Western Australian producers Lauren Elliott and Brooke Tia Silcox recently spent time in California as part of Screenwest’s $100,000 Emerging Producer Initiative, which they won in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
The Screenwest Emerging Producer Initiative is aimed at early-career producers with a strong demonstrated commitment to producing screen content and a marketable, diverse slate of projects in development. The $100,000 program is designed to assist early-career Western Australian producers to build a competitive project slate and further their professional experience.
Since winning the inaugural Emerging Producer Initiative in 2015, Lauren Elliott, co-founder of WA production company Mad Kids, has invested her $100,000 into an abundance of rewarding project and professional development opportunities, which have resulted in a number of tangible and impressive outcomes.
In 2016, she travelled to the National Screenwriter’s Conference on Phillip Island, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Ausfilm’s annual ‘Partner with Australia’ Week in LA, the annual SPA Screen Forever Conference in Melbourne and the set of Channel Nine’s Here Come The Habibs in Sydney where she shadowed her SPA ‘Ones to Watch’ mentor, Chloe Rickard from Jungle. Lauren also invested in a pitching trip to Los Angeles, where she pitched a half hour US format to a number of US networks including HBO, Comedy Central, TBS, MTV, Starz, Adult Swim, IFC and Amazon.
This investment has resulted in Lauren and her fellow Mad Kids, Henry Inglis and Matt Lovkis securing representation at CAA, a producing partnership with Sacha Baron Cohen’s production company, Four By Two, a producing partnership with US producer Debbie Liebling, three commissions from the ABC in Australia (The Shapes, The Legend of Gavin Tanner, and DAFUQ?) and their first ever US commission by Broadway Video’s digital studio, Above Average. Lauren’s new web series, Small Town Hackers, co-funded by Screen Australia and Screenwest, is set to premiere online later this year.
“Screenwest’s Emerging Producer Initiative has allowed Lauren the security and ability to develop her slate of existing and future projects, and I couldn’t commend the initiative enough, based on the fantastic opportunities it’s afforded not only Lauren, but – thanks to her and ScreenWest – us at ABC in turn”. said ABC’s Head of Comedy, Rick Kalowski.
Lauren is currently based in LA. Most recently she has been assisting the Australians in Film team with a number of upcoming events including the Freshflix Emerging Filmmakers Conference, the LA premiere of Jungle directed by Greg McLean and the annual Australians in Film Awards which will be hosted by Patrick Brammall at Neuehouse in Hollywood on 18 October.
Since winning the Emerging Producer Initiative in 2016, Brooke Tia Silcox has founded No Thing Productions, premiered her debut feature documentary, Meal Tickets, produced a six-part documentary series, Home with iconic Western Australian artist, Ian Strange and completed a seven-month internship at Felix Media in Sydney, as Associate Producer on the feature film Jirga, directed by Benjamin Gilmour.
Brooke was accepted into the Realities Summit held by Digital Raign at the renowned Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California with collaborator and key creative Andrew Suttar. The Summit focused attention on what the future may look like for content production and financing. Brooke and Andrew are developing film, television, online and virtual reality projects that are aimed at the kids’ market and supported by augmented reality and mobile games.
“Andrew and I were able to make a meaningful impact at the conference, we have garnered significant international interest in the projects we are developing and now have tangible support from new collaborators which we will see unfold over the next year. I was introduced to blockchain and cryptocurrency and how initial coin offerings are starting to be used for film financing which puts me in unique position as a producer to think innovatively about financing certain future projects. For all of this to be happening at the birthplace of the human potential movement where some of the greats such as Joseph Campbell, Alan Watts, Aldous Huxley and Abraham Maslow have studied or taught was incredible”. said Brooke.
Since returning home to Perth from Los Angeles, Brooke has secured completion funding for the feature documentary, Rockabul ,directed by Travis Beard, thanks to Screen Australia’s Producer Equity Program.
Lauren and Brooke were also recently announced as successful recipients of Screenwest’s annual Elevate program, securing $70,000 production funding for their respective projects. Brooke’s project is a short film, Judas Collar, written & directed by Alison James and Executive Produced by WBMC and Lauren’s project is a comedy web series, Lift, written by Lucy Durack, Jess Murray and Leon Murray, directed by Zoe Pepper and Executive Produced by Chloe Rickard of Jungle. Judas Collar is set to go into production in 2017 and Lift is set to go into production in March 2018.