1. Nov 08
    TV TALKS: NEW FOR OLD

    The perception is that traditional broadcasters, particularly those in the commercial sector, have struggled to find their foothold in the digital world. But then big events as diverse as the Rio Olympic Games, South Australia’s recent electricity blackout and SBS’ cross platform Deep Water programming clearly demonstrate how they are unleashing their digital power.

    This month’s TV Talks meets three of the television industry’s biggest players in the multi-platform world to find out how the old world is tackling the new world - and what it means for program makers, consumers and advertisers alike.

    Guests:
    • Liz Baldwin [General Manager, Digital, Network Ten]
    • Clive Dickens [Chief Digital Officer, Seven West Media]
    • Marshall Heald [Director of Television and Online Content, SBS]
    • Denise Eriksen [MC]
    Guest bios:

    Liz Baldwin was appointed as Network Ten General Manager, Digital, in February 2016 where she is responsible for the company’s digital media business – including the industry-leading online catch-up and streaming service tenplay.

    Liz was previously Network Ten’s Digital Executive Producer, a title she took on March 2015.

    Before she joined Network Ten, Liz was Head of Content and Brand Integration at Nine Entertainment Co. Her resume also includes the positions of Director of Consumer and Digital Strategy at Shine Australia (now Endemol Shine Australia), Head of Digital at News Magazines (now News Life Media) and Consumer Marketing Manager, Australia and New Zealand, at Dell Computer.

    Clive Dickens joined Seven West Media (ASX:SWM) in 2015 as the Chief Digital Officer for Seven West Media and as a non-Executive Director at Yahoo 7. He oversees all strategic and operational aspects of Seven West Media’s digital content and digital revenue activities.

    Clive’s career to date has been a unique Digital/Broadcast media hybrid – never very far from Broadcast Content nor from a Digital team and boasts over 30 years’ experience, which has taken him from New York to Los Angeles, Mumbai to Johannesburg, Budapest to Berlin and London to now Australia. Clive’s first digital role was in 1995 with the multi award winning team at Capital Interactive part of then one of the largest Broadcasters in the UK.

    Clive was also an advisor to the founders of the world leading mobile company Shazam used by more than 700 million people in over 60 countries and was recently valued at $1bn. Since Shazam, Clive has also advised a number of other successful digital start-ups, helping them achieve growth, maturity, IPO or exit.

    In 2008 Clive co-founded Absolute Radio for the Times of India - the World’s largest English language newspaper publisher as COO. Absolute Radio has a world leading reputation for Digital, Social, Mobile innovation with more than 77% of its audience via a digital platform. Absolute Radio pioneered the new 'In-Stream' premium marketing platform. Clive was also a Founding Director of UK Radio Player Ltd, a joint venture between UK Broadcasters and the BBC that is used each month by 6m users to simplify discovery of live Broadcast Content.

    In April 2013 he relocated from the UK to Australia to take the reigns as Director of Digital and Innovation at Southern Cross Austereo (SCA), overseeing strategic and operational aspects of the company's diverse and multifaceted digital content and free-to-air television platform. During the 20 months Clive was at SCA, his digital team achieved a 700% increase in digital traffic, which in turn drove 50 % increase in digital revenue and EBITDA by over 90%.

    Clive is one of the Founder Directors of Code Club - a not for profit after-school coding club for Australian primary school children funded in part by a grant from the Telstra Foundation.

    Marshall Heald was appointed Director TV and Online Content at SBS in January 2015. Marshall was previously the Chief Digital Officer, with a broad remit to help drive the adoption of digital technologies and innovation across SBS in a rapidly changing broadcast sector. Marshall joined SBS initially in 2007 as Manager, Digital Media with overall responsibility for SBS’s online presence.

    Prior to SBS, Marshall’s career has included working as a litigation lawyer in New Zealand, heading up Telstra’s digital music and movie businesses and working as Creative Director of Noise, a media based festival to showcase the creative works of young Australians.

    With a background as Australia’s multicultural broadcaster, SBS holds a unique place in the Australian media landscape. The SBS Charter describes SBS’s principal function as providing multilingual, multicultural and Indigenous radio, television and digital media services that inform, educate and entertain all Australians, reflecting Australia’s diverse society. SBS inspires all Australians to explore, appreciate and celebrate our diverse world.

    Denise Eriksen has made programs for every Australian network and was most recently running two new arts shows as an Executive Producer with Foxtel.  She held senior television management roles in Australia for seven years - as Head, Factual at ABC TV, Head of Production and Development at SBS and Head of Current Affairs at ABC News. Currently, much of her work involves watching TV - on all platforms - so she can talk with authority as a panelist on RN’s TV Club, write for The New Daily and MC sessions for AFTRS.  She’s also a production gun for hire on projects which need her expertise and is on the board of the AIDC.

