Some of the guest speakers from Screenworks Business of Producing have offered to deliver the sessions they had planned to do at the seminar via zoom webinar

The sessions will include a presentation by the guest speaker followed by a Q & A with the online participants.

To attend, register for the session that you want to attend and pay what you can afford

Rachel Gardner, See-Saw Films on Producing a TV Series
Thursday April 23rd, 2pm – 3pm

Stephen Oliver, Head of Documentaries at the ABC on Creating Content with Impact
Thursday April 30, 5:30pm – 6:30pm

Meg O’Connell, Independent Producer, Creating and Producing for Online

Thursday May 7th, 11am – 12noon


Producing a TV Series

Rachel Gardner, See-Saw Films

Thursday April 23rd, 2pm – 3pm

In this practical and informative session, award-winning screen producer Rachel Gardner will work through development, financing and making of the critically acclaimed Australian and United Kingdom co-commission series The End. 

Written and created by Samantha Strauss, The End is a 10 x 1/2 hour series recently launched in the UK on Sky Atlantic and soon to be screening on Foxtel.

For early-career producers, writers and creators who are interested in learning more about the production process for Australian and international co-productions.


Rachel Gardner, Executive Producer See-Saw Pictures

Rachel joined Academy and Bafta Award-winning independent production company See-Saw Films to run the Australian film and television slates after producing John Maclean’s Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize-winning feature film Slow West (2015) alongside See-Saw. Rachel is a talent-focused creative producer, executive producing (television) or producing (film) from conception and development through to production and creative delivery.

See-Saw’s recent Australian productions include Top of the Lake: China Girl, Academy Award-nominated feature film LionThe New Legends of Monkey and The End, with Jane Campion’s film The Power of the Dog currently shooting. Prior to joining See-Saw Films, Rachel was a partner in Great Southern Television, a dynamic and independent production company based in New Zealand, executive producing or producing over a hundred hours of prime-time programming in the seven years she drove the drama and factual slates.


Creating Content with Impact 

Stephen Oliver Head of Documentaries ABC

Thursday April 30, 5:30pm – 6:30pm

Stephen Oliver will talk about his personal journey as a documentary filmmaker creating impact campaigns and how he made them a priority for the ABC.

Stephen will use examples from some of his productions, both as a filmmaker and a Commissioning Editor, to demonstrate how he engages a community in an experience and conveys a message that they respond to. He will address topics such as ‘how do I tell a story’, ‘how do I think bigger than my film and ‘what do I want my audience to feel, think and do after watching’.

Stephen will also talk about what is happening at the ABC in the current climate with commissions and programming and be available to answer questions.


Stephen Oliver, Head of Documentary ABC

After studying anthropology at uni in the UK, Stephen Oliver’s first TV job involved heading deep into the West African jungle to eat monkey with a shamanic witchdoctor and his 58 wives. It’s no wonder that he considers his career to have gone downhill ever since. However, in the intervening couple of decades, he has managed to write and direct many award -winning films and series, developing two distinct strings to his bow – making entertaining comedic docs about popular culture like Skippy: Australia’s First Superstar,  Chateau Chunder: A Wine RevolutionThe Secret History of Eurovision and Stop Laughing this is Serious, alongside hard-hitting campaign shows including Rockie award-winning What’s the Catch? (SBS) which led to a Senate Inquiry on seafood labelling, How to Save the World (ABC) on climate change which broadcast to over a million viewers on the opening day of Paris COP21 and For the Love of Meat (SBS).

Stephen has since launched his commissioning career at the ABC with notable success, looking after some of the national broadcaster’s biggest hits including Logie and AACTA winning War on Waste, Venice TV prize and AACTA winning Employable Me, Love on the Spectrum, Don’t Stop the Music, The Cult of the Family, Can we Save the Reef? and Exposed: The Case of Keli Lane. 

Stephen introduced impact campaigns to the ABC, with notable success, including on two series of War on Waste, with 68% of the huge audience declaring to have changed behaviour after watching the show. He has two major climate shows in production for 2020, Fight for Planet A: Our Climate Challenge explores how we can all be part of reducing our carbon emissions and Big Weather (and how to survive it) explores how we can survive and thrive in an era of increasing extreme weather events. Stephen’s tireless environmental campaign shows have since persuaded him to give up his habit of eating exotic and endangered animals


Creating and Producing for Online

Meg O’Connell, Independent Producer

Thursday 7th May 11am – 12 noon

Producer Meg O’Connell takes us through what resources and skills it takes to make online content, and how to think laterally in these times. O’Connell will use ‘Content’ as a case study, taking us through how they made it, how they approached it, how long it took, and how it could be done next time. In that way, and through a live Q&A, you may glean ways to conceptualise your own project: from questioning what your core values are as a filmmaker to understanding the basics of short-form storytelling, to ensuring there’s an audience for your work and a place for it in the landscape.

