To ensure the health and safety of our community, the upcoming Make It Monthly, on Thursday 2 April, will now be a live streaming event.
At a time of great disruption in the creative community, we want to continue to bring people together – not in person, but online. If you wish to participate in the panel session, please join the ACMI YouTube Channel from 5.30pm, for a 6.00pm start.
As always, you will be able to join the conversation via #aftrsmakeitmonthly on Twitter. We’ll be monitoring the Twitter feed during the discussion and feeding in your questions to the panel as we go.
Make it Monthly: Online to… Where?
Nowadays, there are very few people who can make a living from creating online content.
So, is creating online content purely an artistic pursuit? A platform for getting your voice heard? Or can it be your calling card, and, therefore, your passage to making a viable income?
This month’s Make It Monthly features an extraordinary panel of producers from all platforms and at various stages of solving this dilemma. They’ve tackled subjects that are seemingly taboo in mainstream media, made sales to huge online global markets in places like China, helped reinvent mainstream TV shows and attracted commissions from network giants, like Comedy Central.
Join us as the panellists, including Screen Australia’s Lee Naimo, discuss and share ideas about how best to produce online content that travels and thrives in a disruptive media world.
Lee Naimo: Online Investment Manager, Screen Australia
Hayley Adams: Producer and Director, Love Songs (first ever scripted drama released on TikTok) and I Can’t Even
Max Miller: Film Director – Aunty Donna
Ric Forster: Director – FLUNK
Grace Feng Fang Juan: Writer & Director, Girl, Interpreted
Nikki Tran: Producer Girl, Interpreted
Lee is a producer, comedian, improviser, writer, musician and government employee. Lee is perhaps best known as the guitar-playing third of the musical comedy trio The Axis of Awesome, who boast over 120 million hits on YouTube and numerous televised concerts all around the world.
Lee has toured sold out live shows with The Axis of Awesome across the USA, UK, Australia, Sweden, Germany, Singapore, Hong Kong and more (including 6 sold out seasons at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival).
In addition to his performance credits, Lee is also the co-creator of Insert Coin, a comedy series about gaming. In his role as Creative Producer and Writer for Insert Coin, Lee oversaw and contributed to the writing, production and direction of a new comedy sketch each week. Insert Coin received funding from Screen Australia, and currently has more than half a million views online.
In 2016, Lee was invited to be a writer on Whose Line Is It Anyway? Australia, the long-awaited local version of the popular US and UK improvised comedy show. As the only writer to work on the entirety of the project, Lee wrote for every episode of the 10-part series.
Since 2018, Lee has been Online Investment Manager at Screen Australia, where he manages the Online Production Fund, assess projects for Development and Enterprise funding and oversees special initiatives such as Fresh Blood with ABC, Skip Ahead with YouTube and Digital Originals with SBS.
Hayley Adams co-created and hosts the popular web series meet up IRL in Melbourne with the support of Melbourne WebFest, which she has curated since 2017. This year, Hayley is producing the Match Lab supported web series proof of concept, Wicked Women, following the true story of Australia’s first lesbian sex magazine. She has also released her directorial web series debut, Love Songs, a vertical, 21 eps x 1-minute series for TikTok.
Her presence in the web series community led to her involvement as EP on web series The Trouble with Unicorns, which recently received Screen Australia development funding.
After graduating from the VCA’s Master of Producing, Hayley co-created and produced 2 seasons of the web series I Can’t Even, which won Best New Talent at the 2015 Online Video Awards and screened at New York Web Fest 2015 and Melbourne WebFest’s 2016 and 2017 ‘Spotlight on Melbourne’.
In 2018, she also produced and directed a 60 second short for the TIFFxInstagram Shorts Festival.
Outside of web series, Hayley produces video content at Balloon Tree Productions. She recently produced the MIFF Accelerator 2019 and Flickerfest 2020 short film, There’s a Mobster Under My Bed!, with company director Matthew Smolen. 2019 was also the premiere of Chicken at Canberra Short Film Fest and Heart of Gold, directed by long-time collaborator Kate Lefoe and winning the top prize of $10,000 at the Blue Heeler Film Festival.
Max Miller is an Australian director with experience in all aspects of film including feature films, TV, commercials and web.
He is one-sixth and film director of Aunty Donna, a comedy group with a YouTube channel that has received over 52 million views and 276,000 subscribers online.
Max has also directed television content for Australian networks such as Foxtel, ABC and Stan; and has directed short films that have played in multiple festivals around the world and locally including MIFF and St. Kilda.
Max has also directed many commercial works for big brands such as Honda, American Express, Target and Lancôme.
Specialising in youth programming, Ric’s writing and directing work includes the TV series Hollyoaks, MTV: The Janoskians, Neighbours and the Disney produced series Life Spam, which he co-created. His 2011 short film exploring transgender issues Thinking Straight was nominated for the LGBT+ Iris Prize and later distributed by Shorts International. Ric produced his first web series LOL in 2008, before Project Schoolies (2012), Flunk (2018) and ten digital spin-off series for Neighbours. He was a juror at Melbourne Web Fest 2017 and is currently developing the third season of Flunk. His debut feature film Time Apart releases this year.
Grace Feng Fang Juan
Grace is a writer and filmmaker based in Melbourne. Actively engaged with the multilingual and trans-cultural space, she writes in Chinese and in English languages, exploring the in-betweenness and fluidity created by her diaspora experience through different mediums.
Grace grew up in a rural town in Guangdong called Dragon Head Mountain. She came to Australia in 2006 to complete a Master of Creative Media in Film and Television Production at RMIT University and subsequently worked as a Mandarin and Cantonese interpreter.
Grace participated in both the Victorian and National Talent Camp in 2018, facilitated by AFTRS and Film Victoria. Their support assisted Grace to develop her independent project Girl, Interpreted. The production was principally funded by Screen Australia.
Outside of her creative practice, Grace works at the ABC as Audience and Content Expert – Chinese.
Nikki Tran is a second-generation Chinese-Australian based in Melbourne, Australia. Her creative practice has received professional development support via Film Victoria, Screen Australia, AFTRS and Malthouse Theatre.
Through her storytelling as a producer, she supports voices of underrepresented communities in our mainstream narratives. Nikki previously created FRESH! a dramedy web series set in a fresh food market exploring the migrant experiences in Australia. FRESH! premiered at 2018 Series Mania Melbourne and found resonance internationally with screenings at LA Film Festival, NYC Web Fest, Seoul Web Fest, as well as receiving the award for Best Australian Web Series at the Gold Coast Film Festival.
She is a graduate of Bachelor of Communication (Media) at RMIT University and Master of Producing at Victorian College of the Arts. Currently, Nikki is undertaking a 12-month internship facilitated by Film Victoria, an intensive skills and development period with hosts including the state screen agency itself, Matchbox Pictures, ABC and Princess Pictures.