1. Nov 06
    Pitching: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

    It's pitching season and everyone is pulling out the 'next big thing' document from the bottom drawer, dusting it off, (adding in a social media element) and hitting the streets. But what makes a great pitch? Do you need sky-writers, dancing girls and a crocodile? Or just that single, brilliant, one-line idea?
    The panel this month will talk about what works, what doesn't and share some stories about the good, the bad and the ugly.

    Guest Bios:

    Des Monaghan: Executive Chairman, Screentime Group. Des Monaghan is one of Australia's leading and multi-award winning executive producers. Formerly controller of programming and subsequently director of program and production for Television New Zealand (TVNZ) Networks 1 and 2, in the late 1980s, Monaghan set up South Pacific Pictures Limited before being appointed Network Director of Production and Program Development for the Seven Network in Australia.
    Forming Screentime in 1996 with Bob Campbell, the television production company has operations in Australia, New Zealand and Ireland. With productions in all genres including telemovies, mini-series, long form drama, comedy, serial drama and infotainment/reality, Screentime also produces formats which are owned by the group in over 40 countries. Screentime has produced many of Australia's most celebrated dramas with Monaghan as executive producer, with recent productions including the Underbelly franchise, the critically acclaimed Cloudstreet (based on Tim Winton's novel) for Showtime Australia, Crownies for ABC TV, Tricky Business for the Nine Network, Brothers In Arms for Network Ten and most recently Underbelly: Badness for the Nine Network.

    Brendan Dahill: Controller, ABC 1. Brendan Dahill is responsible for the vision, branding and programming strategy for ABC1. Previously the Director of Television for BBC Worldwide Channels, Australasia, Brendan has had an extensive career in television. He began working in research with Carlton Television, going on to spend seven years with the BBC, including three and a half years as Head of Planning and Scheduling for BBC Three, before moving to Australia in 2004. After four years as Head of Programming, Presentations and Promotions Australia and New Zealand for UKTV, he was appointed as Director of Television at BBC Worldwide Channels Australasia, and now is the Controller of ABC1.
    Beverley McGarvey: Chief Programming Officer, Network Ten. Beverley McGarvey's international television experience has seen her work in some of the world's most vibrant and interesting TV markets, starting in Ireland and the UK, moving to New Zealand and currently holding the role of Acting Chief Programming Officer at Network Ten, where she oversees a number of departments including acquisitions and development, program scheduling and promotions, and works on strategic programming and production.
    Beverley has been part of Ten's successful strategy of targeting viewers aged 18-49 with programs such as MasterChef Australia and The Project. She has also been instrumental in developing Australia's newest digital channel, ELEVEN, which launched in January 2011. Beverley joined Network Ten in 2006 from TV3 in New Zealand, where she was Director of Programming from 2004.  Prior to that, she spent four years as Head of Program Scheduling and Promotions for TV3 Ireland.

  2. Oct 09
    Working with Real People

    Reality TV has taken over programming, and 'real' people are now the stars - singing, dancing, losing weight, cooking, getting married - you name it, they are doing it on camera for voyeurs and audiences around the world.
    How does becoming a TV 'star' affect the real people who sign up for these programs and why do they do it? What's it like for the program-makers who cast them, contract them and then have a duty of care for them?  What happens when a program, or a contestant, goes wrong?
    Special Guests: Brad and Lara, winners of the 2012 season of The Block.

    •   MC: Josie Mason

    Guest Bios:

    Caroline Spencer: Executive Producer - FremantleMedia. Caroline currently works for FremantleMedia and her most recent credit is as Executive Producer of Farmer Wants a Wife (Series 8). Her other credits and experience over her 20 plus years in the industry include: EP Master Chef (Series 3) & series producer of Series 2 and numerous producing credits on Celebrity Master Chef, The Biggest Loser, The Phone, Project Runway Australia, Family Circle TV and Gladiators. She also worked in New Zealand for a number of years as Head of Production at DSP Beyond for six and Natural History New Zealand for three years.

    Stephen Tate: Executive Producer - Network Ten. Since joining Network Ten in 2001 Stephen Tate has been the Network Executive Producer and Integration Officer, Network Head of Production and Head of Entertainment.
    His strategic role involves overseeing program development, production and promotion for the network. His program responsibilities have included I Will Survive, and Young Talent Time, MasterChef Australia, Jnr Master Chef, Australian Idol, The Circle, Talk'n Bout Your Generation, The Melbourne International Comedy Festival Gala and Video Hits. He was formerly responsible for Rove Live, Big Brother and many other major franchises.
    Prior to joining the Ten network, Stephen held numerous producing roles for a variety of production companies with credits including Live This and Who Dares Wins. Stephen began his TV career with a three year stint in the UK working for London weekend television and the BBC.

