Online Video Awards entries closing soon!

The 2015 Online Video Awards (OVA’s) entries close on 15th August!

A distinguished judging panel will be choosing winners from the very best in Australian Online Video creative talent for a variety of categories – and one of the winners (or even the overall winner) could you YOU!!!

There’s plenty of great reasons to enter the OVAs including:
  • The OVAs will provide Winners with a statuette.
  • All winners and nominees will be included on the winners page of the website.
  • In addition, Winners and Finalists will benefit from the prestige and PR opportunities that may arise as a result of being selected by the OVAs.
  • Winner and Finalists get free entry into the 2015 OVAs Awards Event.
  • The overall winner will receive a trip to the Youtube Creator Space in LA!

The OVAs Patron, Jehan Ratnatunga, shows you round this amazing facility!









Get in quick!

  • New entries – and payment for entries – will be strictly cut off at 5pm AEST on Sat 15 August 2015.
  • No entries will be accepted after that time.
  • Note also that entries that have not been paid for at that time will be ineligible for judging.

For full details and entry info, visit





Early Bird Registrations Open for Generation Next Micro Movie Conference

August 31 and September 1, 2015

Micro Budget. Big Impact.

Early Bird tickets available until May 31st!

A new generation of micro budget filmmakers have emerged. They are breaking all the rules, exceeding expectations and redefining Australia’s cinema landscape. Open Channel brings many of them together at the Generation Next Micro Movie Conference to tell how it’s done.

Over two days of panel discussions with Australia’s most exciting new film makers, content creators, and expert advisors, hear the stories of how these bold and risk-taking movies have been made, how they have found audiences, and how they are launching careers.

With increasingly limited prospects for financing or selling a movie through traditional means, especially without a name cast or proven director attached, the micro movie combines ideas and ambition, technology and resourcefulness to open the door to long form screen storytelling for debut filmmakers or truly independent movie ideas.

The micro movie is innovative by nature, and turns a tiny budget into a creative advantage. Increasingly these movies are made-to-order for targeted audiences, and often designed for a ‘digital-first’ release where creators engage audiences from the ground up. In the right hands, the results are often fresh and highly original.

The Generation Next Micro Movie Conference is the place to network, develop your knowledge and skills, and discuss the trends shaping Australia’s screen landscape.

This year’s conference includes a number of new additions including the Short and Sharp Microbudget Pitching Competition and networking lounges. Open Channel are also proud to support the Mini Micro Film Festival, a week long filmmaker led screening series supported by Tugg and Backlot Studios.

Do you have the next Paranormal ActivityKennyPrimerDrinking BuddiesTiny Furniture,Wyrmwood or Monsters?

If you want to know all about making micro movies, this is a conference you can’t afford to miss.

Open Channel members are invited to secure tickets now to this conference at Early Bird price of only $40 (Save $50!) before 31st May. Click Here to take advantage of this fantastic offer now.


Open Channel Success Stories – Tamasin Simpkin


Tamasin has worked in the film and television industry for the last 7 years, predominantly in Production but also in Casting and Locations. Projects she has worked on cover a wide range of genres and formats, from dark features like Van Diemen’s Land and The Loved Ones to light hearted TV like House Husbands and It’s a Date.

She has also Produced several independent projects which have screened at festivals worldwide, such as E Arioi Vahine (Winner Best Editing Flickerfest and Best Student Film International Film Festival Ireland), With My Little Eye (Nominated ATOM Award Best Short Film and Craft Award St Kilda Film Festival), Snapshot (Nominated Best Short Film at Montreal Film Festival) and Bread and Butter (which opened the Williamsburg International Film Festival in New York).

In 2013 she undertook the Open Channel short course Screen Producing: The Dark Art where she was taught by the entertaining and informative Stephen Luby. After years of making her own short form content and working in a crewing capacity on bigger productions, this course gave her the opportunity to learn about what it would mean to be a Producer in the ‘real world’. It gave her the overview she needed about the realities of Producing and equipped her with knowledge and methodologies which have since proved invaluable.

After years of working with Princess Pictures she was asked to Produce Bleak: The Web Series, which has since gone on to screen at festivals such as the New York TV Festival, Miami Webfest, Vancouver Webfest, and the First Glance Film Festival, and has taken out the Outstanding Ensemble Award at LA Webfest and Best Screenwriting, Best Actor and the iView Award at Melbourne Webfest.

