Paul Arena is the Digital Strategist at Whybin\TBWA in Melbourne. With over a decade of innovative marketing experience he’s planned campaigns for the likes of Nike, Nissan, Levi’s, Gatorade, Schweppes, Playstation and more. Paul recently worked on the Cannes Grand Prix Lion winning campaign, GayTMs for ANZ and in his spare time devised the social strategy for webseries How to Talk Australians.
MARK SAMUAL BONANNO
In addition to being one-sixth of Melbourne comedy group Aunty Donna, Mark has completed a Foundations in Film and TV at the VCA and a Bachelor of Arts (Acting) from the University of Ballarat. His recent theatre credits include Beng Ohʼs production of Mein Kampf as Lobkowitz (2013), directing Squid Stampʼs The Technology Show for La Mamaʼs 2013 winter season, Proteus in Two Gentlemen of Verona at The Owl and the Pussycat (2012), and various touring productions for Class Acts Theatre Company (2012/13).
Anthony Britten has had 15 years experience in film marketing online, providing digital strategies to major studios and independent distributors around the globe. Anthony has delivered multiple campaigns for clients such as Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures, Walt Disney Films and Sony Pictures Releasing. In 2013 he set up Playmaker Digital, a dedicated digital communications agency with a focus on the entertainment industry.
Head of Entertainment at ABC TV, Jon Casimir has extensive experience as an award-winning TV Writer/producer. Before co-creating The Gruen Transfer, he was a producer for Enough Rope on ABC Television. And before that, he wrote for the Sydney Morning Herald for 16 years. While there, he was also responsible for the creation of the smh.com.au news site. Jon has written four books and edited another six. He has co-written and produced one feature length documentary, and dabbled as a radio presenter at ABC702.
MaryAnne Carroll began her producing career in live comedy stage shows and festivals, including Edinburgh Fringe, and both the New Zealand, and Melbourne International Comedy Festivals. She developed and produced ABC doco What’s So Funny?, worked with Paul Hester (Crowded House) on comedy/music show Hessie’s Shed, and then while at Artist Services produced all the local content for Foxtel’s The Comedy Channel including scripted/half hour narrative, sketch, panel, chat, interstitials and standup comedy series. After a stint working in production and development for Burberry Productions, MaryAnne joined the Seven Network’s drama department in 2004 where she produced over 100 episodes of long run medical drama All Saints implementing changes that improved both production values and ratings. Then after producing the first three seasons of police procedural City Homicide, she set up and produced the pilot and first season of hit comedy/drama Winners & Losers. Since 2012, MaryAnne in her current role as Executive Producer – Comedy, now oversees the production and development of all comedy scripted and non-scripted projects for Channel Seven.
Beatrix runs ScreenHerd (@screenherd) a consultancy that helps screen projects to find audiences online. Current clients include The Dressmaker (feature film), Downriver (feature film), SunJive Productions. Previous clients include How Far is Heaven (feature film), The Tipping Points (television series), Four Quarters (webseries), Our Little Secret (television documentary). She has previously worked for organisations including Eyeworks Film and Drama, the London Film Festival, Film Victoria and the Melbourne International Film Festival and can be found talking crowdfunding, independent film and Saturday Night Live at @beatrixcoles.
Steve is a storyteller, content maker, CEO and founder of Totem, who have provided digital solutions for companies such as NBCU, Seven West, SBS, Cordell Jigsaw Zapruder, ITV Studios, Lonely Planet, Tropfest, GetUp!, Destination NSW, TedX, Meat & Livestock Association, Wesfarmers, AIME, and many more. Formerly a professional adventurer and the youngest person in the world to travel from the tip of South America to the Arctic Circle by motorcycle and boat. Steve has traversed nearly half a million kilometres by land and sea, a story told in his book ‘Lost on Earth’. As part of his 10 year journey, he co-developed 12 shows for Lonely Planet and wrote, produced and presented Lonely Planet’s Natural Born Traveller series (sold to over 50 countries – won various awards). Armed with this rich background in content production, Steve has since found a niche as one of YouTube’s top consultants – empowering clients to achieve up to 3000% return per annum on the platform. His skills are focused on MCN ecosystems and their impact on professional content creators, talent and brands – developing models that enable producers to treat YouTube as a profitable platform and facilitator to traditional networks.
