Screenwriting, Directing and Producing graduate Courtney Brown has been very busy since graduating in December 2015, so we caught up with her to see how she was going!
"At the start of the year I had the opportunity to be a Production Assistant on an indie Feature Film, ‘Innocent Killer’ with Director John Claire. That was a great opportunity because I was able to see how a professional set worked on a small scale. It was also a great opportunity to start to meet and work with some amazing industry professionals. I later worked with some of the crew from this feature on a Short Film that I was assistant director on. Both jobs I got by applying to ad’s on Starnow.
After the feature I interned with Photoplay Films, a Production House that makes a lot of Ad’s in Australia. This was a great opportunity to learn about the advertising world, the relationship between client, Ad agency and Production House. I got to see how they made pitching documents and how those pitches related to the briefs provided by the client, and I also got to see how crewing agents function in the Ad world.
After my internship I decided to commit and sign with a crewing agency, Calling All Crew and within a few weeks I got my first paid job which was with Essential Media and Two Dogs TV working on ‘Body Hack with Todd Sampson’ which is about to air on channel 10. I was working as part of the Post Production team with Two Dogs TV and this is possibly one of my favourite jobs I have done this year. It was awesome to be part of a team and as a transcriber to be able to watch hours of footage from the most amazing locations around the world. After I finished logging for Body Hack, I moved on to working for Living Universe which will be airing on ABC, still working for Essential Media.
I also got to be First AD for season 2 of A Shared House ; a web series that we started in our last semester of film school at AFTT with other students. Season 1 of A Shared House has been accepted into several festivals, most recently NYC Web Fest.
I just recently had a successful crowdfunding campaign to get my Stalker Project through Post Production. While I was at AFTT I had the opportunity to have my Major Project professionally colour graded and sound mixed. After seeing what professionals with 20 years of experience can do for a project, I wanted to invest in my Stalker project the same quality. Next week we have the reshoot for a critical scene of the film that is only possible because of the crowdfunding campaign.
My major project has been in the festival circuit this year, screening at 6 festivals:
Phoenix Comicon Film Festival (Phoenix, USA)
Super Geek Film Festival (Florida, USA)
Art All Night Trenton (New Jersey, USA)
Sidewalk Festival (Alabama, USA)
Maverick Movie Awards (Los Angeles, USA)
- Nominated for Best Web Pilot
- Nominated for Best Ensemble Performance
Sydney Indie Film Festival (Sydney AUS)
It can be hard with freelance work when you're straight out of film school, as a lot of the time you have to do unpaid work and there is often weeks in-between jobs. You have to be really wise with your money and what work you take to make your finances last. My biggest advice for student is to take advantage of that time. If you want to be a writer/director, make sure you are working on your feature script or TV pilot. When you are working you don’t have nearly the same time, so make sure you are pursuing that.
I loved at AFTT how the majority of classes are about what you will be facing in the industry. Our classes about Film Festivals and Marketing helped me create a submission plan that was effective and how to find my audience for my projects. 'Life after film school' helped me figure out several plans for how I was going to try and enter the industry. I also loved the TV workshop classes with Caesar which showed us what it was like to work and collaborate in a writers room which we used for Season 2 of A Shared House and for a feature script we have been developing this year."
Best of luck in the future Courtney! You can find her IMDB here.
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