  2. Oct 11
    TV TALKS: RUNNING THE SHOW

    What does it take to go from TV series writer to TV series runner? TV Talks' October panelists made the change from being in charge of the script of an episode, to overseeing the narrative of an entire series. The American system of writer/showrunners is new (ish) in Australia, and local productions are now seeing it a successful way of staying true to story, and to character. This month we have a panel of successful writers who have made the transition to producing their own shows. OffspringDevil’s Playground and House Husband are all household names, but what went into bringing the characters and stories to our screens? Debra Oswald, Blake Ayshford and Ellie Beaumont will spill the beans and share their secrets on how it all came together, and what the experience was like for them.

    Guests:

    • Blake Ayshford [Writer & Producer, Barracuda & Devil’s Playground]
    • Debra Oswald [Writer & Producer, Offspring]
    • Ellie Beaumont [Writer & Producer, House Husbands]
    • Andrew Garrick [MC]

    Guest bios

    Blake Ayshford is one of Australia’s most exciting new writers. He was co-writer of this year’s AWGIE nominated mini-series Barracuda, and Showrunner on the Logie and AACTA award winning Foxtel drama series Devil’s Playground, set in the clandestine world of Catholic Church politics of the 1980s. He also wrote An Accidental Soldier directed by Rachel Ward and nominated for 6 AACTA Awards, an AWGIE for Best Telemovie, and the NSW Premier’s Literary Award for Best Screenplay.

    In 2015 Blake was writer of Cut Snake, the winner of the Inaugural Adelaide Film Festival/Insite award for Best Unproduced Screenplay. It was nominated for an AACTA AWARD for Best Original Screenplay, and AWGIE for Best Screenplay and Best Screenplay at the Film Critics Awards.

    Other credits include ABC1 political drama Code, The Straits (for which he won an AWGIE for Best Original Miniseries), Love My Way and The Cooks (for which he won the Queensland Premiers Prize for Best Screenplay). 

    Debra Oswald is co-creator/head writer of the first 5 series of Offspring and a two-time winner of the NSW Premier’s Award. Her other TV credits include Police Rescue, The Secret Life of Us, Sweet and Sour and Bananas in Pyjamas. Debra’s stage-plays have been produced around the world, including Gary's House, Mr Bailey’s Minder, Sweet Road, Dags and Stories in the Dark. She is the author of three Aussie Bite books, six novels for teenage readers and her first novel for adults, Useful, was published in 2015.

    Ellie Beaumont was co-creator, writer and executive producer of the first four seasons of the Logie award-winning series House Husbands. Ellie began her career as script co-ordinator on the ABC’s long running medical drama GP where she went on to become a trainee script editor, editor and writer. Since then, she has gone on to write, script edit, script produce and produce some of Australia's most respected and award winning television dramas. Her long line of credits include: Love is a Four Letter Word, The Secret Life of Us, Wildside, Water Rats, Go Big, Wicked Love, Bed of Roses and Newton’s Law. She has also written the children’s television series Lockie Leonard, Dance Academy, Blue Water High and The Sleepover Club.

    MC: Andrew Garrick has written, produced and directed major TV projects for all the free to air channels as well as for MTV and BBC Worldwide. Andrew's developed shows with leading independent production companies including Shine, Fremantle Australia, Screentime, and Beyond Productions and has a long list of commercial producing and directing credits. He's currently writing and producing several shows for the ABC and teaches the Applied Storytelling course for AFTRS Open.

  3. Sep 06
    The Art of the Hustle

    TV TALKS: THE ART OF THE HUSTLE

    Directing is called an art, and producing a skill - but is trying to do them as a job in the Australian industry really just one long hustle?

    Is “The Art of The Hustle" an "American" trait we're learning? And is it an essential trait to have for success in our industry? Why do creative people hate being seen to "work" for what they love?

    Three industry creatives at different stages of their careers - Banijay Screentime CEO Rory Callaghan, Nick Hayden, EP Entertainment at ABC TV, and Michelle Hardy, Producer of the soon-to-be hit sketch comedy series Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am - discuss wearing out your shoe leather in search of a commissioner who understands what you're saying - and has the dollars to make it happen. And they’ll tell us (and MC Andrew Garrick) if they think they’ve ever really had a pop-the-champagne moment in the world of TV - or expect to in the future.

    Guests:
    • Rory Callaghan [CEO, Banijay Screentime]
    • Nick Hayden [Executive Producer, Entertainment, ABC TV]
    • Michelle Hardy [Producer, Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am]
    • Andrew Garrick [MC]
    Guest Bios:

    Rory Callaghan joined Screentime as CEO in 2015. With a current slate of productions including the highly anticipated series The Secret Daughter for Channel 7, Undressed for SBS2 and the second series of Stop Laughing This Is Serious for ABC TV, the company is currently in development of a number of productions including the recently announced third series of the celebrated drama Janet King for ABC TV.

    Rory previously held the title of Executive Director at Shine Australia. He was responsible for the growing catalogue of all Shine Group formats in Australia and New Zealand in addition to those of Zodiak & Talpa where Shine is the local partner. He also focused on the strategic roll out of new and emerging content streams including scripted content. Recent shows commissioned include The Bachelor (Ten), Embarrassing Bodies Down Under (Lifestyle),Aussie Pickers (A&E), SlideShow (Seven), the first Shine drama INXS: Never Tear Us Apart(Seven), Catching Milat (Seven), Peter Allen: Not the Boy Next Door (Seven) and Brock (Ten).

