“To help create a sustainable industry in Queensland, we work with writers and directors, sometimes producers, to develop projects for film, television and digital delivery,” says Essential Media Development Producer Qld, Roger Monk.
In 2015, Screen Queensland launched the Enterprise Queensland Program to support the expansion of Queensland companies and to build a strong base of producers developing local stories.
“Essential Media’s new team and Queensland office will help unearth and develop local talent… and invigorate local production and stories,” says Screen Queensland CEO, Tracy Vieira.
Essential Media and Entertainment is one of Australia’s leading independent producers of screen content for both local and international audiences. Their diverse slate includes Rask, Saving Mr Banks, Jack Irish and the recent SBS series, The Principal.
Roger is an award-winning scripted entertainment writer and has experience across a number of dramas in both television and film. He has written for Nowhere Boys and The Doctor Blake Mysteries.
He is flanked by Emily Avila, who previously worked with See-Saw Films.
Emily says that they have a healthy slate in development.
“We also have three ongoing writer mentorships (in Queensland) which came from an open call out earlier in the year. We also had two directing and producing mentorships. The recipients went down to Sydney and worked on the latest season of Rake.”
Roger added that the three mentorships are TV series ideas, which are “all coming along well and getting close to pitch documents.”
“There’s a focus on TV everywhere, not just here. But we think there is a lot of opportunity in web and digital content too.”
Roger and Emily say they are also interested in creative partnerships. They are currently working on an innovative digital, TV and theatre project with La Boite Theatre Company.
Emily says that this partnership came out of both companies being present in the CEA building.
“Start-ups and new ventures are small, and there definitely is a benefit of being around people in the same situation and same interests,” says Roger.
Emily agrees and believes that “it’s good when you’re a small team to work in a space where everything is so organised. There’s a real sense of camaraderie.”
Although Essential Media is still a two-person division at this stage, it’s clear that this outpost is set to make waves in the flourishing Queensland film industry.
We are proud that they have chosen CEA to be the place where this happens.