Generation Next Online Video Conference – 14th and 15th October 2014

The much anticipated Online Video Conference and Online Video Awards night are less than one month away!

Join us at Docklands Studios, Melbourne for what promises to be our best event yet!

There’s full information on our Conference Page and OVAs page.

See the latest Conference Schedule, Speakers, or purchase tickets to the Conference (includes Online Video Awards on evening of Day 1) or you can get a ticket for the OVAs only.

Andrew Prowse to teach Introduction to Directing Course at Open Channel

Focusing on independent and low budget filmmaking, this intensive workshop will give you the how to’s of storytelling from a directors’ perspective, as well as educating you how to best work with your actors, crew and how to get the most out of your budget.

With over 100 hours in Australian TV in well loved series such as McLeods’ DaughtersUNDERBELLY and Heartbreak High, Andrew has served in the capacity of director, producer, associate producer, writer, editor, production coordinator and production consultant.

This course takes place over two weekends: 30th + 31st of August and 6th + 7th of September from 10am-5pm.

Andrew Prowse is an Australian director of the stage and screen. He has also served in the capacity of producer, associate producer, writer, editor, production coordinator and production consultant. His recurring television work includes episodes of Underbelly, Heartbreak High, Wildside, Farscape, McLeod’s Daughters and Rush



On Farscape, Andrew Prowse also worked as associate producer on twenty episodes, a co-producer on eighteen episodes and a full producer on thirteen episodes. Prowse also Produced the recent hit mini series, INXS: Never Tear Us Apart.

Visit our course page for more info or to book.


40th Birthday Member offer until end August!

It’s our 40th Birthday this year, and to celebrate, Open Channel would like to offer all our existing members, associates, friends and supporters a gift from us to say thanks for sharing the ride so far.

As we enter our 5th decade, our focus moves more and more towards the future of Australian content creation – and this year we are excited to present the inaugural Australian Online Video awards, celebrating and recognising the work of online content creators working in Australia.

Sign up for membership before August 30th and we will give you an all access pass to the Online Video Awards (14th October 2014) and the 2014 Online Conference (14th and 15th October 2014)

Already a member? Renew before August 30th to claim the offer and we will add an extra year on to your membership as well!

There has never been a better time to become an Open Channel member, for full details of member benefits and discounters, and to redeem our offer, visit our membership page today!


Toni Raynes to teach Assistant Directing Course

“Behind every great film is a great Assistant Director!”

Looking for a career as a 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th AD?


Toni Raynes is an 1st Assistant Director who has worked in film and television in Australia since the early 1990’s. She worked extensively as a 2nd Assistant Director on all forms of low to high budget television and film prior to beginning her career as a 1st Assistant Director. As a 1st AD her television work includes episodes of Secret Life of Us, Bed of Roses, Satisfaction, CrashBurn, Canal Road and Upper Middle Bogan, and features include Let’s Get Skase and You and Your Stupid Mate. As a 2nd AD she worked on Ghost Rider, Nightmares and Dreamscapes, Three Dollars, and many television series.

You will learn how to:

  • Schedule a film and keep it on track using EP Scheduling
  • Maintain lines of communication
  • Prepare call sheets
  • Monitor the arrival of cast and crew
  • Monitor on-set safety
  • Rehearse additional cast and direct extras
  • Build a career as an AD
Assistant Directing Course Page

The Australian Online Video Awards has launched!


Entries are now open for the Australian Online Video Awards (the OVAs). The national awards, presented by Open Channel and, aim to recognise the work of online video content makers in Australia.

Supported by Film Victoria, Screen Network, FilmInk and Pozible, the OVAs will showcase leading talent in the online space.

Significant career-making prizes are on offer, including a trip to YouTube’s Creator Space in Los Angeles to learn from the world leaders in online video production and marketing, supported by YouTube.

Patron for the awards, Jehan Ratnatunga, is an alumni of Open Channel and was then hired by YouTube’s LA team to head up strategic projects.

Jehan said “Today, Australian online video creators are drawing huge audiences – often on par with their film and television counterparts. The Australian Online Video Awards is a fantastic way to recognise them for their creative works.”