Julie is a creative producer with over 20 years experience in the industry. She originally trained as an actress and has worked nationally and internationally on stage and screen, winning numerous awards. After completing her Grad Dip in Producing at AFTRS she undertook a producing internship at Matchbox Pictures and subsequently became their Multi-Platform Producer. Her initial role in the company was to develop and produce cross platform narratives for projects, engage new audiences through social media and to develop and produce online projects for the company. She initiated and oversaw the online campaigns for ABC drama’s The Slap and The Straits and developed the ambitious transmedia project for The Nowhere Boys, which has been sold internationally and nominated for various awards. Julie now works as a producer at Matchbox Pictures. She produced Anatomy 4, The Turning – Cockleshell, animation series ZuZu & the SuperNuffs, The Real Housewives of Melbourne (Associate Producer) Maximum Choppage – Australia’s first kung fu comedy, and is currently Associate Producer on the supernatural drama – Glitch. She also works in development and production across a wide range of factual, drama and comedy shows on the Matchbox slate.
Kylie Eddy has spent the last decade writing/directing/producing films including the micro-budget feature This Kiss that screened at festivals around the world and was released on DVD in the USA. She is also experienced in arts marketing, sponsorship and distribution. Currently she’s the General Manager of Melbourne Queer Film Festival, the largest event of its kind in Australia, screening over 150 films during the annual 12 day program. Lean Filmmaking is a collaborative, iterative and story driven approach to making films. Developed by Kylie Eddy, a filmmaker, and David Eddy, an agile coach, these siblings have combined their skills to create a new process for how films are made, teams are formed and projects are created. Lean Filmmaking host regular workshops, Filmmakathons and free meetups for creative-film-types to network, collaborate and experiment.
Harrison is a digital professional with experience across advertising, journalism, social media and creative copy. In his current role as Community Manager at Sensis, he is responsible for content creation, digital consultancy, strategy and analytics for over a dozen small businesses. He is the brains behind the film trailer for These Final Hours, which went viral on Reddit using a formulated system of digital marketing tools and social media systems. Prior to this, he was involved in the ABC2 Multi Platform series #7 Days Later, where he later turned the entire series into a 51 minute feature, complete with a revamped structure and a chronological storyline as well as creating unique credits for the project, all of which I were created in 12 hours from different episodes and footage from the series.
Elizabeth has worked for YouTube in Business Development since 2010, prior to which she worked in the YouTube Ops Strategy and Google AdSense departments where she developed her product knowledge and global business sense. In her current role, Elizabeth has been responsible for negotiating and securing revenue sharing and technology licensing deals with large media organisations including broadcast TV networks and YouTube focused startups. She played a key role in working with YouTube startup AwesomenessTV from the launch of their partner network through to the company’s acquisition by Dreamworks Animation, as well as launching youtube.com/movies and Google Play Movies in seven new markets in nine months.
Elizabeth Ferdon is visiting Australia on an International Specialised Skills Institute Fellowship, supported by the Victorian Government and Open Channel.
Liz Ferguson is General Manager in Australia for Base79, a global digital media company and YouTube Multi Channel Network. Liz has an in depth knowledge of working with video content online and on YouTube and has seen the online video industry grow and change tremendously since starting with Base79 in 2008. Liz has worked directly with video optimisation and rights management for high profile content partners across entertainment, sports and music and has achieved YouTube Certification for her skills and knowledge of audience growth and rights management on the platform. Base79 were recently acquired by Rightster, a global b2b video network, and Liz is now responsible for new content partnerships and commercial opportunities in Australia and New Zealand.
