Screen Australia announces recipients of BTL skills programs fund

Skills Development Fund and BTL: Next Step initiative recipients will share over $560,000 of Industry Development funding

By Gabriella Geisinger 22 Feb 2024

Screen Australia announces recipients of BTL skills programs fund
Liz Keogh Palmer, BTL recipient Jacob Gibson and Kylie Washington; Cr: Screen Australia

Screen Australia has announced the latest recipients for the Skills Development Fund and BTL: Next Step initiative.

The cohort includes individual 'placees' and programs/projects at organisations like Guck Academy and EndemolShine.  The funding grants the nine recipients $560,000 of Industry Development funding to be shared.

Since launching in April 2023, Screen Australia’s Industry Development initiatives have provided over $3.4 million specifically for training and skills development for more than 430 people.

These initiatives were introduced to help address the skills shortages for below-the-line roles and grow the capacity of the Australian screen workforce. The Skills Development Fund is designed to support screen businesses and games development studios to provide work-based learning, while BTL: Next Step supports mid-career practitioners to upskill from their current area of expertise. 

In a statement, Screen Australia’s Head of Industry Development, Ken Crouch said, “The Skills Development Fund and BTL Next Step initiatives provide unique opportunities for professional crew and gamemakers to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to advance their careers.”

The Host Companies And ‘Placees’ Supported Through BTL: Next Step Are:

  • Jacob Gibson (Folklore Sound): An aspiring sound designer from Gubbi Gubbi Country on the Sunshine Coast. Gibson specialises in crafting immersive soundscapes and elevating storytelling through meticulous sound design with a focus on creating impactful audio experiences that resonate with audiences. Gibson will undertake a sound designer placement with Folklore Sound, who deliver content for a variety of global companies, including Disney, Lucasfilm, Netflix and Warner Bros, and recently announced a new partnership with Spectrum Films.
  • Daria Latter (Helium Pictures): Latter worked as a coordinator for the BBC World Service in London and triple j in Sydney before joining Animal Logic in 2018. Since working at Animal Logic, Latter has spent the past three years working in post-production and VFX coordination for international and local content, working with companies including Warner Bros, Marvel, Netflix and Matchbox Pictures. Latter will be undertaking a post-production supervisor placement on Last King of the Cross Season 2 with Sydney-based Helium Pictures.
  • Stephanie Tiltman (Hoodlum Entertainment): Tiltman has eight years of experience in film and television production across Australia and Canada including handling shows like Jade Fever (Discovery Channel Canada) and Wild Bear Rescue (Discovery+), Riverdale (CW Network), Snoopy in Space (Apple TV) and Snowpiercer (Netflix). Tiltman will be undertaking a line producer placement with Emmy and BAFTA Award-winning production company, Hoodlum Entertainment.

The Programs/Projects Supported Through The Skills Development Fund Are:

  • Costume Supervisor Pathway Program - Australian Production Design Guild (APDG): Through this funding, APDG will receive support for their Costume Supervisor Pathway Program - a comprehensive training initiative to address the need for costume supervisors with the expertise to oversee large-scale productions. This dedicated position offers a specialised training opportunity, creating a pathway for potential costume supervisors, bridging the gap between existing roles and meeting the industry's increasing demand for local supervisors on large-scale, high-budget, and international productions.
  • Return to Paradise - BBC Studios Productions Australia: The core of the company’s Skills Training and Development Plan focuses on mentoring, shadowing and on-the-job training, which is paramount to the success of providing crew with a platform to learn and up-skill. Through this funding, BBC Studios Productions Australia aims to decrease the skills shortage currently being faced Australia-wide in the film and television industry while increasing opportunities for attachments to be employed either as part of the HOD’s team or in a similar role on other Australian productions.
  • Post Production Leadership Initiative - EndemolShine Australia: This funding will support EndemolShine’s Post Production Leadership Initiative, which aims to offer practical leadership mentoring, including targeted workshops and on-the-job guidance, to aid individuals in transitioning from storytelling roles to managerial positions as the industry experiences a shortage in executive producers and supervising producers. Through this initiative EndemolShine looks to support the needs of emerging post executive producers and supervising post producers as they prepare for senior positions across post production management roles on a number of upcoming series.
  • Practical Production Office, Locations and Costume Department Skills Training - Invisible Boys Pty Ltd: This funding aims to support the upcoming production of the Stan/Banijay 10 x 28-minute series Invisible Boys through Practical Production Skills Training – teaching and guiding a production assistant, an assistant locations manager and a standby costume assistant to put into practice the skill sets they need to create a strong foundation for future career pathways.
  • Guck Academy - GUCK: GUCK currently employs eight First Nations on-going staff and a wide range of additional First Nations casual staff and contractors, and are committed to supporting people from diverse backgrounds and underrepresented groups. Through this funding, GUCK will be expanding their commitment to investing in professional skills, leadership skills and creative cultural practice through Guckster Academy, to assist the needs of their team while enabling wellbeing, connection to culture and empowerment as they work to create Australia’s first Aboriginal-led mobile game.
  • Iron Crab Level Up Initiative - Chaos Theory Games: With this support, Chaos Theory’s Iron Crab Level Up Initiative looks to equip their team with the skills necessary to excel in upcoming game productions including Crab God. This program will empower Chaos Theory’s gamemakers - ensuring they can meet the unique challenges of these projects and, in the broader context, contribute to the growth and innovation of the Australian video game industry.

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