Press – Screenhub review of my AIDC DocWeek session on The Art of Perseverance in documentary film making

It’s my final year of my Masters in Screen Arts and Business from AFTRS (the Australian Film Television and Radio School), which of course means thesis. I am investigating The Art of Perseverance in Australian feature film making.

I formally launched the thesis as a panel session at the Australian International Documentary Conference in Adelaide. AIDC CEO Joost den Hartog is a fellow student and kindly gave me a slot, and organised for three phenomenally talented and persevering filmmakers (Gracie Otto, Marshall Curry and Jakeb Anvhu) to be interviewed by me.

Very grateful for this review of my session at AIDC DocWeek from Anne Richey, and thanks to Editor David Tiley for making it free to everyone, not just subscribers of ScreenHub

Having said that, if you are in the film industry and not using ScreenHub, you shouldn’t be in the industry. Subscribe here!

screen hub

AIDC 2014: The art of perseverance in documentary filmmaking 
By Anne Richey
Screen Hub Monday 10 March, 2014

Three makers, three different worlds. All driven by deep perseverance, and the clever use of available resources. Moderator and multimedia maker Nick Bolton has been patiently researching perseverance for his AFTRS Masters thesis in Screen Arts and Business.

Read the full article here

AIDC programme front cover

Speaking engagement at the Viocorp event ‘The Age of Enterprise Video’

Viocorp ran their annual event The Age of Enterprise Video at the Museum of Contemporary Art on Tuesday 1st October 2013.
I was asked again to deliver a session, this time on Developing a Video Strategy Framework, alongside expert speakers from Deloitte, KPMG, RedBull, Melcrum, ANZ, and IOOF.

Watch the video here
Screen shot 2013-12-20 at 12.31.06 PM

And view the slides here

The Viocorp Enterprise Communications forum brings together digital leaders from Red Bull, Deloitte, BT Investment Management and the IOOF as well as industry leaders from Akamai and Melcrum to share inspiration, strategic insights and practical advice on successful online video strategies.
From research on why video can be so impactful, to inspirational content development strategies, this forum is designed to help you take advantage of the technology trends that the switched on, mobile organisation offers.
Each presentation will be followed by a Q&A session so you can engage directly with our expert panellists.
Keynote Case Study: Red Bull Stratos – Christie Poulos, Former Head of Content (Moving Image) for Red Bull UK
Employee Engagement: Research on Video Internal Communications – Jonathan Champ, Melcrum
Content marketing: 3 Strategies for Video Content Production
In-house studio – Deloitte
iPhone DIY – BT
Production companies – IOOF
Protecting your IP: Online Video Security – David Habben, Akamai
Developing a Video Strategy Framework – Nick Bolton, TEN ALPHAS

Screen shot 2013-12-20 at 11.45.06 AM

Judging NAFA ShowFest

Another fun evening at NAFA’s ShowFest The Randwick Ritz and a good array of films to test our judging capability. I went for Cockatoo as my favourite pipping Maiden as it just emotionally connected with me more than Maiden, but the two were both very very strong. The art direction in Maiden was simply outstanding, and I didn’t even know it was Russell Dykstra until half way through. Great performances from his wife and kids as well. Lie to Me was my third choice, and an exellent effort for a first time Writer and Director!

Always a good catch up as well. Steven Gregory from AT2 and Audition Magic was my judge in crime, and good to hang out with Alex Broun and John O’Hare in the bar afterwards. Plenty of British Lions banter with Alex, and the three of us were flabbergasted when a beautiful 18 year old actress came to talk to us and admitted she had never heard of The Smiths. I promptly begged her to go and check out ‘There is a light than never goes out‘.

nick at nafa showfest


1st Maiden
2nd Happily Ever After
3rd Cockatoo

1st Maiden
2nd Cockatoo
3rd Lie To Me


Judging the ATOM Awards, NAFA Showfest and MacCarthur Film Fest

Going to be watching a lot of content in August as I have been asked to judge three festivals.

Back in 2009, I was very proud to be part of the team that won an ATOM Award for our work on Rolf du Heer’s 12 Canoes cross platform companion piece website – the website
As I was living in Melbourne at the time, I was asked by the producers to pick up the award.

Atom Awards Winner for

Atom Awards Winner for

I’ve been judging the NAFA Showfest for about 5 years now and look forward to celebrating its 10th birthday at The Randwick Ritz on Wednesday 7th August.

MacCarthur Film Fest
Going to be heading out west to MacCarthur in November to support a small new festival. I’ll be running some talks as well on film production which should be fun

Speaking engagement at The Creative Forum at NIDA – Audience, Arts and Technology

A one hour Forum at NIDA, the National Institute of Dramatic Arts ( where the
panel discuss the new platforms enabling arts entities to communicate with their audiences and the effect that has on brand and marketing.

Nick Bolton – TEN ALPHAS
Tam Nguyen, Online Development Manager, NIDA
Julia Thomas Sydney Festival
Helen Varley Jamieson – Creative Catalyst
Dennis Del Favero :

Sunday 21st April 2013

Speaking gig at NIDA – Panel members required!