Justin Halliday is a digital content producer and designer, and recently worked as an investment manager for Screen Australia’s Games, Interactive and Multiplatform funds. He has led teams of sixty software developers working multiple platforms, has broad experience with apps, and assessed and assisted the development of webseries and interactive projects.
Thomas was a sales agent for 15 years, selling hundreds of feature films like Cannes winner Lars von Trier’s Dancer in the Dark among many others when he was the CEO of Copenhagen based Trust Film Sales. Thomas has produced or executive produced 6 feature films that has won numerous awards at multiple film festivals. Thomas turned crowdfunding pioneer in Australia when he was the co-founder of FanDependent, crowdfunding over $400,000 for 11 social issue driven documentaries. Thomas has teamed up with crowdfunding platform Pozible to find 5 feature length films (any genre) and help them crowdfund a minimum of $100,000 each.
Tom Maynard has worked at the intersection of Digital and Television for over 15 year as a Producer and Manager of some of the of the biggest productions around the world. Including Big Brother UK and Australia, English Premier League and MasterChef Australia. After working the past few years with FremantleMedia in the US, Tom has now come home to launch Marquee Studios, a digital production and distribution agency that builds audiences for brands.
Max is an award winning film director and editor. Having completed a Bachelor of Film and Television from Swinburne University, Max started employment as an editor at post-production house Method Studios. He has also worked as an editor and assistant editor on two feature films, one of which is currently in post-production. Max also completes many directorial projects and in the last year has directed short films, TVC’s and music videos for various artists such as Kingswood and Peking Duk. He is also one-sixth of Melbourne comedy group Aunty Donna and has directed and edited all of their material including a recent mini web series for ABC iView.
Aaron McCann has had international success with his previous online series Henry & Aaron securing an Agent (Creative Artists Agency) and Management (Brillstein) in the USA. He has previously pitched a variety of TV series to HBO, Comedy Central, FX, ABC, SBS, NBC and Adult Swim and Feature films to Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, Legendary and Dreamworks just to name a few. His YouTube videos, collectively, have gathered more than 20 million views. He continues to write and develop feature film projects as well as working as a freelance music video and commercials director and a rotating cast member of the Emmy Award winning ABC2 series #7DaysLater. He is currently a staff writer on the new SBS Comedy Runway pilot Studio 33 as well as the writer/director of the upcoming series: Top Knot Detective.
Stuart is the former Head of TV Content and Creative Development at ABC, and former Channel Controller for ABC2. Stuart joined ABC in 2004 as Head of Documentaries, overseeing such projects as Who Killed Dr Bogle and Mrs Chandler, Captain Cook: Obsession and Betrayal in the New WorldandThe Sounds of Oz. In 2010 he was appointed Controller of ABC2 featuring such titles as #7DaysLater, Dirty Laundry Live, This is Littleton, Dumb Drunk and Racist, Shitsville Express, Head First, Kitchen Cabinet and the Opening Shot series. Prior to ABC he was a partner and producer with Melbourne-based production house December Films.
Georgie is responsible for developing content strategy and music partnerships for YouTube in Australia and New Zealand. Prior to working at Google, Georgie worked as a strategy consultant, advising traditional media businesses and telcos on how best to evolve in a digital world.
Dean Prenc has worked with Madman Entertainment, a Melbourne founded and leading Australian independent entertainment company, for 12 years. Over that time he has seen the industry move from VHS to DVD and on to digital. Working in licensing and business development, Dean was instrumental in closing agreements with a range of major digital platforms and actively seeks out and licenses content for the company. Working alongside peers who are pushing Madman in exciting new directions, both into production through Madman Production Company (That Sugar Film, Wastelander Panda) and direct-to-consumer digital streaming via the recently launched AnimeLab platform (www.animelab.com), Dean is at the coalface of the changes confronting the entertainment landscape.