    Previously CEO of Southern Star, Rory oversaw major growth in Southern Star’s drama output with productions including OffspringRushRescueSpiritedPuberty Blues andPaper Giants. He consolidated Southern Stars’ non-scripted output with the continued success of Deal Or No Deal, and reality franchises Beauty and the Geek and Undercover Boss. Formerly Director of Programs at Endemol Southern Star (ESS), he was later promoted to Managing Director of ESS and was made CEO when Endemol acquired 100% of the independent production company in 2009. Prior to Southern Star, Rory was Managing Director of Granada Productions, the local arm of ITV. There he brought Dancing With The Stars to Australia and developed a varied slate of formats including Australia's Next Top Model and Australian Princess. Prior to that he spent 10 years at the Nine Network producing programs such as The Footy ShowThe Logie Awards and The National IQ Test.

    Nick Hayden is a Sydney based producer with over 9 years experience in television and content production. Currently he is an Executive Producer for ABC Entertainment with heaps of super cool top-secret stuff in the works. Prior to that he created and was founding EP of the Walkley-and-Logie-losing news and comedy series The Feed for SBS. He did however once win a Cannes Gold Lion for his work on the comedy series The Great Crusade for Qantas. Nick was one of thousands of applicants selected by Andrew Denton and Anita Jacoby to be a writer, producer and presenter on Hungry Beast, and he’s worked for just about every network in Australia (except one).

    Michelle Hardy has produced award-winning screen content since 1999. In the past three years she has produced four shows for the ABC, including the International Emmy® Award winning multi-platform ABC2 comedy series #7DaysLater. In 2014 she was the Series Producer of Back Seat Drivers, an 11 x 30 minute comedy entertainment series for ABC2 and also Timothy, a half hour narrative comedy broadcast pilot that was made as part ofMental As, ABC’s Mental Health Week.

    Michelle most recently produced Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am, a half hour pilot selected for the Fresh Blood initiative. The full 6 x 30 minute series of Wham Bam has been commissioned by ABC and NBC Universal’s comedy streaming channel Seeso with the support of Screen Australia and Screen NSW.

    While in London in the early part of her career, Michelle produced award winning branded content for clients including the Bank of England, Transport For London, Royal Bank of Scotland, Tesco, Eurostar, Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Bid Committee, Beijing Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, PricewaterhouseCoopers and HM Treasury. Michelle also has a number of short film credits in her portfolio and was the line producer of feature documentary We Are The People We’ve Been Waiting For, executive produced by BAFTA and Oscar winning Lord David Puttnam.

    On returning to Sydney in 2010, Michelle worked across numerous lifestyle programs for the Seven Network including Weekend SunriseThe Great OutdoorsNew Idea TV and Better Homes and Gardens as well as producing branded content for agencies, networks and production companies.

    Michelle is the co-founder of Hardy White Pictures with Director Erin White and their production company was recently a recipient of a Screen Australia Gender Matters Brilliant Careers development grant. This grant will see Hardy White develop six drama series in 2017.

    MC: Andrew Garrick has produced and directed major TV projects for all the free to air channels as well as for MTV and BBC Worldwide. As Executive Producer for content at ad agency Ensemble Australia he was in a role which required more hustle than any one person should experience. Andrew's developed shows with leading independent production companies including Shine, Fremantle Australia, Screentime, and Beyond Productions and has a long list of commercial producing and directing credits. He currently hustles for himself through The Production Group, which has two shows in development with ABC, as well as working on a feature film with Beyond Screen.

  4. Jul 05
    Aussie Noir

    Forget Scandi Noir… Aussie Noir rules!  So, what is Aussie Noir? It’s a match of style with dark and psychologically compelling themes, characters thrown into crisis by unresolved conflicts in their troubled pasts – with crime, alienation and estrangement thrown in. All with an “Aussie flavor”. And there’s a lot of it around in television drama right now; think The Kettering Incident, Glitch and Cleverman to name just a few.    

    So the time is right to talk Aussie Noir with three extremely talented creatives from those series: Louise Fox (Glitch, The Kettering Incident), Vicki Madden (The Kettering Incident) and Leah Purcell (Cleverman). We’ll explore the genesis, style and success of each series and talk about what the future of the genre and what else is coming up on the collective slate of our fab panel. 


    GUESTS

    • Louise Fox: Creator, Writer -  Glitch    

    • Vicki Madden: Co-Creator, Producer, Showrunner, Head Writer  - The Kettering Incident

    • Leah Purcell: Director, Cleverman

    • MC: Denise Eriksen

     

    GUEST BIOS

    Louise Fox was a core member of the writing team on Fast Forward and Full Frontal. She then wrote for the children’s dramas Genie From Down Under and Round The Twist and then moved into adult drama, working on shows such as Always Greener, Fireflies and Rush.

    She was a core member of the writing team on Love My Way (winning the AWGIE for Episode 8 of Series 1), Camelot (Starz network), The Kettering Incident, and wrote an episode for the acclaimed ITV drama Broadchurch. Louise spent two years working as a core member of the team writing for Lucas Film on the Star Wars live action television series. 

