Neel Kolhatkar and Chloe Ting.
Screen Australia and Google Australia today announced $500,000 in funding for five online creative teams to ‘skip ahead’ their YouTube careers.
Now in its fifth year, Skip Ahead will provide production funding to Chloe Morello for her project YouTube Famous, Chloe Ting for The Not So Social Networks, Fury Fingers for Love, Guns and Level Ups, Neel Kolhatkar for Crossing The Line and Piéra Forde for Nevernight.
The Skip Ahead initiative supports Australian online content creators, who have YouTube channels with a substantial existing subscriber base and/or content which has reached significant viewership, to expand their vision and create more ambitious content to grow their audience.
The projects this year represent a range of voices from across Australia, with creative teams from Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia.
The initiative has supported the likes of Aunty Donna, Superwog, Skit Box and SketchShe to help them take the next step and build their careers in the screen industry. In total, the videos made from the program have received more than 40 million views on YouTube.
This year’s recipients will participate in a workshop in Sydney to develop their projects, which include a range of comedy, drama and documentary series.
Completed projects will be released on YouTube later this year and include:
Crossing The Line: An eight-part factual series investigating perspectives on offensive comedy, featuring an audience who are delivered a string of jokes and then decide at which point they ‘cross the line.’ Comedian Neel Kolhatkar brings his cultural perspective and unapologetic sense of humour to the project, produced by CJZ’s Toni Malone and Damian Davis.
Love, Guns and Level Ups: An eight-part series about a couple, Bree and Elliot, who meet in the online world of video games and then discover the challenges of a real-world relationship. It’s the first action adventure rom-com from creative team Fury Fingers, who have made skits about video game culture.
Nevernight: A 10-part webseries from Piéra Forde, who will present a live action adaptation of the best-selling fantasy series The Nevernight Chronicles by Australian Jay Kristoff. The series will follow heroine Mia Corvere, a fledgling killer who joins a school of assassins and seeks vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.
The Not So Social Networks: A four-part investigative documentary series looking into the polished world of online influencers, presented by popular fitness vlogger Chloe Ting, who will dive into current social media trends and examine the impact of influencers who prioritise profits over people.
YouTube Famous: A 10-part comedy series about YouTube “celebrity” Chloe Morello, who is desperate to have it all – money, beauty, fame. Morello will parody her own experience of running a beauty advice YouTube channel with more than 2.6 million subscribers, poking fun at the sometimes ridiculous lifestyle of being famous online.