YouTube: An Insiders Guide for Pros presented by Screen NSW at Vivid Ideas

Kristen Bowen from YouTube recently spoke at YouTube: An Insiders Guide for Pros presented by Screen NSW at Vivid Ideas.

The presentation covered a stack of new features including channel design and trailers, the guide, subscriptions, suggestions and advertising changes.
A third of YouTube in Australia is now viewed on a mobile device, the new branding options gives channel owners the option to control how their content looks across platforms very easily.

Kristen Bowen, Manager Content Relationships, YouTube
Event: ‘YouTube: An Insider’s Guide for Pros”
At Vivid Ideas, June 3rd, 2013, Presented by Screen NSW and Screen Australia

Kristen talks about:
1. Overview: YouTube as a marketing and distribution platform
-Stats and Trends
-Product Vision
-Traditional Media Company Examples
2. Engaging with Gen C
-Who is Gen C?
-Case Study: Jimmy Kimmel
3. Content ID
-How does it work?
-Why should I use it?
-Who’s using it well?
4. Audience Development
-Channel Strategy
-Top Tips to Find Your Fans and Keep Them Watching

Online viewing boosting long formats says Screen Australia

The number of Australians watching long-form content like movies and TV dramas online is increasing, according to research from Screen Australia.

The group has released the first report looking at Australian’s motivations for their choices of viewing, which it says is good news for TV and cinema, with 57% saying they watched more films, documentaries and dramas in the last year.

While more people are watching online content, most see it as a complimentary entertainment source and prefer to consume their shows on larger screens.

Screen Australia’s chief executive Dr Ruth Harley said: “It is encouraging to learn that long-form narrative is not a lost art in the online space and that online viewing is not limited to the world’s funniest bloopers,”

“In fact, 8.5 million Australians over 14 years old have watched films, drama and documentary online in the last year, with over a third highly engaged on a monthly basis.”

The study shows 70% of people searched actively for a title as opposed to browsing content, with many citing the ever-expanding portfolio of content as the reson for this.

Dr Harley added: “Often a viewer’s first consideration is not the content. It might be socialising at the cinema or unwinding in front of the television after putting the kids to bed.

“These schedule-based platforms provide highly targeted and curated programming to an audience largely ‘leaning back’. But when it comes to on-demand viewing, which is a ‘lean in’ medium, it is a far more active choice.”

Unsurprisingly, social media also plays a large part in influencing people’s decision what to watch, with the report highlighting a group called Connectors who influence these decisions most.

The study shows more than a third of Twitter users will seek out online reviews from peers before opting to watch something, and 50% will post their thoughts on content afterwards.

“You can’t control word of mouth but you may be able to influence it by communicating with the right tools to the most engaged audiences,” said Dy Harley.

“The challenge is clear. Creative, dynamic efforts are needed to ensure audiences continue to stay with Australian stories in an increasingly competitive multi-screen world.”

Flickerfest Opening Night

Flickerfest Opening Night is a yearly ritual in my life. Love strolling down the hill for a sundowner or two, a quick feed and then heading into The Bondi Pavilion for Opening Night films and after party.

This year I worked with Festival Director Bronwyn Kidd on a pitch to develop an online portal for Australian short films, via funding from Screen Australia and their Innovation budget, but we were pipped to the post by Ahmad Salama and his project The Cut.

Opening Night simply screens a selection of well received shorts.

First up was an early Steve Martin short, directed by Carl Gottlieb, who introduced the film via a pre-recorded video from LA. Serependitiously he also produced Jaws which of course is the ident for Flickerfest 2012.
Anyhoo here is the ever funny Steve Martin in The Absent-Minded Waiter.

Personally I found the script average, the plot poor, the production values average, though of course it is 35years old. But I love it due to the sheer talent and comedic timing of Mr Martin.

Next up was Fish and Chips
Written and Directed by Anna Borinowski
Its a fun idea – Junior Masterchef meets Iron Chef, with all the contestants playing junior versions of Obama, Kim Jong Il, Kevin Rudd, and Pauline Hanson.
It opened well with slick cinematography and sharp editing, focused writing and good performances but the joke wore thin and like many scripts the ending wasn’t worked on as much as the beginning. Could have shaved 5 minutes off. Good fun though.