  3. Sep 04
    Vibing The Zeitgeist

    The second installment of TV TALKS investigates 'vibing the zeitgeist' AKA 'How to work out what should be made next/ or is having a hit program just good luck?'
    TV content is often programmed and commissioned years in advance. So how can  producers, programmers, marketers and executives know what audiences will want next? Is it all to do with market research? Or is it what is rating at the moment? Should we rely on the 'gut instincts' of clever creatives or does it really come down to just good luck?

    •   MC: John Gregory CEO, Freehand TV
     Guest Bios:

    Jason Stephens: Creative Director Fremantle Media Australia. Jason Stephens began his career writing sketch comedy for The Comedy Company, and The Gerry Connolly Show going on to become a member of legendary comedy troupe The D-Generation, writing and performing with them for five years.
    During this time Jason was a member of the D-Gen's radio breakfast show for two years; wrote and performed a sketch comedy series on the Seven Network and helped write, direct, perform and produce two seasons of The Late Show for ABC TV. In 2004 he accepted the position of Head of Development at Crackerjack and was made Director of Development for FremantleMedia Australia in 2007 as well as Producing/Co-EPing the AFI award-winning tele-feature The King, about the Graham Kennedy story. Jason was also the creator of the Logie award-wining ABC series the Choir of Hard Knocks, and Executive Producer and co-creator of SBS series Newstopia.
    In 2010 he was appointed Creative Director of FremantleMedia Australia and established a joint venture with the company to produce scripted drama including the award-winning mini series Killing Time was produced for TV1.
    Tony Iffland: Director of Television and Online Content, SBS. Tony Iffland was appointed Director of Television and Online Content at SBS in April 2012. His remit is leading SBS's content strategy across commissioning, acquisitions and scheduling and includes the network's sporting acquisitions. In Tony's previous role as General Manager of BBC Worldwide Australia, he was responsible for the coordination of BBC Worldwide's five divisions and for the implementation of an Australasian business strategy, as well as for regulatory and governance issues affecting the company in Australia and New Zealand.

    Tony was active in subscription TV industry affairs and was Vice President of the board of ASTRA (Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association). He represented the interests of the subscription TV channels on this peak industry body and chairs the ASTRA Channel Providers Committee. He also chaired the CBeebies Advisory Council.
    Lisa Walsh: Head of Research & Marketing, ABC TV. In mid 2011 Lisa Walsh was appointed as Head of Research & Marketing and as chair of the ABC's Marketing Executive Group. Her research work at the ABC encompasses a wide range of research activities across all media platforms and her marketing work focuses on key strategic initiatives across the corporation. Lisa joined the ABC in 2002 as Manager Audience Research. Prior to joining the ABC Lisa ran her own research consultancy and spent more than a decade working for multinational research agencies in consumer marketing and media research.

  4. Aug 07
    The Voice
    •  MC: Josie Mason

    Guest Bios: 

    Julie Ward: Director of Entertainment, Shine Australia. Julie Ward's most recent role has been executive producer of The Voice Australia (series 1) and she has worked for all three broadcast networks, for subscription channels, and as an independent producer.

    Julie's credits include: serving as executive producer on So You Think You Can Dance, Australian Idol and Celebrity MasterChef for FremantleMedia Australia; co-executive producer of the Aria Awards for Network Ten and Roving Enterprises, and executive producer for her own company ZigZag Productions creating Australia Day Live and Australian Of The Year Awards 2002-2009.

    Julie thrives on new technologies and the application of content to emerging platforms.

    Adrian Swift: Director of Development, Nine Network. Adrian Swift is one of Australia's most experienced media executives covering everything from newspapers to television, terrestrial to multichannel, production to senior board level executive responsibility. Along with two partners, Adrian founded and sits on the board of etv, the UK's top branded media, production and strategy company. Prior to working in the UK for a decade, Adrian spent many years in both commercial and public television in Australia including two stints at SBS, and many years as both a presenter and producer before joining Getaway as its founding producer and later Executive Producer.

    Over the last 12 months at Nine he has worked on The Voice, Excess Baggage and Celebrity Apprentice.


The Australian Film Television and Radio School would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners, the Bidjigal people and Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, on whose land we meet, work, study and teach. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and extend our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from all nations of this land.