We’re excited to announce the three winners from our recent Produce Perfect workshop program which brought together 10 emerging producers from Western Sydney, mentored by SPA’s Peter Herbert over six weeks. The workshops included a selection of guest speakers including Matthew Hancock (Manager strategy & Operations, SPA), John Gregory (CEO Freehand International) and Jon Donaldson (Development Consultant, Zombie Media), emphasising fresh stories that reflect the cultural diversity and variety of experiences in the region. Each producer developed ideas and pitch materials with concepts traversing a variety of platforms including film, TV and online.
The three winners included Laurren Brannigan-Onato from Guildford, with her comedy drama series, Love Me Tinder, fusing the realities of Tinder dating with the Sydney housing crisis; Maria Tran from Carramar, with the kung fu comedy Fury of the Far East, combining martial arts expertise with humour and the supernatural; and Gemma Quilty from Yagoona, pitching her documentary The Clippers, following a high school basketball team from Western Sydney as they compete to make it to the biggest junior basketball tournament in the world. Each have been awarded $3000 in development funding to further their projects.
It was amazing to have such detailed feedback for each project from our panel of industry judges including Joseph Maxwell (Commissioning Editor, Documentary, SBS), Nicki Roller (Commissioning Editor, Food, SBS), John Gregory (CEO Freehand International) and independent producer Megan McMurchy (Tyke Elephant Outlaw, Footy Legends). We loved hosting the panel here at I.C.E. and they were generous to stick around after the pitches to mingle with our emerging producers…
“I am very grateful to I.C.E. and Barry Gamba for the Produce Perfect program, that allowed me to gain valuable knowledge necessary for emerging screen producers. Pitching our concepts to producers and commissioning editors was an incredible opportunity that allowed us to receive feedback to assist in the development of our projects and make important connections with industry leaders. This supportive environment and group of filmmakers from Western Sydney made it a wonderful experience and I expect these strong connections to endure into the future. I am also very thankful for the grant and in-kind support that will assist in the development of my projects and professional development.”
Gemma Quilty – Pitch Winner
“It was so refreshing to be at ICE’s Pitch event. It was filled with such diverse stories, approaches and ideas. The fact that I.C.E. is not just creatively supporting new talent, but also providing financial assistance and guidance can only help our industry grow and diversify. SBS look forward to watching and I hope collaborating with I.C.E. and its students.”
Joseph Maxwell – Pitch Session Judge
“The program was an invaluable experience to learn essential pitching skills and I had a great time putting my proposal “Fury of the Far East” together and reaching out to other talents to make this proof-of-concept a possibility. Many thanks to I.C.E. and Screen Producers Australia for the insightful program filled with very experienced trainers/ facilitators who have equipped me with further confidence in making content for Australian TV. My next step is coordinating my team to start shooting a teaser and short for the project as well as connecting with networks that might be interested in it.”
Maria Tran – Pitch Winner
“I’m always so impressed by the new creative talent I meet every time I visit I.C.E. – Western Sydney is packed with great stories and wonderful storytellers. As a member of the judging panel for Produce Perfect, I found it especially exciting that there were so many aspiring female producers represented among the workshop participants and the winning projects. It’s important to develop these new culturally-diverse voices so their stories can find a place in Australia’s traditional and emerging media platforms. Each of the selected projects outlined a strong concept with an identified target audience, one of the basic requirements for a successful producing career.”
Megan McMurchy – Pitch Session Judge
“No other course out there offers you the chance to pitch to real network executives. We weren’t just practicing or learning, we were actually pitching our own concepts, and that was an invaluable experience that I will take with me for the rest of my hopeful career. Having won one of the three pitch prizes means that I have a real chance of furthering an idea, that came from a seemingly meaningless conversation, into a marketable and watchable TV series. Just by being involved in this course, I have learnt things about the industry that are way beyond my own experience. And I can see now ahead in the road – the road to achieving my dreams of being a producer.”
Laurren Brannigan-Onato – Pitch Winner
“Many thanks for including me in the I.C.E. Course. It was a very encouraging series of final pitches – many of them on par with what you’d see out in the market!”
John Gregory – Guest Facilitator and Pitch Session Judge