In 2014 she was selected to take part in the SPAA Ones to Watch Program for emerging producers, where she was lucky enough to be mentored by Amanda Higgs. The same year she also received Multi Platform Funding from Screen Australia to make the independent web series The Katering Show, on which she worked again with the creators behind Bleak, Kate McCartney and Kate McLennon.

The series was released on YouTube earlier this year and received over 2 million views in its first week online. With almost 60 thousand subscribers signing up to the Lead Balloon TV channel since the series was released, the global fan base includes viewers from North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Tamasin will be visiting Open Channel for a Framed Seminar on Friday 1st May 2015.


Open Channel announces Emerging Indigenous Producer Training Scholarship

Open Channel announces

Screen resource organisation Open Channel, based at Docklands Studios Melbourne, is offering one emerging Indigenous screen Producer a training scholarship place in its upcoming Screen Producing short course from March 2015, led by seasoned industry Producer Stephen Luby (The Secret River (2015), Full Frontal, Bed of Roses).

This unique hands-on short course introduces participants to the practicalities and the craft of producing film and television in Australia. Each week’s learning will be wrapped around a theme, and participants are encouraged to workshop their own projects. Upon completion, participants will have a clear, practical initiation into all aspects of this mysterious and challenging profession.

The selected filmmaker will also be invited to become a part of the Melbourne-based Melbourne Community Filmmaker Collective for new Aboriginal filmmakers, to join in the development and production of local Indigenous screen works. The collective, based at Footscray Community Arts includes established filmmakers such as Robbie Bundle and Peter Worland (NITV’s Our Stories Our Way Every Day), Rebecca McLean (Yarnin’) and John Harvey (The Turning). 

Open Channel Executive Director Marc Gracie comments, “Open Channel is proud to support the development of the next generation of Indigenous filmmakers here in Victoria, and the development of an industry begins with an investment in the Producers of tomorrow.”

To apply:

Interested emerging Producers should apply by email cover letter about why you would like the scholarship place, and your CV to by 12pm lunch time, Friday 27th March 2015.

Applicants must be available to attend the Screen Producing short course which runs Tuesday evenings 31st March 2015 – 19th April 2015 at 6.30pm – 8.30pm (8 sessions) at Docklands Studios, 476 Docklands Drive, Docklands.

For more information on the course, click here

Open Channel is supported by Film Victoria and Screen Australia

Open Channel Success Stories – Corrie Chen


From Open Channel to Screen Australia’s Hot Shots!

Corrie Chen graduated from the VCA School of Film and Television in 2010 before making her short comedy Bruce Lee Played Badminton Too with the help of Screen Australia funds through Open Channel’s Raw Nerve program in 2011. The film was nominated for Best Short Fiction ATOM award and premiered on SBS in 2013 in addition to being shown at numerous festivals.

Corrie was then commissioned by the ABC to direct her first documentary Suicide and Me which won “2014 Best direction in a documentary stand-alone” ADG Award. She also made a short comedy called Bloomers receiving Screen Australia’s Short Film Completion Fund. The film screened at Flickerfest and the Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival and had its international premiere at the LA Shorts Fest.

In 2014 Corrie completed a funded attachment with Matchbox Pictures (ABC’s Nowhere Boys) organised through Open Channel and was invited to the Berlin Film Festival’s Berlinale Talents where she was mentored by several internationally acclaimed filmmakers.

Corrie was selected for Screen Australa’s Talent Escalator Program in 2015 with a directors attachment on Channel 7’s Peter Allen: No the Boy Next Door. This was followed by Screen Australia’s Hot Shots Program in which she directed Reg Makes Contact (a short sci-fi drama) – recently completed and set to appear in film festivals this year!


An interview with Screenwriter Chris Corbett


Chris Corbett is a Screenwriter who has worked in film and TV including having written two episodes for the upcoming third series of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.

Shortly to teach students in Open Channel’s Screenwriting Intro Course Chris kindly agreed to be interviewed on the course and working as a writer.

What can students expect if they do this course?

The first thing to say is that it will be fun. We’re going to look at how to build a story that works. Many writers start out assume coming up with a story is an easy thing to do. The truth is it’s the hardest part of the job. So what we’re going to do is spend a bit of time talking about the basic principles (not rules – there are none) of storytelling for the screen. We’ll watch some short films and take apart the underlying stories to see how they’re built. We’ll also refer to television and features – the principles we’re talking about will be relevant to all of them. Then we’ll turn our attention to students’ story ideas. Working with a group like this is the perfect opportunity to test your story with an audience. It will all be set up in a non-threatening, nurturing environment. Students will briefly tell us the story that they want to use as the basis for a screenplay. Or perhaps they’ve already written a screenplay but they still want to test the story. The group will ask questions, give feedback and the each week we will revisit the story ideas – giving the writer a chance to tinker and rebuild between classes.

