Bangalow-based Poppy Walker of HW Collective has been in Los Angeles and availing herself of a desk at the bespoke work and networking space for Australian filmmakers called Charlie’s. Charlies is co-funded by Screen Queensland, Screen NSW, AFTRS and Film Victoria as an invaluable home base for Australian film-makers while they are in Los Angeles. Read on to find out more about Poppy’s experience.

What has taken you to L.A.?

My husband Andy is developing a kids rock ’n’ roll series, Bunny Racket, and we are here to film the first two episodes after running a successful Kickstarter campaign. Andy recorded a second album here in December, and has spent the past few weeks in pre-production and production on the series with his US-based director and producer.



Why did you choose to work at Charlies?

I heard about Charlie’s through Screen NSW and when I knew we would be in LA for a couple of months, decided to apply for a desk. It’s run by ‘Australians in Film’ and it’s located right in the heart of Hollywood at the historic Raleigh Studios. It’s a hub for Australians working in the screen industry and aside from being such a beautiful working environment, provides so much support and opportunities to meet other creatives.

What were the benefits to you from working there?

It was wonderful having a dedicated workspace sharing with others, where I could focus each day, rather than try and work from our tiny apartment or from cafes! I was editing a short film for the majority of my time here, and I was so happy to have a quiet space immersed in so much film history.  I also met several people during my time there and the AIF staff were incredibly supportive and inclusive. It was like a working home-away-from-home.They provide a meeting room here, too, so I could meet with people in a professional setting.

Can you tell us a bit about Charlie’s?

AIF have their headquarters here, so there are various people passing through each day. The shared office space with the hot desks is quiet, warm and intimate. It’s been beautifully designed by Ingrid Weir, with charcoal walls, wooden furnishings and textiles. Charlie’s has a very romantic history. It’s housed in Raleigh Studios, which was founded in 1915 as ‘ Famous Players Fiction Studios’ and is one of the oldest studios in the country. Walt Disney, Jim Henson, Douglas Fairbanks and Bette Davis all had their headquarters here at various stages.
AIF christened the workspace ‘Charlie’s’ as it’s located in Charlie Chaplin’s old apartment. The room where the hot desks are was also the original home for Netflix, Judd Apatow wrote his first features here, and Kevin Costner had it as his office for years. It’s had a long, diverse and illustrious history!

Who’s using it and why?

Charlie’s is used by Australian creatives in LA. Screen NSW, Film Victoria, Screen Queensland and AFTRS each have desk spaces here, that can be applied for through their agencies or, in AFTRS’ case, their alumni network. They support both emerging and established screen industry practitioners to use the space and it was brilliant to meet so many interesting people during my time there.  There are 4 desks in all, and each can accommodate one person.

What’s the process for booking into Charlies?

I applied via Screen NSW – it’s a quick and easy online application: You can find it here. And you can read more about AIF and Charlie’s here.

Would you also like to tell us a bit about what you are working on at the moment

When I was in the US last year, I shot a short documentary about dancer Marta Becket, who built an opera house in the middle of the Death Valley desert. I spent much of my time at Charlie’s working on the post-production for that film, as well as continuing development with my filmmaking partner, Sophie Hexter, on a feature film and two other shorts. I also had some producing duties for Andy’s Bunny Racket series as it made its way into production.

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