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The Industry: Katrina Beck Interview

Author: Darryn King
Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Metro Screen is the NSW body of Screen Development Australia, funded by the Australian film commission, offering $60,000 worth of subsidy every year to up-and-coming filmmakers. You could be next. 3D’s Darryn King spoke to marketing manager Katrina Beck in the first in a series of interviews with the good people at Metro Screen, to find out how they can help you make your film.

What is Raw Nerve-
Raw Nerve is a mentorship program for first-time filmmakers. Four films get funded each year – they get $2000 cash and they get all the equipment and all the post-production services they need through Metro Screen, and they also get hooked up with a professional mentor, so that person can guide them through the process.

Is this similar to the Multicultural and Indigenous Mentorship Schemes-

The Multicultural Mentorship Scheme is for people of diverse, non-English speaking backgrounds; and obviously people that identify with Indigenous Australians can apply for the Indigenous Mentorship Scheme. In those again, we make four films, and they get the same stuff: $2000 in cash, all the equipment and production services they need, and a professional mentor.

What do you have in the way of networking opportunities-
We have a Metro Screen Network group meeting on the first Tuesday of every month. The meetings consist of either seminars (on how to apply for funding, how to distribute your film, or how to navigate your way through the international and local film festival scene, for example) or speed networking events like speed dating – you get five minutes with each person and you move around the room after a bell is rung.

What a great idea!
People have actually gotten major work out of that, we really love doing it.
As well as that, we run pitching sessions where people have five minutes to pitch their project. The audience and the industry panel choose whether they’re worthy, and they get anywhere between $1500 and $5000 of Metro Screen equipment to go and make the film. We also do lots of screenings, and oftentimes those screenings work as networking events themselves. We run things like industry drinks, where we invite industry people to meet our students, and we also hook up with local festivals like the Sydney Film Festival and Tropfest and run little events attached to them.

What are the Mobile Units-
Metro Screen is set up to facilitate filmmaking in the whole of the state, but it’s harder for us to go off to the more remote regional areas. So we created the Mobile Unit so we can go to any place in the state. We run workshops for them, produce films with their young people and their community members, and pretty much do anything they want. We target and mould projects to suit the community we’re going into. Sometimes we’ll approach a community; oftentimes a community will approach us. It allows us to teach the people out there so they can continue to teach people out there once we’ve left.

Can you sum up Metro Screen in a nutshell for us-
Metro Screen is set up to facilitate people to make work. There is a whole bunch of ways that people can apply and get a share in that $60,000 of equipment and facilities. I’m not saying it’s easy to get Metro Screen funding, but we have open arms to welcome you to come in and help you make your film!

Get more career advice and read more interviews like this in Career FAQs Entertainment, or online at For more information on Metro Screen visit .