Emerging filmmakers face all manner of challenges, chief of which would be a lack of funds. The New Screen Makers Conference aims to be a guide into the brave new world of online streaming, YouTube and even Netflix – which can be a more achievable route into global acclaim.
The event, held on July 15 and 16 at the Mercury Cinema features some special-guest producers, directors, writers and broadcasters. Among them are Dario Russo and David Ashby, the South Australia-based creators of cult SBS hit Danger 5, who will share their “bizarre nuggets of wisdom” with emerging filmmakers.
Russo and Ashby found success after sharing the trailer for imaginary movie Italian Spiderman online back in 2007. It was a viral hit.
“It had 2000 views in two days, then 50,000 by the end of the week,” says Russo. “It grew so fast that we ended up going to the South Australian Film Corporation for money to turn it into a series, which they supplied.”
The success of Italian Spiderman led to the creation of Danger 5, but it didn’t come about without study, hard work and industry knowledge. The pair will discuss this at the conference, along with tips on how to wedge a foot in the door and use new media effectively.
“Making web videos for a living is now seen as a perfectly viable pathway to filmmaking,” Ashby says. “We don’t take the internet that seriously, but it did give us our lucky break. It helped us find a global, niche audience. We can tell people what worked for us.”
We have a hunch there’ll be in-jokes among the advice, too, especially when Russo and Ashby urge us in unison: “Stay hungry. Don’t get that terrible Hungry Jacks Hunger Tamer meal.”
Ashby adds, “But seriously, just don’t make movies that are boring, unoriginal or vapid. Just be your own person. You’re the only you in the world and people want to see that.”