The SAFC’s inaugural TV Minilab, facilitated by Quentin Kenihan and Shane McNeil of Q Productions, brought together 28 of South Australia’s brightest writers, directors and producers for a four week intensive program. The top 5 projects from the program were selected for the Sydney pitching sessions by a selection panel including Kris Noble (Big Brother, McLeod’s Daughters), Sue Masters (The Circuit, The Secret Life of Us, Seachange) and TV Minilab mentor Gus Howard (Rain Shadow, Blue Heelers).
The five TV MiniLab pitch teams are:
- Melissa Sheldrick (Producer)
- Ryder Grindle (Writer)
- Caroline Man (Producer) & Ruth Estelle (Writer)
- Alexis West (Writer/Director)
- Matt Vesely (Writer/Director)
TV Minilab gave its South Australian participants opportunities for masterclasses with some of Australia’s most successful television practitioners, including producer Gus Howard (Rain Shadow, Blue Heelers); producer/director Ric Pellizzeri (Neighbours); Underbelly producer and industry heavyweight Des Monaghan; writer and creator Tony Morphett (Blue Heelers/Water Rats); comedian, presenter, and writer Tim Ferguson; and actress Lisa McCune.
Of the 2010 program Gus Howard said “the level of inventiveness and professionalism in the group was outstanding. They learned very well how you can take what might seem like a small idea at the time and expand it into a commercially viable one that will appeal to the mainstream; a level of understanding which they hadn’t previously broached. We now have five really strong ideas that demonstrate the depth of creative talent that exists in South Australia, which when given the right kind of support will flourish with great results.”
SAFC CEO Richard Harris said, “TV Minilab has provided local filmmakers with a wonderful opportunity to have access to the expertise of the country’s finest practitioners in the television industry. It is a vital part of our broader strategy to reinvigorate television production in South Australia and we are very excited to see how the pitch teams’ projects are received.”
TV MiniLab was managed by SAFC’s General Manager, Industry Development & Production, Defrim Isai. It forms part of a major focus on attracting and building television production in South Australia. With television comedy series Danger 5 for SBS currently in production at Hendon, the joint ABC/SAFC Factual Entertainment initiative beginning next year, and development of local talent through TV MiniLab, South Australia is primed for television. Add to this the Adelaide Studios opening in mid 2011 and there is growing confidence a strong television production base is returning to South Australia.
CEO Richard Harris and SAFC staff have been introducing the new Adelaide Studios to producers and television executives in Sydney and Melbourne throughout the latter half of 2010.
“The response to the new facilities has been fantastic” said CEO Richard Harris. “Producers with projects in the pipelines know they will benefit tremendously from early bird rates on offer for the first twelve months of operation”.
For more information about Adelaide Studios visit http://www.safilm.com.au