Swimsuit 46 was a sweet tale of suburban Belgium. Chantal is 12 and is chubby therefore lonely. Swimming is her outlet and she needs some goggles to get to the next level. What seems a simple and somewhat innocuous story is directed with compassion and humour by writer / director Wannes Destoop, and a lovely performance by the very game 12 year old lead. Also running at 15minutes, this held my attention to the very end.

Nash Edgerton‘s follow up to Spider sees Nash play the role of Jack who whilst means well, his good intentions have horrible consequences for his girlfriend, played by Teresa Palmer. The simple script for this well executed short must have been but a page long! Cant tell you much more as it will give the game away but its 11minutes of short film fun, and sure to be a a success at short film festivals around the world.

Spider by Nash Edgerton

Brick Novax’s Diary
Probably my favourite piece of the night mainly due to its engaging script and beautiful cinematography, this short is a stop motion film with the lead Brick Novax, and all the characters, interpreted as Action Man figures. The plot is the classic rags to riches, fame and fortune, and back again story, so nothing new there but its humour won you over.
Written and directed by Matt Piedmont

Bad Night for the Blues
Writer director Chris Shepherd took me back to England with this short film involving Aunty Glad (played well by Jean Boht, better known as Nellie Boswell from Bread). The film basically takes the cliches of what todays youth get up to on a night out and re-enacts them in the elderley generation. Gladys has few too many sherry’s at the local Conservative Club with squirmingly embarrassing results and more than a few home truths being revealed. Great stuff.

Music for One Xmas and Six Drummers
Vying with Brick Noxax as the most intricate film of the night, six drummers dressed as Carol Singers find their way into an old people’s home where they play carols using unusual instruments such as a sewing machine, salt and pepper grinders, and all sorts. Didn’t really say anything of value but brought a smile to all.
Written and directed by Johannes Stjarne Nilsson and Ola Simonsson.

So a nice diverse selection of good quality short films finished and upstairs to The Bondi Pav balcony we popped for the after party. Thanks to Coopers for the free grog!

See you next year

Flickerfest plays at The Bondi Pavilion till 15th January 2012

Screen Australia release video on the ‘All Media’ program

Screen Australia has posted a video online explaining how the All Media Program works and the thinking behind each of the assessment criteria for practitioners to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the program. The video features Screen Australia’s Chief Executive Ruth Harley and the All Media investment team, Mike Cowap, , Mary-Ellen Mullane and Tim Phillips.

Press release from Screen Australia

The All Media Program provides support for narrative content in both linear and non-linear forms that pushes the envelope of creative storytelling. It also aims to provide practitioners with opportunities to take risks, extend their skills and explore new storytelling tools and platforms.

There are two strands to the All Media Program:

• Digital Ignition
Providing development support for innovative interactive projects including games with a strong storytelling component.
• All Media Production

Providing production support for interactive projects including those which may have received Digital Ignition funding, as well as for innovative risk-taking linear drama.

Applications to the All Media Program close 8 August and application forms are now available on the Screen Australia website.

To watch the video and download application forms visit

Welcome to “The Australian Academy” – good initiative from the AFI

I was impressed with the recent Screen Australia inititives ‘Beyond the box‘ campaign (rating success on eyeballs not $income) and the ‘AllMedia‘ initiative that helps digital content,

Now comes the AFI latest campaign: The Australian Academy
the AFI is reviewing its strategic objectives and programs with the aim of establishing an ‘Australian Academy’. We want to build a more inclusive and refined professional structure that best represents the diversity and talent of our screen industry.

Our objectives are to:

Encourage the Australian public to get to know the Australian film, television and screen content production industries more broadly;
Work with our industry to raise its profile, and promote its productions, both to the Australian public and internationally;
Promote awareness of the history and presence of the Australian screen industry.

Check out this video with AFI Board Members Alan Finney and Sigrid Thornton