Dec 18, 2013

The Movement To Make

Title sounds like I have to take a dump. And I do, but right now there are more important things to attend to.

I've attached myself to produce a feature film and a TV series, but it could only happen now. Since 2007, I've been getting good at producing video. Deakin and RMIT left a lot to be learned. We were taught how to make feature films, then entered the world realising we'd be fools to immediately make one. It's like finishing your MBA and then walking into Telstra, slapping your degree on the receptionist desk and declaring, "I'll take the CEO job, please." Hubris.

We started Green Rabbit, my first video production company, for a purpose. The film industry sucked, but my peers were simply complaining. We wanted to do something proactive. We wanted to get good at our craft. We wanted to embrace commerciality, making corporate video and commercials as a way to build contacts in the private sector. We wanted to learn how to work in teams, with hierarchies and zero tolerance of auteurs. We wanted to make content we were proud of.

I worked at Channel 10 for two years, taking notes on how studio television works, eyeing the producers and their roles, as well as everyone else's. Hearing where satisfaction and dissatisfaction lay. I went up and down the east coast on cooking lifestyle show Boys Weekend, learning about crewing on location. I edited a season of Good Chef Bad Chef, seeing the post-production process in action. I met a sales agent and discovered their crucial role in the business side.

I buried Green Rabbit, sold the assets, watched as our employees started the behemoth Jumbla, and restructured everything I'd learnt into The X Gene, my phoenix. This video agency is the sharpened, savvy result of all my street smart education. I'm confident in the processes, I have a treasured collection of freelancers who I trust not only to excel at their work, but that add something to it, and I understand Business.

With all this in my past, as I analysed a writer-producer agreement, I realised it was only now that I could fully make sense of this document and the context surrounding it. Only now could I bend my experience to the purpose I set out of uni with: to be part of those who change the film and TV industry into a more profitable, global industry.

The horror feature and the lifestyle TV show are the first steps, and I wanted to use this blog to keep track of how its going. I also want to share what I learn, because one of the great frustrations has been the secretive, little black book approach of the old guard. The lean young entrepreneurs I've met know this is a bullshit approach, so stay tuned and learn with me how to make movies and shows that make money for the people who are a part of them.
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