    Louise was the co-creator and showrunner of the AACTA and Logie-winning series Glitch, and also wrote the screenplay for Dead Europe, for which she won the NSW Premier’s Literary Award. Her plays have been performed at the STC, Malthouse and the QTC. 

     

    Vicki Madden is a showrunner and writer with 25 years experience in the television industry both in Australia and overseas working as writer and showrunner on such shows as Halifax fp, The Bill, (UK), Trial & Retribution (UK) The Clinic (Ireland), Water Rats and Blood Brothers to name a few.

    Vicki returned from five years overseas in 2011 to begin developing her own slate as a Producer and Writer. Her first supernatural thriller, The Kettering Incident, a highly-anticipated 8 x 1 hour series due to screen on Foxtel in July, 2016 and recently won the Special Jury Prize at this year's Series Mania Festival in Paris! (Festival Séries Mania).

    Currently, Vicki is working on a new series, The Vineyard, a murder-mystery set in an historic Tasmanian Vineyard and loosely inspired by Shakespeares Henry IV. She is also developing a low-budget feature film she is hoping to direct herself in 2016. Vicki is passionate about developing and helping emerging writers break into TV. She is also an active AWG member and represents the Guild in Tasmania.

     

    Leah Purcell is an internationally acclaimed actor, writer and director. Most recently Leah directed two episodes of the highly praised new drama series Cleverman (Goalpost Pictures/ ABC) which recently aired on ABC TV and also on the Sundance Channel in the US. Her play, The Drover’s Wife (in which she is also playing the title role), will be a part of Belvoir Theatre’s 2016 season.

    Leah’s theatre directing credits include Brothers Wreck (Belvoir Theatre), Don’t Take Your Love to Town, a play she also co-devised and starred in for Belvoir Theatre, 

    Stolen (ACPA), Actor on a Box – Dreaming and Theatre In Practice - Stolen (Sydney Theatre Company Theatre in Education), The Story of the Miracles at Cookie’s Table (QPAC),  7 Stages of Grieving (Sydney Theatre Company) Reflections: 40 Years and to the Future, (ACPA/QPAC) Howie The Rookie (Kooemba Jdarra Indigenous Performing Arts). In 1997, Leah co-wrote Box the Pony which was the smash hit of the 1997 Festival of the Dreaming and has played to sell-out seasons at the Belvoir St. Theatre, the Sydney Opera House, the 1999 Edinburgh Festival and a season at the Barbican Theatre in London for BITE: 2000.   The published text of the play won the 1999 NSW Premier’s Literary Award and the 2000 Queensland Premier’s Literary Award for Best Play.

    In 2014, Leah wrote episodes of the new ABC3 TV series, Ready for This and directed the Foxtel documentary Who We Are: Brave New Clan. In 2013, she wrote and an episode for Redfern Now, series 2 (Blackfella Films & ABC.) In 2012, Leah directed an episode of Redfern Now and directed and starred in the short film, She. Say, which had its world premiere at Sydney Film Festival. In 2009 Leah wrote an episode of My Place, for ABC TV, and she was nominated for the IF Directors Award for her short film, Aunty Maggie and the Womba Wokgun.

    Leah also created the arts project, Black Chicks Talking, featuring a 2001 documentary film, a 2002 book, a stage production and an art exhibition.


    MC: Denise Eriksen

    Denise Eriksen has made programs for every Australian network and was most recently running two new arts shows as an Executive Producer with Foxtel.  She held senior television management roles in Australia for seven years - as Head, Factual at ABC TV, Head of Production and Development at SBS and Head of Current Affairs at ABC News. Currently, much of her work involves watching TV - on all platforms - so she can talk with authority as a panelist on RN’s TV Club, write for The New Daily and MC sessions for AFTRS.  She’s also a production gun for hire on projects which need her expertise and is on the board of the AIDC.

    • Jun 14
      That's Entertainment

      THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT! 

      Despite the plethora of cooking and home renovation shows, Australians love their entertainment programs.  The Voice clings to its number one ratings slot.  Channel 7’s about to launch the BIG MUSIC QUIZ (their capital letters) and what about Eurovision! Australia’s Dami Im was inches away from bringing home the trophy for SBS.  

      TV Talks this month takes a look at those shows - and more - and investigates why we love them, what we will love next and how the hell did the Australian takeover of Eurovision happen, with the network execs and producers who deliver these shows.

      Guests:

      • Stevie K. Murray – EP Light Entertainment, Seven Network
      • John Walsh:  Executive Producer, Network Nine
      • Paul Clarke:   Director, Bombora TV and EP, Eurovision.
      • MC: Denise Eriksen

      Guest Bios

      Stevie K. Murray is Seven’s Executive Producer (Light Entertainment) responsible for the Seven Network’s shiny floor programs, game shows, and a bit of comedy - as well as being a member of Seven’s Development team headed by Brad Lyons.

