Critique is an art form that requires a light touch, with a splash of irony and good humour to soften the blows.
Published July 14th 2014
Glamourpusses and dashing directors come together
The Gold Coast Independent Film and TV Network (GCIFN) has a new venue for their star-studded industry events. After five years in the Arts Centre Basement function rooms, the GCIFN has taken over what was once the exclusive Poker Room in Jupiter's Casino.
To set the scene, invitees leave the gaming floor behind and are ushered downstairs by attentive security guards.
Whether you choose to take the winding staircase or the elevator, what you see when you get down there is an enormous function room set up with rows and rows of chairs facing a small stage. The dimmed lighting creates an intimate atmosphere, and the fully stocked bar area further down the room is bathed in a welcoming glow from a massive chandelier. You could imagine filming The Sting or Ocean's Eleven down here, so it feels like a fitting venue for a film industry networking event.
The action-packed evening included the production team, cast and crew from a new indie sci-fi flick entitled 3010. A short concept trailer was introduced with a preamble by writer/actor Michael Rodrigues, and the arrival of the characters provided much excitement and extra colour. This was, after all, a crowd-funding Kickstarter exercise, as this Australian television series needs money to enable the high-quality special effects needed in production. Anyone interested in contributing can go to any of the following: website ,Twitter and Facebook
John Batchelor is an acclaimed Qld actor best known for his screen roles in Sea Patrol and the film Red Dog. John shared his own insights about how hard it is when first starting out, and highlighted the need for actors to head south if they want to be considered for the best roles. Originally a Queenslander himself, John went through NIDA but only managed to land leading roles once he relocated his whole family to Sydney. Ironically, many of his roles have been shot in Qld, but the moral of his story is that your future success as an actor is largely based on 'who you know', so take every opportunity to network, and be prepared to move.
Indie film director Chris Sun regaled his recent experiences when trying to get attention for his indie horror film Charlie's Farm. Taking advice from others, he uploaded a trailer of his flick onto his iPad, and successfully used it as his elevator pitch! Instead of wasting time over words, he instantly grabbed the attention of anyone standing still long enough to watch. His persistence and ingenuity has paid off in a big way, as this little Aussie indie film has been picked up by Shoreline in the USA for major distribution! Wow! Now that's a coup.
The keynote speaker was Screen Queensland's Director of Development Manager, Jock Blair. He has been a Writer, Story Editor, Producer, Executive Producer and lecturer in the Australian film and television industry. He has a wealth of experience to share, having developed, financed and produced nine mini-series, two feature films and three telemovies, including The Shiralee, featuring Bryan Brown.
Jock and Jules Blair, with event organiser Caroline Russo
This GCIFN event was held on a Monday night, with doors open from 6.30pm and planned presentations starting just before 8pm. This allowed ample time to buy a drink, mingle with the buzzing crowd, and secure a seat with a good vantage point. The event was hugely popular, with hundreds of people attending, but many latecomers were left standing, so it is worth arriving early to ensure a seat.
It was a very long evening, especially at the end of a busy day, and I admit to escaping just after 10pm. Even though I did find the proceedings quite interesting, I think these events are most valuable to those with a direct interest in the local industry as a budding actor, director, producer or writer. So if you dream of seeing your name splashed across the screen, and you can make it to the Gold Coast, then come along to the next GCIFTN event and get networking. Oh yeah, did I mention the 'after party'? Woohoo!