Short Back and Sides


Following the success of Open Channel’s recently launched six-part short documentary series, Bringing Our Stories Home, Victorian Minister for Veterans, The Hon John Eren has announced funding approval for Open Channel to produce a second commemorative series entitled Short Back and Sides, for the Anzac Centenary through the Victoria Remembers Grant Program.

Open Channel is also delighted to confirm funding for Short Back and Sides from the Australian Government’s Anzac Centenary Arts and Culture Fund.

Set in one Barber Shop across a hundred years, Short Back and Sides, created by Chris Thompson, tells four short stories about four generations of the same family as they prepare to sign up to serve in four separate conflicts – The Great War, The Second World War, The Vietnam War, Afghanistan and the War on Terror. From the pride of fighting for King and Country, to the tradition of following in a father’s footsteps, to the controversy of conscription to the first female family member to join the armed forces, the series explores military, social and family history, attitudes and mores through personal stories of family sacrifice.

Minister for Veterans, John Eren said of the Grant Program “Our veterans have served us, and it is our duty to protect their legacy. They have earned it.”

“All Victorian communities have war connections and stories, which these grants will help protect and share for future generations.”

Click here to view Media Release from Department of Premier and Cabinet.

The Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of Anzac, The Hon Dan Tehan MP said “All Australians should use the centenary of Anzac to reflect on the sacrifice of our service men and women”.

“These arts projects can engage with their communities and start a conversation about these important issues”.

Click here to view Media Release from Department of Communications and the Arts.

As with Bringing Our Stories Home, Short Back and Sides will create numerous opportunities for Open Channel members to work on the films, both in key creative roles and crew positions.

Open Channel’s CEO, Caroline Waters: “Open Channel’s success in securing funding for Short Back and Sides is a reflection of the excellent work the organisation is doing to not only develop the skills of emerging and early career filmmakers but also to create programs that have multiple outcomes, including mentoring and opportunities for professional credits.”

“Bringing Our Stories Home has been a significant success for all involved and Open Channel is appreciative of the faith the state and federal governments have shown a second time around in our organisation to deliver Short Back and Sides.”

Bringing Our Stories Home is now available to view on ABC iview, and is also available to purchase through ATOM’s The Education Shop.

For more information and updates on Short Back and Sides, visit:


1743579_880196328676446_7202230686670704146_nABOUT THE COURSE

Real Actors, Real Sets, Real Scripts.

Open Channel presents an invaluable opportunity for emerging to mid level Directors to gain experience and insight into the demands of making episodic TV Drama in the upcoming Offspring Television Directing Masterclass with Director, Nicholas Bufalo.

Selected participants in this advanced 4-day workshop will have the opportunity to direct professional actors using scenes from scripts from the Offspring series, and filming of the scenes will occur on the Offspring hospital set, complete with set dressing and lighting.

The course replicates the demands of shooting multi-camera TV scenes by using real actors, real sets and real scenes from one of Australia’s favourite television dramas. Importantly, the context also requires participants to work within realistic deadlines, and to be able to match the tone and feel of an established program.


This is an advanced workshop open to emerging and mid level Directors with prior credits (e.g. short film, factual television, or webseries), and with demonstrated potential to work in a simulated industry-like environment, within the context of a network series. The course assumes knowledge of basic directing and continuity principles. Participants should also have their own basic editing skills, or be working with someone outside the course who has those skills.


This is a selective course. Applicants will need to submit a Cover Letter outlining their short and long-term career goals and a rationale for participating in the masterclass, as well as a detailed CV with filmography. Applicants will also need to submit a link/s to a showreel or relevant recent work.

Places are limited and will be offered based on demonstrated skills and experience and a rationale for professional development at the discretion of Open Channel.

Workshop fees will be payable on offer of a place in the course.

Applications Close: 5pm, Thursday 23rd June 2016

Click here for more information and to apply.


Day 1: Tuesday, 12th July (9.30am – 4.30pm)
Days 2 & 3: Saturday – Sunday, 16th-17th July (8.00am – 5.15pm)
Day 4: Tuesday, 26 July (9.30am – 4.30pm) + networking session


$1,430 Open Channel Members / $1,710 Non-Members (inc GST)



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Dates: Monday 29th – Tuesday 30th August 2016

Super Early Bird Tickets (Members Only): $80
Early Bird Tickets (Non-Members): $220

The Generation Next Screen Creators’ Conference programme is starting to take shape!

In preparing the programme we have had the excellent support of the Conference Advisory Group made up of representatives from all the major Victorian media courses, industry and Open Channel members. Over the next two months we’ll be progressively confirming sessions and speakers through OpenLine but to whet your appetite here’s an overview of what you can expect…

• The programme will be interactive and involve industry demos, guild representation as well as some provocative sessions
• There will be a hypothetical case-study of a mock-project viewed through the development process that leads from concept to green light (or not)
• An opportunity to apply to participate in round table discussions with key figures from the film, television and web-based sectors
• A speed networking session where you can pitch your ideas to your peers, hear what projects they’re trying to develop and set in motion creative partnerships that will develop beyond the two days of the conference.

And don’t expect the breaks to be idle; we’ll be encouraging you to use your break times to engage with our Industry Stalls and Demos, to make meetings with industry and guild representatives and to network with other conference delegates. To that end, we’ll be offering you the opportunity to create an online Conference Profile that will allow you to let other delegates know who you are and what ideas and interests you have before the Conference begins.

We’ll be offering a number of concurrent sessions where you can choose what best suits your interests and level of experience – whether you’re finding your pathway (those who are just starting out or just finishing studies) or finding your place (those who’ve been making inroads into the industry and have begun to develop their careers).

So watch this space for more announcements and we continue to develop this exciting programme…and we look forward to welcoming you in August.

The Super Early Bird conference tickets for members are selling fast but will close on May 31st!
Get in quick for what is exceptional value for two full days of access to industry information and significant networking opportunities.

For more information and to register, visit HERE.