What knowledge do you hope that the participants come out with?

Anyone doing the course will walk out of it with a much better understanding of how stories work. And this won’t necessarily be a theoretical understanding. They will have a practical grounding in how stories are put together at a nuts and bolts level and hopefully some sense of how to build their own. I’ll be providing students with a series of specific tools they can use to test how various aspects of their story are working.  

How developed should student’s script ideas be in order to benefit from this course?

Students just need to bring a rough idea to class. If they have a screenplay they are working on they are welcome to bring the bare bones of the story in to class to talk about, but I’m afraid there won’t be any time to read anyone’s finished screenplays. If students don’t have a detailed story at the start that’s fine. Bring what you have and we will work with that. The first few classes will be talking in more general terms about how stories work so we won’t be hearing students stories until the third week. Even if you start the class without a firm idea in mind I’m sure an idea will occur to you by the time we get to the third class. In fact, I will be offering students a series of techniques that are useful to generate story ideas.

What are you working on at the moment? 

Being a working writer means being flexible. I tend to work in television, but I also write short films, I script edit feature films and television and spend some time teaching and mentoring screenwriters. Last year I wrote two episodes for the upcoming third series of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. It’s a delight to write this show – what great characters. Plotting any story is hard but murder mystery is particularly difficult. You still have to hook an audience, develop the characters, generate the dramatic tension which builds up to a satisfying climax – but the whole thing also has to work as a puzzle that can’t be solved until the last minute. It’s very tricky stuff, but great fun if you can manage to get it right.

Learn more industry knowledge and tips from Chris in the upcoming Screenwriting Introduction Course at Open Channel, starting 25th March 2015. >more info or to book

Applications now open for Raw Nerve 2015


Applications have opened today for the much anticipated 2015 Raw Nerve production initiative!

This year’s theme is “One Night”

The application deadline is Friday 20th March 2015 at 5pm.

To find out what kind of projects we are looking for and who is eligible to apply and to download an application form, see our Raw Nerve page

You will need to be a current member of Open Channel to apply for Raw Nerve funding. Not a member? Click here to join!

Learn to Write, Edit and Produce at Open Channel in March 2015!

Courses coming up at Open Channel in March 2015:

Screenwriting Introduction Starts on 25th March

Wednesday evenings for 7 weeks

Suitable for beginners

$400 members / $480 non members

Editing Introduction (Premiere Pro) 28th March

One day course (Saturday)

Learn all of the basics of this popular software

$330 members / $400 non – members

Screen Producing – The Dark Art Starts on 31 March

Opportunity to workshop your own project

Learn to produce film and tv from one of the best in the industry

Tuesday evenings 6.30pm – 8.30pm



Generation Next Online Video Conference and OVAs 2014

The Open Channel Generation Next Online Video Conference and OVAs have just taken place, held at Docklands Studios.



Held at Docklands Studios on October 14-15, Generation Next: Online Video Conference explored the changing nature of visual storytelling and connecting and distributing to audiences in a digital, connected, interactive, immersive and multi-screen environment.

With an outstanding lineup of sessions and speakers including Elizabeth Ferdon (YouTube Los Angeles Business Development Executive), Christiaan van Vuuren (Bondi Hipsters, Soul Mates), Paul Walton (Head of Production, Princess Pictures) and more, the 2-day conference looked at where the audience might be leading us and how storytellers can find, engage and build viable careers in this new online landscape.

A podcast of all sessions will be available on the Open Channel podcasts page soon, stay tuned for updates.

PhotosClick Here


The inaugural Australian Online Video Awards (OVAs) were a great success, with celebrations kicking on as winners were announced at an award ceremony at Docklands Studios on Tuesday 14th October.

The top prize for “Best Overall” went to Danny and Michael Philippou for their video Harry Potter vs Star Wars. One of the brothers will be flown to YouTube’s Creator Space in Los Angeles to learn from the world leaders in online video production and marketing, supported by YouTube.

For a full list of category finalists and winners, visit

Photos: Click Here