Icarus

This May, the Directors & Editors Guild of NZ is thrilled to present two days of feature documentary workshops for editors, directors and producers with US documentary filmmaker Doug Blush. Doug returns to New Zealand thanks to a partnership with Loading Docs.

DOUG BLUSH is an award-winning editor, director, producer, writer and cinematographer whose work includes over 130 feature and television projects, and is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) as well as the American Cinema Editors (ACE).

His recent credits include, as edit consultant, Notable Pictures’ The Chills: The Triumph and Tragedy of Martin Phillipps, as consulting editor and co-producer, the 2019 Academy Award winning Period. End Of Sentence, the 2018 Academy Award winning Icarus, and, as supervising editor, the 2013 Oscar-winning 20 Feet From Stardom, for which he also received the ACE Eddie Award for Best Documentary Editing. He was Co-Editor and Associate Producer of Kirby Dick’s The Hunting Ground in 2014, and the Oscar nominated and Emmy winning The Invisible War in 2012.

Doug co-owns MadPix Films, a production and post production company in Los Angeles dedicated to documentary and independent films. He is also a longtime film educator with classes and seminars at USC, UCLA, Syracuse University and the YoungArts Foundation in Miami, as well as exchanges and panels in Indonesia, Brazil, New Zealand, Armenia, Malaysia, Nigeria, China, the Netherlands and more.

Day 1: Masterclass on Producing and Editing a Winning Documentary

Sunday 19 May, 9am – 5pm, MTG RM, Kingsland, Auckland

In the world of documentary, the edit is crucial. This interactive Masterclass for editors, producers and directors will connect editing with the other crafts involved in documentary filmmaking.

The Masterclass will survey where we are and where we’re heading in documentary – using examples from over 15 years of award winning and widely distributed docs from Doug’s catalog of over 130 feature films. Participants will get to see how many major doc features and shorts made the most of great stories and overcame huge problems to succeed.

The day will discuss successful strategies for production, editing and post schedules, and promotion, distribution and festivals. Participants are also encouraged to discuss current issues they’re facing in their films, or questions about ideas in the planning stages.

Cost: DEGNZ members – Free, Non-members – $60

REGISTER NOW  >

Day 2: Project Lab

Monday 20 May, 9am – 4pm, MTG RM, Kingsland, Auckland

Call for Applications!

The Lab will consist of a group seminar with up to 6 selected teams with a feature documentary project in post-production. Editors may attend on behalf of their project or come as a team.

The day will focus on how to think about structure, character arcs and larger meanings of each film, and how to plan out an edit path with goals and benchmarks.

Participants will be asked to introduce their project with a logline summary and show a sample (based on where the project is) for group discussion and feedback in a confidential environment.

We will discuss each project, and go over the potential promising story directions and possible pitfalls of each. Doug will also draw on clips from his past docs to show how they may have dealt with similar issues in the edit and the shoot.

Cost: $85 / team; fee waived if the editor is a DEGNZ Full member

How to Apply for the Lab – Open to Editors

Lab Application Deadline: 4PM, Monday 13 May

STEP 1: Click here to apply using the registration form. You will need to supply details about your project (title, brief synopsis, links if any) and names of those on your team.

STEP 2: Send in PDF to tema@degnz.co.nz:

  • Your CV and/or bio
  • And a brief, maximum 1-page letter that summarises why you would like to attend with your project, and what stage it’s in currently.

Files must be sent before the deadline. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

 

Doug’s visit is made possible thanks to our partner Loading Docs.

Workshops brought to you with the generous support of the New Zealand Film Commission.

NZFC

Last updated on 6 May 2019

View from the Top banner

I’ve been watching the debates raging across the Tasman as the Austalian screen industry seeks to ensure the future of Australian content in the face of the realities of SVOD.

Research company Roy Morgan reported in March 2019 that nearly 14 million Australians now have access to some form of Pay TV/Subscription TV, up 11.8% on a year ago.

Netflix with over 11.2 million subscribers had growth on a year ago of 25.2%, with Australian-owned Stan at 2.6 million subscribers seeing a 45.2% increase.

YouTube Premium and Amazon Prime also had significant increases.

Australian broadcasting standards require all commercial free-to-air television licensees to broadcast an annual minimum transmission quota of 55 per cent Australian programming between 6 am and midnight. In addition, there are specific minimum annual sub-quotas for first-run Australian adult drama, documentary and children’s programs.

SVODs in Australia have no Australian content requirement.

Australian commercial broadcasters sought in 2017 to have the quota removed for Australian children’s content. The Australian screen industry united against this, decrying what they said would be the almost complete annihilation of Australian children’s programming.

Then in 2017 the Australian Directors’ Guild; Australian Writers’ Guild;  Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance and Screen Producers Australia joined together to launch the ‘Make It Australia’ campaign to lobby the Government for support for the sector in the wake of sustained funding cuts and changed viewing habits, which of course includes the rise of SVODs.

They called for no more cuts to SBS, the ABC and Screen Australia; a raising of tax incentives for Australian TV and foreign productions; a cementing of the commercial free-to-air Australian content quota at 55%; and new regulations for Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) providers.

The Australian Government launched in 2017 an Australian and Children’s Content Review.

In March of 2019, the Senate Committee released its Review paper. Among the recommendations was a call to force streaming services such as Netflix and Stan (and Amazon and any others who might enter the space) to spend a minimum 10 per cent of income earned in Australia on original Australian content. They would also be obliged to promote that content to their subscribers. The other recommendations:

  • The current quota system being preserved.
  • Examining other Terms of Trade provisions and implementing them.
  • Introducing a single Producer Offset of 40%.*
  • Ceasing recognising New Zealand content as Australian.**
  • Increasing the Location Offset to 30%
  • Decoupling the Location and Post, Digital and Visual Effects (PDV) Offset.
  • Platform Neutral Location and ODV Offsets.

*The Producer Offset, Australia’s version of the NZ Screen Production Grant, sits at 20% for TV.

**This refers to Project Blue Sky, which allowed NZ content to be recognised as Australian content because of the Closer Economic Relations (CER) agreement between the two countries.

What did they Australian Government do in response? It allowed streamers that operate behind a paywall access to the production incentive for content they make in Australia, which of course includes international productions shooting there.

“The Government’s policy announcement is inexplicable and one-dimensional given how many times our local sector has called for urgent intervention”, said Austrlian Directors Guild CEO, Kingston Anderson.

“Our screen incentives need to be updated across the board, not just those that apply to international production. This decision shows a tremendous lack of confidence in the ability of Australians to tell our stories in our own voices.”

You are possibly wondering why at this point I am so wrapped up in what’s going on in Australia? It’s because I feel it’s clearly indicative of what we face and have essentially been ignoring till now. The 10-year screen strategy recently called for by the NZ Government is a chance to address the many problems the onslaught of foreign content and SVODs are having on the NZ screen industry. We only have to look across the Tassie for some insights and thoughts on how to address the issues.

 

Tui Ruwhiu
Exeuctive Director

Last updated on 3 May 2019