4pm – 6pm August 20 

Via zoom webinar

Have you ever considered animation as a medium for telling your story on screen?

In these times of restricted production and strict on set and work protocols, creatives are looking for new and diverse ways to bring their stories to the screen.

Join us as we explore how one of Australia’s oldest and most respected animation companies, Flying Bark Productions brings stories to life, how the dynamic Studio Hackett makes creative choices and the established production company Princess Pictures is working their first look deal with the US animation studio Bento Box Entertainment . In this webinar, we will speak with Barbara Stephen, the CEO of Flying Bark Productions, James Hackett, the Creative Director of studio Hackett, and Jake Duczynski animator and director of the soon to be released animated series Cooked. and Senior Producer at Princess Pictures, Mike Cowap.

Our guest speakers will talk about animation as a creative choice for storytelling, the animation process, changes in production and process in the time of COVID as well as the unique projects that they have each created.

Flying Bark Productions is a dynamic animation studio, working with broadcasters, distributors and co-production partners across the globe. For over 50 years (originally as Yoram Gross Studios), the company has been producing movies and series in both 2D and CG.  While focussed on original local IP and co-productions, Flying Bark also services major studios around the world on major TV productions.

In 2020, Flying Bark has released 100% Wolf and is in the final stages of a 26-part TV series for the ABC based on the same property.  Production continues on the third film in its highly successful Maya the Bee movie franchise as well Mia & Me, based on the worldwide hit TV series.  Its service productions range from Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (with Nickelodeon), Monkie Kid (with Lego) and a new show for Marvel Studios.

Flying Bark is owned by the Belgian entertainment conglomerate, Studio 100 International.

Over the past 15 years, Studio Hackett has been entertaining and educating audiences of all ages. They produce design-driven animation and live action content. Often teaming up with progressive broadcasters such as the ABC and the BBC, their clients range from the independent production sector to large organisations such as Sydney Opera House, Deloitte, University of Technology Sydney and the Australian Museum.

In 2016 the studio created Ibis Queen an adult animated series for the ABC as well as the children’s education series Reggie and Friends for Reading Eggs.

Studio Hackett is currently producing the Screen Australia and ABC funded series Cooked. Directed by Jake Duczynski, this animated satire features, Mahnra a fearless Indigenous character and the ghost of Captain James Cook. The series is written by Jake Duczynski and James Hackett.

Princess Pictures is an established film and television production company with an international reputation for producing projects with intensely creative talent.  Their credits included the multi award-winning TV series 8MMM Aboriginal Radio, the ABC Comedy series SuperWog and Summer Heights High.

Princess Pictures recently signed a first-look animation development deal with Fox Entertainment’s animation studio Bento Box Entertainment.



Guest speaker Bios

 Barbara Stephen | Flying Bark Productions

Barbara joined Flying Bark Productions, part of the Studio 100 group in 2012 as managing director and was appointed CEO in 2015. She has worked as a producer for over twelve years across sport, lifestyle and reality programs before finding her passion in children’s animation.

Her credits include; the award winning animated series Erky Perky (Series 3), Magical Tales (Series 1) and multi-award nominated short film Hog while at Ambience Entertainment. The two-time KidScreen and AFI award-winning hit series for ABC 3, The Adventures of Figaro Pho and teamed up with the Jurevicius brothers to work on the AFI and KidScreen award-winning show, Peleda.

At Flying Bark, Barbara has produced The Woodlies (Network 7 and ZDF) nominated at the Stuttgart Festival for Best Animated Series, award-winning and international box office success; Maya the Bee Movie and its sequel, Mia the Bee, The Honey Games, Blinky Bill The Movie and adventure series Tashi (ABC & Network 7). Most recently she finished up the movie 100% Wolf.

Barbara won the NSW Women in International Business Award at the 2016 Premier’s export awards and in 2019 she was made CEO of International content for Studio 100. Barbara leads a team of 300 in the Sydney studio, increasing to 400 by year end.

James Hackett | Studio Hackett

James Hackett is a writer, producer, director and animator. He founded Studio Hackett in 2004. The company is a team of passionate designers, animators and producer.

James’ work is underpinned by a considered design philosophy. His technical background combined with a passion for telling stories in interesting ways gives his work a unique vision. Over the years James has won numerous awards for broadcast design and a couple of Aria’s for music videos.

James’ producing and writing credits include; The Ibis Queen, a 3 x 3 min adult animation for ABC comedy and Reggie & Friends a 20 x 1.5 min children’s animation for the ABC Reading Eggs app. He was the producer for the Australian animation team on 52 x 11 min episodes of the BAFTA nominated series Dirtgirlworld (ABC, CBC, BBC). Recently he delivered Imagine This a 5 x 1 min series for ABC children’s iView. He has written and illustrated a series children’s safety books for the Office of the Children’s Guardian including Sam the Safe Explorer, and Fiona Finds Her Five Heroes, 40 thousand copies of these books have been distributed around the country.

Jake Duczynski | Animator

Jake is an illustrator, animator and emerging writer and director. A proud Indigenous man, of Gamilaraay and Mandandanji descent — his work explores Indigenous culture through animation, revealing how this can establish cultural collaboration, facilitate preservation and visualise unseen worlds and untold stories. 

His first feature documentary credit was as an animator on the AACTA nominated AFTER THE APOLOGY (director Larissa Behrent, 2018) which premiered at Adelaide Film Festival. He was animation director on half-hour NITV broadcast documentary, REMAKING THE PATHWAY (director Emma Hudson, 2018) and animator on the voice-activated online documentary for SBS Australia MY GRANDMOTHER’S LINGO (director Angelina Joshua, 2016), designed to revive and preserve the First Nations language, Marra from South-East Arnhem Land. 

Jake won Best Responsive Website at SXSW for MY GRANDMOTHER’S LINGO and the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) Young Alumni of the Year Award and Walkley Award for Multimedia Storytelling in 2016. 

As a writer and director, he’s developing COOKED a 5 x 5 min animation series with Studio Hackett and is attached as animator on NYAGGAN NGAYA, a 6 x 4 min in development with producer Mitchell Stanley. Jake holds a Bachelor of Design with Honours in Animation (2015) from UTS. Jake is also a lecturer and tutor at UTS.

Mike Cowap | Princess Pictures

Mike is Senior Producer with Princess Pictures, one of Australia’s leading TV production companies. He produced KOALA MAN for ABC, a half-hour animation now in development with Hulu; PARKED, a YouTube-funded pilot for a YA series starring Australia’s #1 most subscribed online creator, Wengie; is currently in production on YOLO: CRYSTAL FANTASY, a 8 x 15m adult animation series for Adult Swim (the first time they have ever commissioned a series from outside of the US); is in funded development with SBS on a feature documentary with John Safran about extremism; and is producing the next series of SUPERWOG. Mike has a background in industry support, having worked at Australian Film Commission, South Australian Film Corporation, UK Film Council, and most recently at Screen Australia, where he had special responsibility for innovative digital production, and was at the forefront of many new initiatives and programs, including Skip Ahead and Fresh Blood. Mike managed many award-winning projects including film, TV, virtual reality, web series, apps, interactive drama & documentary and video games, and has run initiatives, conferences, and training opportunities. Mike sits on the Expert Advisory Group for Screen Tasmania, and the Advisory Boards for SPA’s Screen Forever and VidCon.

This event is made possible with funding and support from Screen NSW and Southern Cross University.








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