      Stevie joined the network in 2006 and has been the Executive in charge of prime-time programs such as ‘The X Factor Australia’, ‘Dancing with the Stars’, ‘The Chase Australia’, plus 6 series of ‘Australia’s Got Talent’.  Stevie’s remit also includes entertainment programs such as ‘The Big Music Quiz’ and‘Cannonball’, he was also the executive on the 8-part docudrama ‘Australia – The Story of Us’, comedies such as ‘Bets Bits’ & ‘TV Burp’, and event productions like ‘The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo – 2016’, and the annual ‘ACTAA Awards’.  He was also pivotal in the development of Seven’s locally conceived gameshow ‘Million dollar Minute’.

      Prior to Seven Stevie was an Executive with Endemol Southern Star where he was responsible for Deal or No Deal and was pivotal in stripping the format, which transformed the news lead-in time slot. 

      Stevie has worked as an advertising creative, writing for Y&R Mattingly in Melbourne, and began his career with MCM as a radio producer.

       Paul Clarke is a director and writer working across filmmaking and TV Entertainment, and is one of the most innovative and successful creators working in TV in Australia. 

      A former Head Of Entertainment at ABC-TV, Paul has been a creator of well-loved shows such as Recovery, Long Way To the Top, and Spicks and Specks, before setting up Blink TV in Australia, an entertainment company that has recorded specials with David Bowie (Reality Tour), Kylie Minogue (Homecoming, X) and Robbie Williams, among others. Blink TV has been SBS’ production partner to Eurovision since 2009, and Paul has been Australia’s Head Of Delegation, playing an important artistic role, but also a key role in negotiating Australia’s entry into the competition over the past two years. Now SBS and Blink TV are working on an Asian format of Eurovision. 

      Paul's documentary credits include Blood and Thunder, Priscilla: Between A Frock and A Hard Place, Brilliant Creatures, Bombora and Whitlam: The Power and The Passion. Mambo: Art Irritates Life, his latest for ABC-TV Arts, will be his 30th documentary, to be broadcast later this year.

      John Walsh is Network Executive Producer on the current season of  The Voice (and was also for the 2015 season). He’s Network Executive Producer  of Australia’s Got Talent  2016 and Network EP (2013-2015) of  The Schools Spectacular.

      John has been the Executive Producer of Getaway since 1999 and also works as a program development executive at Channel 9. Prior to joining Nine he was an Executive Producer in News & Current Affairs at SBS and started my career in the media as a journalist with News Ltd.

      John has a Masters degree (with Merit) in Media Practice from the University of Sydney 

      MC: Denise Eriksen 

      Denise Eriksen has made programs for every Australian network and was most recently running two new arts shows as an Executive Producer with Foxtel.  She held senior television management roles in Australia for seven years - as Head, Factual at ABC TV, Head of Production and Development at SBS and Head of Current Affairs at ABC News. Currently, much of her work involves watching TV - on all platforms - so she can talk with authority as a panelist on RN’s TV Club, write for The New Daily and MC sessions for AFTRS.  She’s also a production gun for hire on projects which need her expertise and is on the board of the AIDC.

       

    • May 03
      SPOILT FOR CHOICE

      Spoilt for Choice?

      Australia’s media landscape has changed forever. Gone are the days when the free-to-air broadcasters held the purse strings and producers were beholden to their whims. After all, we’ve got a whole new Video on Demand environment - free or subscription - which offers endless opportunity.

      Or is that all premature wishful thinking?  This month’s AFTRS digs down deep into Australia’s SVOD and VOD marketplaces to explore what’s up for grabs.

      Stan, ABC iView and Red Bull are among those with money to spend in our market. Our panellists will reveal who they are, what their plans are, what they’re looking for and what they’ll pay in this exciting new media landscape.  

      Guests:

      • Mike Sneesby CEO, STAN
      • Rebecca Heap:   Head of Audience and Digital, ABC
      • Leo Faber: Commissioning Editor, Australian Content, Red Bull
      • Katy Roberts: Senior Producer, VICE Australia

      MC: Denise Eriksen

      Guest Bios

      Rebecca Heap is Head of Audience & Digital at the ABC and has broad media experience across commercial, strategy and content roles. Rebecca joined the ABC in May 2014 as Head of TV Strategy & Digital Products and was previously the Director of Content & Partnerships at Foxtel. With her team, Rebecca oversees ABC TV’s audience offering including iview, Children’s digital products and ABC TV’s broadcast channels.

      Leo Faber has 18 years experience in the development and production of factual television across a wide range of genres. Across his career Leo has created hundreds of hours of factual programming for both Australian and international broadcasters such as the BBC, National

      Across his career Leo has created hundreds of hours of factual programming for both Australian and international broadcasters such as the BBC, National Geographic, Discovery, Channel 4 and ITV. From mega hits like Top Gear, Survivor, Masterchef and Big Brother to award-winning documentaries such as Whatever! The Science of Teens and Miracle in the Storm. 