The award categories are:

Best one-off Comedy

Best Comedy Series

Best one-off Drama

Best Drama Series

Best Factual Series

Best Channel

Best Animation

Best Music Video

Best Performance

Best Direction

Best Writing

Best Collaboration

Innovation Award

Best Overall

The winners will be announced on Tuesday 14 October at Docklands Studios, Melbourne, in a celebration showcasing the winners work in a fun and interactive way.

Open Channel’s Executive Director Marc Gracie said “For the past few years Open Channel has responded to the emerging Victorian screen sector with courses and programs that grow creativity and skills using online distribution models. Finding an audience online and testing your creative instincts can be immediate, fruitful and help develop solid professional screen careers. These awards allow us to evangelize the net as the predominant screen development tool.”

The entry and judging process will be coordinated by, a website launched by Founder Simon Britton to provide screen content creators with a platform to develop audiences for their work.

“At, we’ve been helping content makers connect with audiences for the last five years. In that time, we’ve seen a massive increase in the quality and quantity of online episodic video. Everyone entering the OVAs will have a special opportunity to have their work viewed by a panel of industry leaders. The OVAs will make a huge difference to industry awareness of the great work being done by Australian content creators,” Mr Britton said.

The awards celebration will take place as part of Open Channel’s ‘Generation Next’ conference.

Key dates: Entries open Monday 7 July

Entries close Friday 15 August

Finalists announced Monday 15 September

Winners announced Tuesday 14 October


The OVAs is on Twitter @OVAsAust

and on Facebook

For interviews or more information please contact David Read, Hot Ticket PR, 0402 099 222

Directing Actors Masterclass July



Are you an emerging Director looking to develop your craft in working with Actors? We are running a three day intensive course with Director Alkinos Tsilimidos, on his unique process of working with actors that will help you develop your preparation and communication skills as you workshop your script with a professional cast.

You will learn how to:

  • Analyse a script
  • Cast and audition
  • Elicit performance
  • Find your directing style
  • Collaborate with actors
  • Work with casting Directors
  • Conduct auditions
  • Conduct rehearsals and block through on set
  • Create the right atmosphere on set
  • Affect performance in the edit

Acclaimed independent director, writer and producer Alkinos Tsilimidos has been critically acclaimed for his six feature films, has directed many of Australia’s finest screen actors and is rightly considered one of Australia’s most important contemporary directors. He is widely known as ‘the actor’s director’ for his ability to deliver striking performances of raw emotional intensity and for his uncompromising approach to telling stories of social relevance with honesty and integrity.

This is an intensely collaborative workshop where you will receive constructive criticism from the facilitator, from professional actors and your classmates.

The course is by selection and prior experience in Directing is recommended. There are only 8 places available, so get in quick!

“I’ve learned more from this short course than I have from an entire year at film school” – Amy, participant in Directing Actors 

Past actors have included:

John Brumpton (The Loved Ones, Red Hill, Dance me to my Song, Underbelly)

Brendan Cowell ( I Love You Too, The Slap, Howszat! Kerry Packer’s War)

Samuel Johnson (Secret Life of Us, Paper Giants: Magazine Wars, Underbelly)

Laura Gordon (Bed of Roses, Saw V, Em 4 Jay)

Sarah Hallam (Rush, City Homicide, Blind Company)

Georgia Bolton (Tangle, Knowing, Noise)

Daniel Frederiksen (Summer Coda, Stingers, Blue Heelers, Ghost Rider)

Wendy Bos (Hawke, McLeod’s Daughters)

Ashley Zukerman (Rush, The Slap, Lowdown, The Pacific)

“You can talk all you like about the theories of directing, but to be given the space, the teaching and the actors who can help realise what works and what doesn’t in live situations, is the best way to learn.” – Marcella, participant in Directing Actors

More information can be found here

workshop participant directing actors

Workshop participant directing a scene




Samuel Johnson




Sarah Hallam and Brendan Cowell performing a tense scene.

Indigenous Students Making Headlines

Walking the talk by Aretha Briggs at SIFF

Open Channel Graduate Aretha Briggs’ Film “Walking the talk” will screen at SIFF on Friday 23rd May at 2.30pm (Free) in Ballarat followed by a conversation with filmmaker Aretha and Neil Boyack.

In Walking the talk (Aus, 2014) 14 mins/exempt Aretha Briggs explores the survival and fostering of the Yorta Yorta language, people and her grandmother in this touching debut. Neil Boyack takes part in discussion with Aretha after the screening.