Watch Recording

Meg O’Connell

Meg O’Connell is one of the AACTA Award-winning producers behind the critically acclaimed online series Robbie Hood from Since1788 Productions and Ludo Studio. She also produced Ludo Studio’s International Emmy Award-winning show Doodles for ABC ME and the vertical-video series Content for ABC iview. O’Connell worked as the development manager on the smash hit children’s animation Bluey, which is the most watched show in ABC iview history. The series won a Logie Award and an International Emmy Award and is screening worldwide on Disney+. Recently, O’Connell completed a creative mentorship at FremantleMedia in the UK, funded by Screen Queensland, and has since produced a music video for Columbia Records. She is currently developing a slate of projects with a number of Australian creatives. O’Connell is one of the 11 creatives selected as part of Screen Australia’s Talent USA: New York delegation and one of 18 members of the Screen Australia Gender Matters Taskforce.

This event is made possible with the support of:


Government Partner: Screen NSW

Screen NSW is the NSW Government’s new arts and cultural driver, which brings together arts, screen and culture functions in a new integrated entity. Create NSW was established on 1 April 2017 and has responsibility for many of the functions previously undertaken by Arts NSW and Screen NSW.

Principal Partner: Media Super

As an industry fund run only to benefit members on a not-for-profit model, we are active in our industries, promoting many things that will benefit members and employers. We support a variety of professional development programs, workplace education sessions and the development of financial literacy and understanding, as well as sponsoring a number of industry awards. We also provide a cash flow loan facility and access to a pre-sale advance loan to help finance film and TV productions.

Major Partner: Fremantle

Fremantle is one of the largest and most successful creators, producers and distributors of scripted and unscripted content in the world. A global entertainment powerhouse, Fremantle has an outstanding international network of production teams, companies and labels in over 30 countries. We produce in excess of 12,000 hours of original programming, roll out more than 70 formats and air 400 programmes a year worldwide. The group distributes over 20,000 hours of content in more than 200 territories. We are also a world leader in digital and branded entertainment, with more than 370 million subscribers across 1,500 social channels and over 100 billion views across all platforms.

In Australia, Fremantle are leaders in original drama such as Wentworth, Picnic at Hanging Rock and Neighbours. It produces the hugely successful Australia’s Got Talent, Celebrity Name Game, Great Australian Bake Off, Grand Designs Australia, Escape from the City, The Recording Studio and Restoration Australia. Fremantle is also at the forefront in the creation and production of digital media content, brand integration and brand extensions including the popular Grand Designs Magazine and Australia’s number one selling board game, Family Feud.

We are part of RTL Group, a global leader across broadcast, content and digital, itself a division of the international media giant Bertelsmann.

For more information, visit, or follow us @FremantleHQ and visit our LinkedIn and Facebook pages

Major Partner: Southern Cross University

Southern Cross University is a multi-campus university on Australia’s east coast. We are proud of our reputation as a progressive institution and pride ourselves on our rich academic portfolio covering a wide range of disciplines.

The creative hub on our Lismore campus has modern purpose-built facilities for our contemporary music, media and visual arts students. This includes access to the latest video, audio and creative technology and software; radio and television studios; recording and production studios; a digital arts and design computer lab; and professional-standard concert and exhibition spaces in Studio One29.

The Southern Cross partnership with Screenworks adds a valuable dimension to the learning experience. Through Screenworks mentoring opportunities, our creative arts students gain insights from screen industry leaders and professionals who are based in the Northern Rivers region. They can establish industry connections and develop valuable professional networks.

Southern Cross University is proud to work with our partners to develop and enable creative futures for our graduates.

Media Partner: Inside Film Magazine

IF Magazine is an authoritative, independent publication for screen content professionals in Australia and New Zealand. Widely read and respected since inception in 1997, IF’s content is driven by original research and unique articles, not just press releases or aggregated content. Furthermore, content covers Australian film and television, distribution, exhibition, digital media, marketing, finance, and also includes the most comprehensive report on domestic screen production.

Extending upon IF magazine’s website is the bi-monthly print magazine. Every issue covers Australian film and television, distribution, exhibition, digital media, marketing, finance, and also includes the most comprehensive report on domestic screen production. IF prides itself on providing in-depth analysis with a fresh but considered appraisal of industry developments. Each issue also includes the IF FX section, which is dedicated to the entire range of special effects and visual effects across movies, television and games.

Event Partner: Ballina Council

Working with a regional community that is progressive, innovative and creative, Ballina Council strategies and services are designed to deliver an outstanding lifestyle for residents, workers and visitors.  The Ballina Shire Economic Development Strategy identifies ‘entertainment’ and ‘creative industries’as key industry sectors. A study by the Regional Australia Institute identified the region as having a greater prevalence of creative occupations such as media and arts.

Venue and Accommodation Partner: Ramada Hotel and Suites by Wyndham

Situated on the shores of the beautiful Richmond River with 115 stylishly appointed hotel rooms and suites featuring stunning water and hinterland views, Ramada Hotel and Suites by Wyndham bring a new level of luxury to Ballina accommodation.

Travel Partner: TAG Group

Backed by thirty years’ experience and a global presence, TAG is a leading international travel management company. TAG’s dedicated Film and Media division specialises in managing your travel and logistics – whether you are a production company or an independent studio. Whatever you need, wherever you are in the world, TAG is there for you. 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. To find out more about how TAG can assist your work, or to arrange travel to the upcoming ‘Business of Producing’ conference, contact screenworks@tag-group. com


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