      Prior to joining Red Bull Media House as Commissioning Editor and Executive Producer for Australian content Leo was Head of Factual Development with Essential Media and Entertainment where he helped develop and sell large scale international co-productions for major global broadcasters

      Mike Sneesby is the CEO of Stan Entertainment, a joint venture between Nine Entertainment Co. and Fairfax Media which he established, to launch a world-class SVOD service for Australian consumers. Mike was formerly the CEO of the Microsoft/Nine Entertainment ecommerce joint venture, Cudo, up until its sale in 2013. Prior to that, Mike set up the invision IPTV service in Dubai as Vice President of IPTV for the Saudi Telecom/Astro Malaysia joint venture Intigral. Before joining Intigral, he headed Corporate Strategy and Business Development at ninemsn (mi9) where he established and developed a portfolio of the company's high growth digital media businesses including the start-up of MSN New Zealand and management of the EPG and listings business HWW. Prior to ninemsn, Mike led the roll out of Optus’ national ADSL network - “Bigfoot”. Mike holds an Honours Degree in Electrical Engineering and an MBA from the Macquarie Graduate School of Management.

      Katy Roberts is the Senior Producer at VICE in Australia, a global youth media company operating out of 36 offices globally, and the industry leader in producing and distributing the best online video content in the world. Katy supervises production of VICE Australia’s short form documentaries, which are distributed across the company's owned and operated channels as well as further syndication partnerships. Her three years in this role has lead her to produce work on a bizarre array of immersive stories across the globe (from professional eating in Nevada, to the billion dollar cockfighting industry in the Philippines). Most recently, Katy produced a three part series for VICE Australia’s Incarceration Issue. The series, titled Over-Represented, explored the Indigenous experience of imprisonment in Australia. The series was released through VICE’s online channels, and will air on ABC2 in 2016.
    • Apr 05
      Public Broadcasting. Who Needs It?

      The ABC and SBS are always in the firing line, attacked by competing commercial interests and politicians alike as being irrelevant in a digital world and for usurping their commercial rivals. Now they’re having a swipe at each other on the possibility of merging. Their supporters say public broadcasting has never been more important; to provide quality in the vast pool of populous, reality-driven content available elsewhere. So, will the offerings of our two public broadcasters in 2016 fan the flames or quell the critics?  

      The ABC’s Director of Television, Richard Finlayson and SBS’ Director of Television and Online Content, Marshall Heald, will discuss these prickly topics plus we’ll find out more about the men at the top, and what’s ahead for both broadcasters this year, across all platforms.  MC: Denise Eriksen

      Guests:

      Richard Finlayson has his dream job, knowing early on that he was destined for a career in media because writing and talking were the only things he really learned how to do at school. After four years as a part-time student, full-time athlete and Australian representative rower, he had various roles in print media ranging from freelance sports journalist with AAP to police rounds in Cooma, to writing about farming with Rural Press he joined in 1990 communications consultancy and TV production house, Cox Inall Communications later becoming its Managing Director and a major shareholder.

      In 1998, CIC founded The Weather Channel as a joint venture with pay TV provider, Austar. In 2003, Richard and his partners sold their interest in The Weather Channel to pay TV content company, XYZ Networks, where he took on the role of Director of Programme Acquisitions.

      In 2005, SBS Managing Director, Shaun Brown, asked Richard to join the broadcaster as Director of Commercial Affairs, tasking him with raising funds for a slate of landmark Australian shows like East West 101 and First Australians. In 2009 he was made Chief Operating Officer. In his time at SBS Richard grew commercial revenue across advertising and content distribution by over 100 per cent, doubled its subscription TV business, restructured its technology operating model and spearheaded the network’s expansion onto emerging digital platforms.

      IIn 2013, he joined the ABC as its Director of Television, a role he says is the most exciting--and scariest--responsibility he’s ever been given. His job takes in oversight of production, programming and operations for ABC, ABC2, ABC3, ABCKids and iview (and eternally grateful for the 'amazing' leadership and creative team around him ... and that Gaven Morris looks after News!) 

      Richard believes 2016 could be Auntie's strongest slate yet...

      Marshall Heald was appointed Director TV and Online Content at SBS in January 2015. Marshall was previously the Chief Digital Officer, with a broad remit to help drive the adoption of digital technologies and innovation across SBS in a rapidly changing broadcast sector. Marshall joined SBS initially in 2007 as Manager, Digital Media with overall responsibility for SBS’s online presence.

      Prior to SBS, Marshall’s career has included working as a litigation lawyer in New Zealand, heading up Telstra’s digital music and movie businesses and working as Creative Director of Noise, a media based festival to showcase the creative works of young Australians.

      With a background as Australia’s multicultural broadcaster, SBS holds a unique place in the Australian media landscape. The SBS Charter describes SBS’s principal function as providing multilingual, multicultural and Indigenous radio, television and digital media services that inform, educate and entertain all Australians, reflecting Australia’s diverse society. SBS inspires all Australians to explore, appreciate and celebrate our diverse world.

    • Mar 02
      Pick Me! AIDC Pop-Up
      TV Talks is moving to Melbourne just for this month (and is on a Wednesday) as part of AIDC (the Australian International Documentary Conference) at ACMI in Federation Square 


      Pick Me!: The role of casting in Factual Programming.