Katy is a local Producer working with VICE Media. VICE was launched in 1994 as a ‘punk zine’ and has since expanded into a leading global youth media company with bureaus in over 30 countries. VICE operates the world’s premier original online video destination, VICE.COM, an international network of digital channels, a television production studio, a magazine, a record label, an in-house creative services agency, a consumer insights and research services department, and a book-publishing division. Before joining the company Katy graduated from RMIT, and spent her early career running around with video punks Moop Jaw making music videos for artists like Temper Trap, Miami Horror and Peaches. Catering to the emerging demand for online content, Katy worked as a freelance producer for a number of years before landing a role with VICE producing a 3 part series called Knapsack Bartender in 2012. On the success of the videos, she took on a full time position with the company, now supervising all Vice’s locally produced news, editorial and branded content.
David Redman is the founder of Redman Entertainments and its subsidiary Instinct Entertainment and his producer credits at Instinct include the animated mockumentary, Little Johnny the Movie, the Paramount distributed Charlie & Boots, Salute and Till Human Voices Wake Us and the highest grossing Australian movie of 2004 Strange Bedfellows which was distributed by Universal in the US. Prior to this he worked in the UK as Associate Producer on three co-productions including Before The Rain, a UK, French, Macedonian Co-Production which won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1994 and was nominated for an Academy Award in 1995 and The Young Poisoner’s Handbook, a UK, German Co-Production awarded the Critics’ Prize at the Edinburgh Film Festival. Before moving into production David ran the Jeremy Thomas / Chris Blackwell owned UK distribution company, Recorded Releasing. He is currently developing a range of Film, TV and Multi-platform projects with an emphasis on international co-productions. He sits on the council of Screen Producers Australia, is mentoring emerging producers via their Ones to Watch program, is lecturing the Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media at Open Channel and is producing the Conference on Online Video supported by YouTube.
Michael has been making successful Online Comedy Content since 2008, which now that he thinks of it is really depressing. He’s won some awards, has over 15,000,000 views on YouTube and loves listing statistics. Perhaps most known for his Music Video direction, he recently directed the debut clip for Guy Pearce’s musical release Storm. He’s directed multiple TVCs but finds the most fulfilment in creating comedy content for his independent YouTube channel ‘Timtimfed’; the YouTube channel most viewed by his Mum.
Andrew began working in the media in 1991 at M Net Pay TV in South Africa, where he also managed high profile musicians in South Africa before returning home to Australia in 1995. On his return he commenced a role as National Marketing Co-ordinator for Amnesty International Australia, where he oversaw the creation of their flagship web site, award winning TV commercials, promotional and fund raising campaigns, and staging of major events. In 1998 he left Amnesty to start the comedy agency now known as More Comedy. In the proceeding 16 years he has grown that company (engaging his business partner Jeff Green since 2010) to become one of the top 3 comedy agencies in Australia with live and online activity that encompasses Australia, New Zealand, UK, SE Asia, Middle East, Canada and USA. In 2011 More Comedy moved into representing YouTube Comedy stars. This activity has led to hugely successful live performance and media activity for leading Aussie stars such as Alex Williamson (“Loosest Aussie”), Neel Kolhatkar and Ben French (“Frenchy”). All three have significantly grown their online profile and subscriber numbers across various social media platforms, in tandem with burgeoning live performance careers that have seen them sell out shows across Australia, New Zealand and into United Kingdom. As well as expanding the live reach of his YouTube clients Andrew has succeeded in attracting leading international online comedians including Tom Green, Steven K Amos, Paul Foot and ‘Harley’ from Epic Mealtime to appear and collaborate with them in their videos. Andrew has also sourced and concluded major online promotional video deals both in Australia and USA for The Nelson Twins, Fiona O’Loughlin, Peter Berner and Mikey Robins among other clients. Since 2011 Andrew has also developed strategic relationships with significant online content distribution organisations in the UK and USA.
