Arenamedia sets up shop in WA

James Grandison. 

Producer/director Robert Connolly’s Arenamedia is making a formal expansion into Western Australia, setting up a new company office in Perth.

James Grandison has been appointed to oversee the production company’s WA-based operations, as well as the management of production planning and budgeting across Arenamedia’s full slate.

Robert Connolly said: “It’s an exciting time for Arenamedia and I’m delighted that someone of James’ calibre has joined us. A formal presence in WA is a logical next step in the company’s evolution. Films such as Paper Planes and before that The Turning were both shot in the West and benefitted from the great talent and dynamic industry that exists there”.

Grandison began his career in Western Australia, however has spent the past 10 years in Melbourne working as a line producer and production manager. His recent credits include Picnic at Hanging Rock, Glitch, Nowhere Boys and Hunters.

Grandison said: “I have long admired the work of Arenamedia and first worked with Rob on his 2012 telemovie Underground: The Julian Assange Story for Matchbox Pictures. Rob is an inspiring director, writer and producer, I’m excited to return home to Perth and to be working with him and all of the team at Arenamedia”.

The move builds on recent appointments to the company: Robert Patterson joining as EP, Louise Gough as head of development, Kate Laurie (as a producer placement with the support of Film Victoria) and London-based producer Rachel Connors leading projects in the UK.

They join Connolly’s long-term collaborators Chloé Brugalé and Liz Kearney. Kearney (also from WA) is producing Jub Clerc’s debut feature which is due to be filmed later this year in the state’s Pilbara region.

Arenamedia is currently in development with the adaptations Tim Winton’s Blueback and Alison Lester’s Magic Beach.