      Cast and characters are the key to success in reality, doco and factual entertainment shows. It’s essential that Producers get it right, so--increasingly--companies are turning to casting agents and casting producers to find their real life 'stars'. 

      This AFTRS TV Talks session, specially convened for  AIDC, brings together two of the most experienced Casting Directors in the country; Kirsty de Vallance and Jodie Brearly to talk about how they find the right people for the right shows in the factual, documentary and reality world. 

      Kirsty has cast shows like Making Australia Happy, Life at One, Great Australian Bakeoff, Masterchef and The Biggest Loser while Jodie has cast Gogglebox, The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Shark Tank and The Great Australian Spelling Bee.

      They will be joined by one of the UK’s top factual producers, Roy Ackerman, who brings his producer experience to the discussion and  will share stories about how he has found outstanding talent for shows like the ambitious Jamie’s Dream School. 

      MC is Denise Eriksen.

      GUESTS

      - Kirsty de Vallance:  Principal, A Cast of Thousands, Casting Director, Screentime.
      - Jodie Brearly: Casting Director, Warner Bros.

      - Ray Ackerman: Managing Director of Non-scripted Television at Pulse Films


      Guest Bios
       

      Kirsty de Vallance began A Cast of Thousands in January 2005, with her husband, Graeme de Vallance, after working for a variety of production companies for more than a decade.  She is now the casting Director for Screentime. Graeme had spent more than 13 years in the Advertising Industry, working with some of Australia’s largest agencies. Together they have been involved with a huge variety of Australian productions  including Making Australia Happy, Life at One, Great Australian Bakeoff, Masterchef and The Biggest Loser.

      “Our goal is to help shape Australian television into something truly inspiring."

      “We love finding real people with compelling stories that make us laugh and cry.  Often these people do not realise just how unique they are and they do not come looking for us. We find them.”

      Jodie Brearley began her casting career with Mullinars Casting in Sydney where she worked on films like The Matrix and Red Planet – as well as television shows such as Home and Away. Jodie continued in drama casting with Faith Martin and then with Channel 7, working on Blue Heelers later moving on to work as a freelance casting director, talent producer, on-set Drama Coach and talent co-ordinator with a number of production companies and broadcasters.

      In 2014, Jodie cast Gogglebox Series 1 in Melbourne and then The Bachelor Series 3 and The Bachelorette Series 1.  In 2015 she worked on The Great Australian Spelling Bee, Masterchef  and The Shark Tank as Casting Producer before joining Warner Brothers as Casting Director, based in Melbourne.

      Roy Ackerman is Managing Director of Non-Scripted Television at Pulse Films, an international award winning, independent, modern day studio encompassing the development, production, financing and distribution of cross-platform content for audiences worldwide. Headquartered in London with outposts in Los Angeles, New York, Paris and Berlin, Pulse Films was founded by Thomas Benski and Marisa Clifford in 2005.

      Responsible for developing and producing contemporary documentaries and factual formats, Roy is an integral part of Pulse Films alongside Emma Cooper, former commissioning executive at Channel Four, Roy and his team are currently developing exciting documentaries for British broadcasters with more TV formats for the US and UK in the pipeline.

      Previously Roy was Managing Director at Fresh One Productions, a multi-genre company founded by Jamie Oliver, where he transformed the celebrity chef from  celebrity 'vehicle' into an international multi-platform independent producer. Under Ackerman’s stewardship the company successfully launched advertising, scripted and digital production divisions, including the hit online channel Food Tube.
      Roy also executive produced the hit series Dream School (UK/USA, South Africa), the Emmy Award-winning Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, How Hip Hop Changed the World with Idris Elba, The Sound of Musicals, Spies of Warsaw with David Tennant, Don’t Stop the Music, The Men Who Made Us Fat and Mad Dog: Gaddafi, as well as feature documentaries including Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic and The House I Live In.

      Prior to  Fresh One Productions, Ackerman was Creative Director at Diverse Production where he oversaw production on BAFTA-winning hits Election with Jonathan Dimbleby, 100% White, Tsunami: 7 Hours on Boxing Day, the BAFTA-nominated Mrs. Mandela and successful formats including Operatunity, Musicality, Codex, Shalom in the Home and the international hit series Man Vs. Wild.

       

    • Feb 02
      AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE?

      Reality shows jumped on the Diversity bus years ago - but has comedy finally got on board?

      The Habibs! Are Coming to Channel Nine, The Family Law is on SBS and Black Comedy is back on the ABC.  All in Prime Time and all at the start of the crucial start of ratings. And all are broad-appeal comedies, conceived and driven from within Australia’s cultural diversity.  But are we on the cusp of something which finally reflects contemporary Australia - or is it all just a blip?

      Benjamin Law, writer and creator of The Family Law, Rob Shehadie - creator of and actor in Here Come the Habibs!, Nakkiah Lui - actor, writer and Associate Producer of Black Comedy and Debbie Lee from Matchbox Pictures open TV Talks for the year with stories about their new shows and a discussion of how we got here and where we’re headed. 

      MC is Denise Eriksen.

