Kylee Ingram established the successful production company Australian Documentaries where she produced one of ABC’s highest rating factual series, Family Confidential.  She then went on to win multiple international awards for her storytelling across a range of platforms with her company Elevator Entertainment.  Kylee continues to work with developers and creative people from across the world and is always looking for talented new partners to work with across a range of industries.   She moved to the Northern Rivers and became a Screenworks member in December last year. We warmly welcome Kylee  to Screenworks and look forward to the creative partnerships she could develop in our region.  Here’s Kylee’s story..

Tell us a bit about what you do in the Screen Industry and how you got involved. 

I started out in TV producing high-octane sports programs for IMG that took me to all corners of the world. I was lucky as IMG was just starting up in Australia, so I was able to  learn all about producing, directing and production management. This was great training for someone who is a good jill of all trades and ultimately useful when it comes to running your own business.

It has been about 20 years since I got my start in TV and I have produced content on all of our free to air channels and the programs I made (especially at IMG) have been distributed in over 100 countries.

At some point in there, I was keen to combine my interest and qualifications with the environment and sustainability and the skills I was learning in the field.  In 2003 I founded Australian Documentaries and focused on producing stories for the NGO and government sectors communicating social and environmental issues. Australian Documentaries clients ranged from the Australian Red Cross, the United Nations Environment Program, the World Wildlife Fund, the University of NSW, and Amnesty International, to government organisations such as the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water and catchment authorities and local councils. We were and still do make advertisements, websites, interstitials, educational videos and factual programs. It is terrific, all year round work and our clients are great to work with.

Sometimes there was such a small budget I would shoot and edit myself. One project like that was Rivers of Shame, a documentary on the devastating impact of underground coal mining. The project enjoyed a theatrical release after a parliamentary screening led to a NSW senate inquiry but things do look a lot better when we have larger budget and I can work with a team.

Screen Australia awarded Australian Documentaries their Hothouse Grant to grow the business and I took on a business partner. We were fortunate enough to produce one of ABC1 Television’s most successful and highest rating factual series Family Confidential.

It was about this time when we had more resources in the company and a larger staff. I started to become really interested in the digital space and what we could achieve with new interactive technologies.  In 2012 I started another company Elevator Entertainment to expand my experience in storytelling across a range of different platforms including, games, interactive media and online social systems.

I was lucky with my first couple of projects – they were nominated at Cannes 360 and I had about four projects accepted to X Media Lab.  This is what gave me the confidence to start doing a lot more work in the digital space and focus less on TV shows.

Some of the digital projects I have worked on that really shaped the way I think about projects included:

Habitat, which was nominated at MIPTV’s Content 360 in the “Best new Idea category.” Habitat allows kids to look after their own endangered animal by encouraging them to make everyday changes to their ecological footprint to help their animal survive.

CrowdTV, an innovative, format facilitating, crowd sourced documentary-making was launched with the support of the University of Technology.

Team Tap was nominated as one of eight new digital start-ups at the Login Conference in San Fransisco (September 2012). Team Tap can be played at any game, event or festival in the world and it raises money for charity. Team Tap gave me an insight into the world of VC and startups.

I have actually been based in the US for the past few years working on a new project that is a large interactive investment platform that provides the back end to TV shows.

What’s the project you have most enjoyed working on, and why?

I am pretty exciteable so I can feel my skin buzz when any project is new. There is a great feeling that comes over me when I know the idea is good, I can see a use or audience for the project and I can pull a team together to create the prototype. I love the design and the planning for projects. Then the next part of immense enjoyment for me comes from when it launches, it was a pretty special moment for me when Habitat went live and we had children playing it in the streets.

How long have you been living and working in the Northern Rivers?

We moved here in December. I have been in the US for 3 and a half years before that and Sydney before then, so this is my first time as a resident in the area. I am lucky that I feel I can work from anywhere – so why wouldn’t I chose to look out over these green hills everyday.

What is important to you in running a successful and creative regional business/ working regionally?

I think at different points of your career you need different things. Right now for me I am able to work regionally. I am working with developers and creative people from across the world. I am always looking for talented new partners to work with across a range of industries and I am sure there is an amazing amount of talent in the region.

Tell us a bit about what you have been working on most recently?

I have a range of projects on my plate at the moment.

I am working on  monetizing the technology we have already built with our preexisting apps.

In the US I created a reality TV format (my first) and it is now with co producers in LA. As I mentioned I developed an investment platform that sits with this show and we are creating it as a stand-alone digital entity with some new partners I am working with  in the UK.

I am also working on technology with the team at Philanthropy Labs who are also based in Europe.

I am working on a series for broadcast and I am doing that as a co-production with a company out of Sydney.  This is a show with a focus on wildlife and will be pitched to the ABC and international broadcasters. We have just finished filming the promo in Queensland.

For fun I have been playing around with a short video series on Facebook Wildlife Obituaries as I think Dr James Watson is great talent and I think we need to get better at building programs around good talent in this country. Through his work at Queensland University we are also creating a new platform that links electoral data with endangered species so keep your eye out for that.



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