With its permanent base at Docklands Studios, Open Channel continues to attract both emerging and experienced filmmakers to its short courses, workshops and conferences. Three hundred participants gathered here in late August to investigate all aspects of micro filmmaking as part of the Generation Next conference series.
The principal ethos of micro filmmaking, according to conference convenor Daniel Schultheis is ‘Exploring the means to turn limited resources and levels of constraint into creative advantage.’ With the support of Film Victoria and Screen Australia and with a range of highly acclaimed Australian industry professionals leading each session and panel discussion, the Micro Movie Conference examined and explored the rising trend of microbudget filmmaking – movies made on small budgets invariably below AU$250,000.
The international success of the first Mad Max movie (created on a very small budget) inspires the notion that imagination and resourcefulness can shape a project when less funding is available. Together with the ever increasing rise of the digital market, micro filmmaking is continuing to provide more opportunities for emerging filmmakers and creative personnel to launch their ideas and shape their projects. The Micro Movie Conference provided an invaluable forum for the sharing of information in order to achieve quality filmmaking – on a budget.
‘The Short & Sharp Microbudget Pitching Competition’ held on the first day gave five finalists the opportunity, in three minutes, to pitch their micro movie idea to a panel of judges. We congratulate the winner, filmmaker Steven Tandy from Melbourne whose prize includes a support package for his next feature film including script consultations with writer Stephen Cleary.