So we’re about 6 weeks from opening night for my next theatrical venture, SET the play which premieres at NIDA! Sam Atwell and I submiited the treatment for the play to the NIDA Independent Program and we were dleighted when we were one of four productions to be chosen.
Rehearsals start on Wednesday and the Marketing will hit the streets the week after.

SET is a new murder mystery that will go behind the scenes of an Australian TV soap opera with a satirical look at the glamorous world of celebrity and the cogs of the machine that makes it turn.
Its gonna be a lotta fun with a lot of audience involvement!

NIDA run a monthly Creative Forum and April’s event is on Audience Participation on Sunday 21st April. NIDA have asked me to be moderate the session and I will be joined by film and theatre practitioners to discuss how new technology is changing the audience experience.
Panel members are still being sourced so any ideas welcome!

Event details and registration process here

NIDA Creative Forum Screenshot

Lavolta Digital Bullets – Apps

Apps have become an extraordinary area of innovation in the past few years, initially triggered by the capability of smart phones and more recently the tablet. There are literally hundreds of thousands of apps available for iOS and Android users in particular. The rise of the ‘app-economy’ has given huge power to gatekeepers like Apple that approve and distribute apps and then take a big cut of any revenue generated from them. Is this proliferation and excitement around apps just a brief fizz in a bottle or is it genuinely the beginnings of a trend that will turn the digital world in significant new directions? Where do you see apps going in the next few years? What are the significant trends to watch? Will so-called ‘web apps’ take over from ‘native apps’?
Big thanks to our guests on this bullet.

Tony Faure – Pollenizer, Dealised & Torque
Simon Goodrich – Portable & AIMIA
Steve Fanale – AppVillage
Mark Britt – Mi9
Paul Fisher – IAB
Fiona Bendall – Bendalls Group Digital Intelligence
Nick Bolton – Feverpitch
Peter Williams – Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu
Tim Burrowes – Mumbrella, Encore, Focal Attractions
John Butterworth – AIMIA
Robert Wong – iNC Retail Digital Network
Hannah Schwartz – Ninefold
Ian Gardiner – Viocorp
Jennifer Wilson – Project Factory
Michelle Deaker – OneVentures
Oliver Weidlich – Mobile Experience
Jane Huxley – Industry Consultant

Watch the Digital Bullet here

Speaking: Australian Council for the Arts – Fast Moves on Fast Wires

Jennifer Wilson from The Project Factory and Claudia Sagripanti asked me to be a mentor at the Fast Moves on Fast wires all day conference they were asked to develop and facilitate by the Australia Council for the Arts.
Over 80 managers from australian Performing Arts companies attended what was a stimulating day bridging high quality broadband, new technologies and creative ideas to maintain and develop new audiences.

Performing Arts and the Impact of Fast Ubiquitous Broadband
19 October 2012
The Mint, Macquarie Street, Sydney

09.00 Registration

09.45 Welcome from the Chair
Jennifer Wilson, Director, The Project Factory

09.50 Welcome and Introductions
Tony Grybowski, Executive Director Arts Organisations, Australia Council for the Arts


10.00 Where is the world going? Life in a fast broadband world
We wonder when the future is going to get here, while often not noticing the major changes that have already happened. When you think that five years ago, MySpace was smaller than Facebook; and Twitter was pretty irrelevant – the pace of change is actually phenomenal.

Fast, ubiquitous broadband is seen as a massive enabler to connect people, share information and change business. It will have a profound impact on how we create, conceive and collaborate on artistic endeavours; on how we promote and market our events to reach audiences; and on how we operate as companies, our internal running even hiring.
In this session, digital visionary Austin Bryan will imagine a fast broadband world, see where this is going and posit some possible futures for us.

The session should be mind -xpanding is the best possible way, getting us think of a world without boundaries. How will we engage with performing arts? Will live remain important and how does this fit into our connected life?
Austin Bryan, Global Head of Digital Communities & Eco-Systems, SingTel Optus

10.20 Pockets of brilliance
William Gibson said in 1993 “The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed”. In this session, we’ll hear about some ‘pockets of brilliance’ from our unevenly distributed future.

Even without ubiquitous fast broadband, performing arts groups are still using connected digital technology in unique and surprising ways. Pushing boundaries, reaching new audiences and learning new ways of collaborating and creating – not waiting for the future, but dreaming it and making it.

