Andrena Finlay.

After 36 years as one of Australia’s most successful producers, Andrena Finlay is pursuing a new passion: imparting her knowledge and expertise to emerging producers.

Via her firm Screen Arts Business Consulting (Screen ABC), she is running workshops in Sydney and November and December and as well as offering guidance to individual producers. She is also willing to consult for established producers.

“I still love producing but I want to impart my knowledge to up-and-comers,” says Finlay, who has produced 10 features including Goddess, Paws, Me Myself I, Razzle Dazzle, Frauds and Emma’s War, as well as three shorts and two television films

“My skills have always been on the business side of producing. There are two sides of the creative coin: The script and casting; and how you set and structure a budget which the market can support, and how you raise the finance.

“I see a gap in the market: there are courses but I am not aware of anyone who is doing intensive workshops targeted at producers who want to develop low to medium budget features.”

A former drama investment manager at the Film Finance Corporation and head of producing at AFTRS, she ran two workshops in 2016 but took all of last year off to care for her mother, who had cancer and is now in remission.

Since then she has served as a consulting producer with producer Annie Kinnane, who attended one of those workshops, on Pimped, first-time writer David Barker’s psychological thriller. Bonsai Films will release the film, which stars Ella Scott Lynch, Benedict Samuel and Robin Goldsworthy, early next year. “It’s a great calling card which shows off David’s talent,” Finlay says.

Each workshop will be limited to 12 participants and will include a one-hour follow-up personal session with Finlay. The venue for both is 66-70 Oxford Street Darlinghurst. They are:


Friday November 9 (6.30-9.30pm), Saturday and Sunday November 10-11
Cost: $600 + GST/ ($500 + GST for attendees of previous Screen ABC workshops)

The aim is to give emerging producers the skills required to break down a feature screenplay, budget a $5 million feature and prepare the corresponding QAPE spreadsheet for use in the finance plan. By the end of the workshop participants will understand:

• how to break down a script
• how to break down cast fees, including buyouts and overtime
• how to budget below-the-line
• how to shape above-the-line fees in line with the budget
• how to estimate financing costs
• how to prepare the QAPE spreadsheet that will form the basis of any finance plan.


Saturday December 1, Sunday December 2.
Cost: $500 + GST ($350 + GST for attendees of previous Screen ABC workshops)

The aim is to learn in detail how to:

• Construct a finance plan using a $5 million Screen Australia “traditional” financing structure
• Prepare a recoupment waterfall, breaking down recoupment order and percentages
• Fees, commissions and expenses of distributors and sales agents
• Producer Offset as used in a finance budget
• The positioning of private equity
• Profit and copyright
• Calculate break-even and explain returns to the private investor

For more information contact:

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