SIFF stands for “Survival, Inspiration, Endurance” and the 2014 Film Festival runs 21 – 23 May at the Mechanics Institute (location: 117 Stuart Street, Ballarat) (Click here for festival program)

Yarnin’ Initiative in Latrobe Valley Express

Young Indigenous Koorie Filmmakers have recorded film interviews with community elders in an initiative covered by the Latrobe Valley Express.

Learning skills through planning, shooting and editing their documentaries, the students work also benefits future generations through the preservation of historical real life stories.


“What began as a conversation between Open Channel tutor Rebecca McLean and respected northern Victorian ‘multi-clan’ elder Bobby Nicholls in 2011, the yarnin’ initiative has continued to attract community support and funding to allow the continued archiving of Koorie elder stories across the state.

“This came about from a fear the community was losing some of their elders, and so often their stories were going with them because a lot of their stories would go untold,” Ms McLean said.

“While there’s a lot of well known land rights activists out there, it’s often the people that you don’t ever hear about who are the quiet achievers.”

Kicking off in Shepparton in 2012, the initiative has since staged filming in Koorie communities in Warrnambool and Swan Hill before heading to Morwell this year.

“Everywhere you go the stories are different, which is one of the focuses of yarnin’, to capture the diversity of Koorie communities which have all had their own histories of struggle.”

The Kurnai students are currently undergoing the laborious task of editing their footage, ahead of a planned community presentation in the coming months.

“The kids are now clicking on to those connections and who they are; it all falls into place and then they want to know more as to how they are connected to the world, which gives a sense of identity for them,” Ms McLean said”

Read the full article here or download the pdf: Sharin’ a great yarn or two | Latrobe Valley Express

See our Yarnin’ page here

Scene Writing and Screen Business & Finance courses launched

Scene Writing with David Rapsey

Screenwriters can join our Scriptshop course group for 63 hours of advanced Scene Writing tuition.

David Rapsey

David Rapsey










Held over 10 Fridays in late June – September 2014, this course is a fantastic opportunity to learn from a master of the art!

Interested? More details here.

Establishing a Screen Business & Financing Plan

As many filmmakers are aware, a strong project is unlikely to be realised unless finances are in place.

Ros Walker

Ros Walker








In ‘Establishing a Screen Business & Financing Plan”, industry insider Ros Walker will assist participants in navigating the business side of film and TV.

Held over 6 Thursdays May – June 2014, this course also allows participants to study alongside our Open Channel Scriptshop 2014 students.

Interested? More details here

For information on the wide range of courses running at Open Channel, see our Courses page!

Raw Nerve 2014 Finalists Announced!


Open Channel are pleased to announce the Finalists for this year’s Raw Nerve Production Initiative!




FRANCIS RULE (Writer/Director) and ANDREA DISTEFANO (Producer)


JAY ADSHEAD (Writer / Director) and LYNNETTE LAI SUET LYNN (Producer)



Congratulations to these three teams for making it through and thank you to everyone who applied.




Only a few places remaining in Open Channel’s introductory filmmaking Certificate course.

Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 11.38.35 AM

Want to learn how to make, or improve your short films, internet videos or short documentaries? Make your first film with us!

There are only a few places remaining in Open Channel’s leading filmmaking course for beginners, the Certificate III in Media (filmmaking). Click this link to download a PDF information kit and to Apply Today!

Our recent graduates from this course are studying at film schools like the VCA, winning awards, or working on productions such as feature film Cut Snake, and television series House Husbands, INXS: Never Tear us Apart, Fat Tony & Co, Time of our Lives and Dance Academy.

Not only will you receive professional training in every aspect of filmmaking from leading industry filmmakers (including producing, writing, directing, camera, lighting, sound and editing) taught from our facilities at Melbourne’s Docklands Studios,  you will also be integrating with Open Channel’s professional development programs like pitching competitions and conferences for early filmmakers.

The course is the most affordable entry level filmmaking course in Victoria (*only $3,650 for eligible applicants, $730 with a health care card) and you can complete your whole course in under 4 months. The course is also eligible for Austudy income support while you study.

Open Channel – Your Pathway to the Screen Industry.

(03) 8327 2016