Hot Shops workshop for five projects

Screen Australia's latest Hot Shops workshop paired the five Hot Shots filmmaking teams with experienced heads of department for two days to enhance and develop their projects.

Director Sophie Hyde (52 Tuesdays), animation director Deane Taylor (Ren and Stimpy, The Jetsons), director of photography Geoffrey Simpson (Shine, Romulus, My Father), editor Alicia Gleeson (Happy Feet, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole), sound designer James Ashton (The Flowers of War, James Cameron’s Deep Sea Challenge 3D) and dramaturg Nadia Townsend (Mad Max: Fury Road, Love Child) mentored the filmmaking teams.

Over the two days the Hot Shots teams worked toward production-ready projects. On day one, actors read through the scripts, the teams and the mentors collectively asked questions and talked about the group’s reactions. On day two, the teams had the opportunity to meet with each mentor individually to talk specifics like sound, visual approach, music and story.

The five short film projects workshopped include: Fish with Legs, an animated comedy about a school of fish who have legs, from producer Tania Frampton, writer/producer Nikos Andronicos and director Dave Carter Ghostbear, an animated family story about a polar bear looking for his place in the world, from producers Justine Kerrigan and Lincoln Wogan and writer/director Paul McDermott. The team are looking to extend Ghostbear into a virtual reality experience too

Three of the short films are being produced as proof of concept for feature films: Kill Your Dinner, a comedy about father-son bonding, from producers Christopher Sharp and Matt Dooley and writer/director Bryn Chainey Wandering Soul, a Viet Cong soldier is terrorised by his fallen comrades, from writer/director Josh Tanner, writer Jade van der Lei and executive producers Peter and Michael Spierig Problem Play, an actress rehearsing for Twelfth Night questions her identity, from producers Lauren Edwards, Liam Heyen and writer/director Matthew Moore.

Writer/director Matthew Moore is using the opportunity to extend his creative voice to a different genre. Fish with Legs producer Tania Frampton says the workshop kick-started their project.

“Not only hearing it performed and having the ability to gauge immediate response, but also having the ability to talk specifics with so many heads of departments and experts… We’ve come away from the workshop with newfound focus and new ideas,” Frampton says.

Hot Shops was held on June 11/12.  Applications for the next  round of Hot Shots close on September 4.