      Guests

      Benjamin Law: Author, Series Creator/Co-writer, The Family Law
      Debbie Lee: Director, Scripted Development, Matchbox Pictures.
      Nakkiah Lui: Actor, writer & Associate Producer: Black Comedy (series 2)
      Rob Shehadie: Co-creator & actor, Here Come the Habibs!

      Guest Bios

      Benjamin Law is a Sydney-based TV screenwriter, journalist and newspaper columnist, who has a PhD in creative writing and cultural studies.

      Benjamin the author of two books: The Family Law (2010) and Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East (2012). Both of his books have been nominated for Australian Book Industry Awards. The Family Law is now in its fourth reprint and has been translated into French. He is the creator and co-writer of the major SBS TV series of the same name. Gaysia was published in India in 2013 and North America in 2014.

      Benjamin is the co-author of the comedy book Shit Asian Mothers Say (2014) with his sister Michelle and illustrator Oslo Davis and is a frequent contributor to Good Weekend (The Sydney Morning Herald/The Age), frankie and The Monthly. He has also written for over 50 publications, businesses and agencies in Australia and worldwide.

      Debbie Lee is Matchbox Pictures’ Director of Scripted Development. Debbie provides creative leadership to the development of scripted content across a broad range of genres and markets. Other roles have included Head of Comedy at ABC TV, Commissioning Editor Drama and Comedy at SBS Independent, Series Producer, eat carpet, SBS.  During her time at the ABC Debbie commissioned and executive produced many shows including A Moody Christmas, Laid, Lowdown, Please Like Me and Angry Boys. At the SBS Debbie's commissions included The Circuit, Kick, Wilfred and John Safran vs. God.

      Nakkiah Lui is a writer & actor and Gamillario/Torres Strait Islander woman. Nakkiah is a co-writer/associate producer and star of Black Comedy (ABC TV) and is a monthly columnist for The Australian Women's Weekly Online. She has been an artist in residence at Griffin Theatre Company and was playwright in residence at Belvoir from 2012 to 2014.

      In 2012, Nakkiah was the first recipient of The Dreaming Award from The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Arts Board of the Australia Council. The same year, she was also the inaugural recipient of the Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright award. In 2014, Nakkiah was the recipient of the Malcolm Robertson Prize and a Green Room Award for Best Independent Production.

      Nakkiah’s previous theatrical works include; This Heaven, Belvoir 2013 and Finborough Theatre 2015, I Should Have Told You Before We Made Love (That I’m Black), You Are Here Festival 2012, Stho Sthexy, MKA Melbourne 2013, Blackie Blackie Brown: The Traditional Owners of Death, Bondi Feast, Tamarama Rock Surfers 2013. Sovereign Wife ( Dramaturg), Melbourne Theatre Company 2013, Blak Cabaret, Sydney Festival/Malthouse Theatre Company 2015 and Kill the Messenger Belvoir 2015.

      She is also a broadcaster with ABC, having hosted the Radio National Awaye program and NAIDOC Evenings for ABC Local Radio, broadcast nationally.

      Nakkiah is also a young leader in the Australian Aboriginal community and has contributed to The Guardian and Junkee. She has appeared on Q&A and The Drum on ABC.

      Rob Shehadie is co-creator of Channel Nine’s new comedy-drama, the six-part Here Come The Habibs!, as well as actor, associate producer, story consultant and creator of the original concept. Wanting to come up with a family show that represented multi-cultural Australia, together with co-creators Tahir and Matt Ryan-Garnsey, Here Come The Habibs! is the story of a Lebanese family who move from Sydney’s west to ultra-rich, ultra-white Vaucluse after winning the lottery.

      Rob is best known for starring in the hit TV comedy, Fat Pizza, playing Rocky for the past 16 years. The Fat Pizza movie, which Rob also featured in, broke box office records around Australia. For his role on Fat Pizza, Rob was nominated for a TV WEEK LOGIE in the category “Most Popular New Talent” – making him the first Australian Lebanese to be nominated for a Logie. Rob also keeps very busy with live comedy, stand up and MC work. He created the hit comedy, Lebanon with Love (parts one and two), which has been hailed as one of the most successful and celebrated independent theatre shows Australia has seen in recent years, With more than 40 shows performed in Sydney alone and over 70,000 watched the show at the Enmore Theatre.

      Before turning to acting and comedy, Rob was a full time Rugby Union player, representing Australia and New South Wales in schoolboy, under 19′s and under 21′s. He also represented Lebanon in Rugby League and has been a major part of NRL Rugby League and Cricket Australia entertainment.

      Rob has also done cameo appearances on Bondi Rescue – Channel Ten, Renovation Rescue – Channel Nine, Australian Idol – Channel Ten, The Footy Show (NRL) – Channel Nine, Music Max – Foxtel, Swift and Shift – SBS TV, Bogan Hunters – Channel 7mate, Housos – SBS TV , Housos Vs Authority – feature film and Fat Pizza Vs Housos – feature film.

      Not to shy away from music clips, Rob also plays a big role in the hit song by Beau Ryan, Where You From.

    Past TV Talks

    Acknowledgement

    The Australian Film Television Radio and 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.