Metro Screen ProgrammeFILMINK's Erin Free talks to young filmmaker Wayne Blair about his experiences with...
Metro Screen Programme
FILMINK's Erin Free talks to young filmmaker Wayne Blair about his experiences with Metro Screen's Indigenous Mentor Scheme programme.
Getting a start in the film industry can be one of the toughest gigs going, especially if you're not connected or wired into the right people and places. To this end, Metro Screen has instituted the Indigenous Mentor Scheme, which hooks up young Aboriginal filmmakers with older hands in the industry, and gives them the chance to get valuable input and advice from people who have literally "been there and done that".
Since the Indigenous Mentor Scheme's inception in 1998, fifteen high quality short videos have been produced; three filmmakers have produced a second longer film through the AFC Indigenous Unit; two filmmakers have been mentored in the production of a documentary for the "Whichway" recording project; and two young filmmakers have been accepted into the AFTRS and will be graduates of the Producing and Editing courses.
The aim of the scheme is to encourage new indigenous filmmakers to develop their skills and experience in television, video production, and to enter employment within the film and television industry. Metro Screen provides access to training, equipment, facilities, support and stock. Successful applicants are being assisted by an Indigenous Mentor/Producer through the development, production and post-production phases of their film.
Wayne Blair was one of four filmmakers selected in the 1998/99 scheme completing his first short film Fade 2 Black. Since then he finished a ten minute film Jubulg and currently has a feature film script in development.
Looking back, how important do you think the scheme has been in the evolution of your filmmaking career?
"Very important. It gave me an opportunity, and more importantly an opportunity where I would be trained. I had the story in me. Metro Screen just provided me with a chance to put my story onto the screen."
The film industry is a notoriously difficult one to break into. Do you think the Indigenous Mentor Scheme can play a major role in getting young filmmakers access to the industry?
"Getting access inside, it can. Yet it's up to the individual to capitalise on this insight."
Participants in the scheme are able, where possible, to pick their own mentor. What do you think they should look for in a mentor?
"Someone that listens and someone that compliments themselves, in a way that the mentor might possess high skills in a particular area that the participant is very weak in. But primarily somebody that the participant can communicate very well with."
What kind of advice and guidance did you receive from your mentor?
"I received some very good advice, particularly in the area of coverage of shots and working with actors."
You're now a supervising producer on the scheme - does it feel like you've kind of come full circle with the IMS?
"Yes, it does. It feels good and it's very rewarding seeing the films on the big screen."
Applications are now open for the Indigenous Mentor Scheme. Applicants must be residents of NSW, and entries close Friday, February 21. For application forms and guidelines call (02) 9361 5318.