Enzo co-founded Distracted Media with Julian Harvey. Their first major project was the multiple award-winning crowdfunded feature film The Tunnel, which highlighted an innovative and controversial model of funding and distribution with the film being released in an Australian-first simultaneously in cinemas, and via TV, DVD, in-flight, VOD and BitTorrent. Having reached an estimated global audience of more than 12 million, this project saw Enzo and co-producer / co-writer Julian named “Breakthrough Independent Producers Of The Year” at the 2011 SPAA Awards, as well as picking up an AIMIA award for “Best Use Of Social Media, Word Of Mouth or Viral”, among a number of other film festival accolades. Enzo has since produced the award-winning epic online series Event Zero (which was an Official Selection at MWF 2013), for Movie Extra, and the feature documentary The Crossing, directed by Julian Harvey, which won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at Sydney Film Festival in 2013. Currently, Enzo is in post-production on Distracted Media’s online science fiction series AIRLOCK, a Screen Australia-backed project, which he produced and co-wrote.
Jenni Tosi is CEO of Film Victoria. With over 30 years’ production experience in the Australian film and television industry, she now leads the dedicated team at Film Victoria to deliver a diverse range of programs and innovative activities which support the feature film, television and games sectors within Victorian Screen Industry. Her credits include the multi-award winning children’s television series Holly Heroes, the BAFTA awarded mini-series Bootleg and she has consulted for many of Australia’s leading production companies including: VillageRoadshow, Columbia Tri-Star, Mushroom Pictures and Showtime. She has been a jury member for the International Emmys, currently serves on advisory committees for the VCA, RMIT, Deakin University and is a member of the Ausfilm Board.
CHRISTIAAN VAN VUUREN
Christiaan Van Vuuren is one half of the Van Vuuren Bros; Co-Creators, Writers and Directors of ABC2’s Multi-Platform comedy series Soul Mates which is scheduled to premiere on ABC2 in October 2014. Soul Mates is a spin off from the successful Web Series Bondi Hipsters, which Christiaan co-created with fellow Australian YouTuber Nick Boshier. Bondi Hipsters saw the Van Vuuren Bros win an ADG Award for “Best Direction in an Original Online Project” in 2013, and the team were sponsored by Google to fly to London to create a web series set around the London 2012 Olympics. The Bondi Hipsters have since toured nationally and gone on to create brand funded content for Parklife, The Iconic and Old Spice.Christiaan decided to move into filmmaking after being told he had tuberculosis and would be confined in a hospital room for 6 months. This inspired his first video The Fully Sick Rapper, which garnered over 1 million YouTube views. Following the success of this video, Christiaan teamed up with his brother Connor, and they produced a series for YouTube that gained them global notoriety on the site, and they went on to win the MTV One80Project, adapting their idea into a telemovie titled SICK! (aired on MTV in 2012). Christiaan has Directed for the comedy series The Elegant Gentleman’s Guide to Knife Fighting for the ABC and Jungleboys, and on the web-series’ Eastern Suburbs Mums and Skit Box, as well as Directing work for a number of brands including Amex, Mother, Sony, McDonalds, NAB and Cadbury.
Paul joined Princess Pictures in 2012 as Head of Production. Since joining the company, Paul has produced two seasons of the 8 part TV series It’s A Date for ABC1 and the ten part entertainment series Stand Up @ Bella Union for SBS2. Paul’s extensive list of previous credits include producing underground cult feature film Em 4 Jay (Black Keys soundtrack) and working as a first assistant director and production consultant on feature films including Macbeth (Sam Worthington), Charlie and Boots (Paul Hogan, Shane Jacobson), Long Weekend (Jim Caviezel) and I Love You Too (Peter Dinklage). In addition to this Paul has worked on over one hundred and thirty television commercials with some of Australia’s most successful advertising directors. Paul was made a partner and producer at a Melbourne commercials production company where he developed a new approach to online video production and distribution. Paul’s natural ability to see the big picture, think outside the box and remain calm and positive at all times has resulted in a well-respected reputation and diverse body of work.