Creative agency Intermission Film sets up shop in Melbourne

Intermission Film worked with Netflix ANZ on 'Heartbreak High'.

Global creative agency Intermission Film, which specialises in AV and key art, has officially opened a Melbourne studio.

The agency, launched in London in 2012, also has outposts in New York and Amsterdam.

Among its hefty credit list is the international trailer for Best Picture winner CODA; teasers and opening titles of I May Destroy You; socials and TV spots for films like Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood and House of Gucci; the international teaser for Worst Person In The World; and the digital outdoor marketing and trailer for The Crown.

Amelia Miranda leads the Collingwood-based office as producer and head of new business (ANZ). The local team, which will continue to expand, collaborates with Intermission’s international network of 90 full-time staff.

What is known as a “360 agency”, the company aims to works across the lifecycle of projects from sizzles, sales promos, sales art, theatrical trailers, key art, title treatments, motion and social spots. 

Key art for Thomas M Wright’s ‘The Stranger’, by Intermission Film.

Its recent ANZ projects have included series such as Netflix’s Heartbreak High and Byron Baes; and HBO Max, BBC and Stan drama The Tourist, as well as a variety of independent features and documentaries including The Stranger; Blaze, WHINA; the Emmy-nominated Playing with Sharks; James and Isey Under the Volcano; Wash My Soul in the Rivers Flow and Fiona Clark: Unafraid.

“We grew out of a desire to support independent filmmakers and film companies by working on big, ambitious creative that would help break those features out of arthouse cinema niches. At the time agencies just were not giving the right love and attention to the sector, preferring to chase big studio work and neglecting the independents. It’s the same desire that drew us to establish ourselves in Australia,” Miranda tells IF.

“During the pandemic, we looked on from our UK, US, and European offices and saw the wealth of film and TV content that was being filmed and produced in ANZ, alongside the behemoth creative talent behind it.

“We felt that we could bring expertise and an international outlook to the process, ultimately playing a part in helping those projects to excite and inspire audiences around the world whilst also not neglecting the home crowd.”

Speaking to the differences between Australia and the US/UK market in terms of marketing approaches, Miranda observes that Australia is producer-led, similar to continental Europe.

“In the UK and the US it is usually the onus of a distributor or sales agent to source marketing asset creation but it increasingly seems to fall on the producer or production company’s shoulders here, often funded with already stretched production budgets. As the distribution landscape shifts and budgets become ever more squeezed then it is now more important than ever that filmmakers are involved in the creative process.”

In that sense, Intermission’s launch into ANZ is timely, with much discussion about the marketing of Australian films off the back of the recent Australian Feature Film Summit.

Miranda urges that for Australian projects, often working with smaller budgets than their Hollywood counterparts, finding a partner agency with a similar style and sensibility is paramount.

“A poster or a trailer is an audience’s first impression of a project, and impactful assets can be the difference between someone purchasing a cinema ticket or pressing play on a streaming service.

“It’s so important to work with creatives that truly understand the need to highlight that universal human spirit of your story, to entice those audiences in. 

“Once you’ve found an agency that you trust, ensuring one central team is working with you across multiple aspects of the marketing campaign (trailer, key art, social and creative content) will mean a more cohesive, creative campaign as well as save you both time and budget in the long run.”

In Miranda’s view, campaigns work best when the filmmaker, sales agent, producers, and distributor all work together to feed into the final result.

“Don’t be afraid to discuss or consider different funding routes early; you may be able to share the cost with your sales agent and domestic distributor if it’s been discussed well ahead of time.”

At a policy level, Miranda also believes when it comes to marketing, Screen Australia and the state agencies could take a leaf out of their Trans-Tasman counterparts.

“Intermission has an excellent relationship with the New Zealand Film Commission, and that partnership has allowed us to continue to work on a number of great NZ feature films and documentaries.

“The NZFC saw that excellent domestic films were being produced, but their marketing assets needed more focus to entice theatrical audiences. As a result, they created specific marketing grants to maximise those audiences.

“While Screen Australia and our state agencies have fantastic incentives in place for production and locations, there is still work to be done in funding, and in turn highlighting, the importance of quality marketing assets.