Future Creatives Initiative Update
2 Oct 2019
Future Creatives Initiative Update
2 Oct 2019
When we last checked in with SAE graduate’s Taival Films about their Future Creatives Initiative (FCI) in March, the three finalists for the scriptwriters mentorship program had just been announced and were about to embark on their two month mentorship journey.
Since that time a lot has happened with Nik James being announced as the winning writer for her script Stalling, the crew has been recruited, filming has taken place and Stalling is currently in post production!
Heidi Ylä-Ajos from Taival Films and the brains behind the FCI says that they had an amazing response to the crew call out and received over 100 applications, with some of these from current and graduated SAE students.
“There have been amazing relationships formed on set with connections built on trust and respect and a shared vision on what we are trying to achieve. Screenwriter Nik has also had the opportunity to be very hands on. She has been to production meetings, castings, location scouting and working closely with the director Olivia.”
“We are all really proud of what we have created in Stalling,” Heidi says.
While crew and loved ones will be treated to an exclusive screening at SAE Melbourne in October, Stalling will officially premiere at the Melbourne Women in Film Festival (MWFF) in February 2020. Excitingly, the FCI will also launch the second iteration of their mentorship program at MWFF, this time calling out for aspiring female cinematographers. An important measure as currently less than 2% of working cinematographers are female, when comparing the top 100 grossing films.
“For the cinematographer’s phase we will actually be using the script from Georgia Ketels, who was a finalist in the FCI search for an emerging screenwriter. Her script is titled Recollection and will be a really interesting challenge for the right cinematographer.”
“We have found a solid team who are keen to stay with us through the next year of FCI, although there will still be a call out for new crew members. Georgie Davies is one of the fabulous crew members we found, she worked as a producer on Stalling and has now stepped into an official role with Taival films as a partner and will be Head of Production for next round of FCI,” Heidi says.
The future of FCI is in safe hands, some of the crew will be stepping up into the original Taival Films roles and Heidi and the team can take a step back and act as executive producers and mentors on the initiative.
“We have had so much interest and positive feedback I think we can confidently call the first year of Future Creatives Initiative a success and validates the importance of the program. It turned out better than we ever expected,” Heidi says.
On location filming Stalling
We also caught up with the new Head of Production Georgie Davies to hear about her experience on the Stalling Crew.
Could you please tell us about the experience of working on Stalling?
My experience working on Stalling has been pretty great. I came in as a producer, in a team of six. Volunteering on projects like this is very much a situation where you get out what you put in, and as my life allowed me to put in more time than others, I've found myself in post-production with expanded skills, great connections and a reignited passion for creative projects.
What drew you to the project?
I finished uni three years ago and I quickly found that I was spending less time on freelance and creative projects, and I was starting to feel really disengaged from the work that I love. For me, I was drawn to this project to work on something creative and collaborative with women, looking to connect with my love for film and storytelling. The drawcard of FCI was that it would allow me to work with women in the majority [of the crew roles] – something that I really appreciated after having worked in a variety of environments where I was one of a few, if not the only woman.
Why do you believe the Future Creative Initiative is important?
Future Creatives Initiative is incredibly important. This is an industry that's heavily male-dominated, with my experience being [that women have] to learn to adapt my communication and attitudes to a largely masculine environment.
FCI offers women an opportunity to work in roles that they're experienced and qualified for, but may be overlooked in. Men and women have different experiences, and represent themselves in different ways. Whether this is nature or nurture is a conversation for psychologists and philosophers, but I feel like I'm always seeing talented women undersell themselves and their skills, both to themselves and others, where I know plenty of talented men who have no issues with the confidence to have their voices heard. FCI is giving these women the opportunity to work within their roles in a way that is true-to-self.
For me the best example of this has been working with Olivia, the director of Stalling. Oly is immensely talented, incredibly creative and hard-working with a gentle, softly spoken approach. Not only has she been a delight to work with, but it's also been fantastic seeing her able to work her craft on a project where her directorial vision has come to life in such a collaborative environment..
What was it like working with the Taival Films crew?
Working with Taival has been fantastic. Heidi has given me incredible mentorship throughout Stalling, being a constant sounding board, offering so much support to myself and the producers team while also allowing us to work autonomously, making our own decisions and learning through the experience. Mel and Chris have offered the same to the creative and post-production team respectively, and have always been so lovely and approachable.
I've loved working with the Taival Films crew so much that I'm even joining them! I'll be joining Taival as a partner, and stepping up to Head of Production for the next round of the initiative. I'll be taking over Heidi's immediate responsibilities, still having her (with Mel and Chris) as Executive Producers of the production. It's great to be able to grow and expand my own skills while having this support network, especially as it's done in a way where I'm empowered in my growth in the role while also offered the support that is needed.
What was your favourite part of working on Stalling?
The best part of working on Stalling was definitely the people. I've worked on so many projects – shorts, community TV, webseries, corporate work – and never have I found such a wonderful group of people bought together. I feel like Stalling has created its own little network of passionate women in film. It's not just a network in the traditional sense of sourcing work for each other, but also a support network, providing community within an industry that can often be incredibly difficult for young women, offering advice; helping empower each other with confidence and exposing us to the creativity and strengths of people who are willing to share their skills.
Catch up on the Future Creative Initiatives journey:
Follow Future Creative Initiative:
And Taival Films