out, so a lot of the people that got their first gig on series one are stepping up into heightened roles on series two.”

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