Louise O’Donnell will talk about the YouTube Symphony Orchestra, how this came together, what the intent was, what is achieved and what is delivered for the performing arts companies involved in the production.
Louise O’Donnell, Director, SeedProduction

10.40 Group Discussion:
Each table discusses the issues raised by the prior speakers. One person at the table will report back on the discussion to allow the thoughts and views of the participants to be captured. At each of the two group discussion sessions, different questions relating to the sessions will be posed.
• What do you think will be the biggest impact of fast ubiquitous broadband?
• Are there thinks you would like to be doing now in the connected digital world?
• What do you see as the main opportunities/threats from fast broadband?
(Feedback from each table will be taken)

11.00 Feedback presented

11.15 Life in the fast lane – how connection changes how we work
From an operational standpoint, getting connected can be straightforward or really complex. We can upload faster, but what does this offer us. What are the main issues in getting connected? What does ubiquitous fast broadband mean at the practical level? There are costs involved in this but the benefits are significantly greater.
This practical session looks at some of the nuts and bolts about getting connected.
Colin Griffith, Director, Australian Centre for Broadband Innovation (ACBI), CSIRO

11.35 BREAK

11.55 The changing consumer landscape
There have been reports from just about every consulting group on how digital is shaking up audiences and businesses alike.

It’s all very well to think about what the organisations are doing, but is the audience along for the ride? This session will look at the research to see if this can point the way to what is happening at a consumer level to prepare us for the new audience in the for the changing landscape ahead.
Megan Brownlow, Executive Director, Media & Entertainment, PwC Australia

12.15 New world, new business models, new forms of funding
From a marketing and business perspective, threats are often just opportunities in disguise. If we can find a way to leverage our fears, they can become our biggest strength. Right now, in this highly media saturated world, brands are struggling for connection; while content (including arts) is struggling for reach.

This panel session focusses on digital innovators to hear about some of the new ways of doing business in a fragmented world. Concentrating on new business models, new partnerships and new ways of collaborating, our panel will talk about branding funding, collaboration and what the performing arts can learn from advertising.
Moderator: Jennifer Wilson, Director, The Project Factory

Lisa Colley, Director, Creative Industries Innovation Centre
Greg Logan, ECD, Moon Communications and Executive Producer, Hatch Entertainment
Kieran Ots
Charles Clapshaw, President, TBWA\DIGITAL ARTS NETWORK

12.45 Group discussion
Questions relating to this session are:
• How do you think the changes in audience or expectations are relevant to you?
• What have been your experiences of trialling new business models?
• Are your sponsors either partners or just funders? How could this change?
• Would stronger brand funding compromise your artistic integrity? Why?
(Feedback from each table will be taken)

13.05 Feedback

13.20 LUNCH

Session 2: Mentor sessions

14.20 Round 1
These two sessions are designed to give you some in-depth learning with highly experienced mentors. The mentors will collect the questions and major issues of concern from the participants at their table and will answer both specific questions as well as talk to some of the more general issues.

There will be two sessions of 45 minutes each. Participants should book in with the mentor they are interested in meeting with. Acceptance will be on a ‘first come first served’ basis, with no more than eight people at each mentor session to ensure that highly focussed conversations can happen.

Topics and mentors:
1. Rights issues: Katherine Sainty
2. Video production: Nick Bolton
3. Video production/platforms: Rachel Dixon
4. Business models: Billy Tucker (TBC)
5. Business models: Jennifer Wilson
6. Brand partnerships: Chris Clapshaw
7. Strategy and operational issues: Lisa Colley
8. Strategy and operational issues Louise O’Donnell
9. Artistic Collaboration: Julian Knowles

15.05 Change tables for Round 2

15.50 BREAK

Session 3: Hypothetical

16.10 Performing Like It’s 2022… (A hypothetical view of the future)
Designed to be entertaining, uplifting, future visioning and positive: we imagine a life ten years on and try to create the impossible: an engaging live performance on stage in front of your very eyes.

It’s 2022. Fast broadband is ubiquitous. It connects our buildings, our open spaces and our wearable devices. We can engage with content anywhere – with every wall a potential screen. The urban landscape is performance art – and we’re all part of it.
What is the world like for performing arts and what role do the arts play generally?

This drama will be moderated and directed by Sandy George and will include :
• Megan Brownlow: where are the audiences and what are they doing?
• Austin Bryan (Colin Griffith): How did we get here?
• Rachel Healy: How does the urban landscapes fit into this?
• and what new awesome things are we engaging with?
• Greg Logan: where are brands in this – what role do they play?:
• Victoria Doidge: And what about performing arts – have they escaped?
• Billy Tucker (TBC): What new start-ups have been created and what do they offer?

17.10 Wrap for day
A brief summary of the top ten things of the day, some of the key learnings and take-aways.
A brief look at what might be next.

17.30 Finish

Speaking gig – Inst Chartered Accountants Australia

Having a run of speaking gigs at the moment. This time, very specific and niche – online video for accounting firms, including the ‘how to do it yourself’ request in the agenda.
I wonder if accounting firms ever give presentations to their customers on how to do accounting themselves!
Of course video production can be straight forward if you’re trained and experienced, with the right gear and processes. But all that takes time.

We’ve had great success in the accounting, professional services, consulting sector. Traditionally, this is a sector full of long heavy text documentation in its marcoms delivery – the cliche ‘a picture paints a thousand words’ has never been truer, and video works very well.

Will post any outcomes afterwards

Here are the slides.