Events » Distribution Planning Masterclass (MELB)

This Masterclass is presented by Screen Producers Australia (SPA) in conjunction with AFTRS. In this Masterclass you will learn about designing a realistic distribution plan for your program to attract financing, and maximise audience and revenue.

Class Purpose:

  • To increase the knowledge base of producers about available distribution opportunities and the rights necessary to exploit programs as widely as possible in a rapidly changing digital world.
  • To increase knowledge of deal structures and distribution considerations.
  • To assist producers to draft realistic distribution plans for their programs when approaching funding bodies and the market


This Business Class will be split into the following sessions:


Before being able to construct a plan for your program, its first necessary to know how distribution systems work domestically and globally. What rights need to purchased when you make the program? What do the various standard contract terms mean? What rights are becoming standard in digital distribution and what do the many platform shorthand terms mean?  What are the key differences for each genre and format - Feature film, TV Drama and TV factual programs, comedy and children’s programs? What rights can you retain during financing?   

The following concepts will be covered:

  • Theatrical, free to air television, subscription television, and ancillary rights.
  • The Video On Demand space – SVOD, AVOD, TVOD, EST, DTO
  • On Line rights, webisodes.
  • Primary and Secondary windows
  • Multiple Window deals
  • Territories
  • Distributors, Presales and Distribution Guarantees
  • Sales agents and Minimum Guarantees
  • Digital Aggregators
  • Commissions
  • Retaining rights

Speaker: David Whealy, Principal DWA Entertainment Lawyers (Sydney & Melbourne)



Markets for television programs shift with technology and audience tastes. Limited channels gave way to multi channels, home entertainment received a boost from DVDs that has now dwindled and Video On Demand is the new kid on the block. How is digital disruption affecting sales and revenues? Is the competition between linear television and VOD creating more opportunities and more complications? What are the new directions in audience tastes? Producers often partner up with distributors so what do the deals look like and what do producers need to know?

This session will cover:

  • Sales opportunities, trends, and players
  • Sales types – royalties and commission based
  • Distribution advances – is it in your interests for more or less?
  • Payment terms – what to expect
  • Marketing expenses – approvals, limits, considerations
  • Distributor consultations and communication

Speakers: Sharon Ramsay-Luck, Content Distribution consultant (Melbourne)



Big Data is playing an increasing role in the advertising and marketing strategies of major brands around the world. Distributors are constantly developing new ways of using social media to reach and target their audiences. A case study of two campaigns for The Dressmaker and Dance Academy.

Speaker: Beatrix Holland, Digital content and social media strategist, ScreenHerd. (Sydney & Melbourne)



The session will cover the following: 

  • Cinema release in Australia – Distribution Guarantees, terms, P&A issues.
  • Box Office and Sales estimates
  • Alternative distribution – Cinema on Demand, self-distribution and 4 walling.
  • Expectations of screen agencies.
  • Policy settings – Producer offset, marketplace attachments.
  • Encouraging private investment – marketing investment vs equity.
  • Film Festivals – How to use them as platforms for distribution deals.

Speakers: Tim Phillips, Head Screen Australia Producer Offset & Co-Production Unit (Melbourne)

Tait Brady, Producer, The Acme Film Company and Distributor, Label. (Sydney & Melbourne)

Brian Rosen, Producer, SixtyFourSixty. (Sydney & Melbourne)

Lizzette Atkins, Producer, Unicorn Films. (Melbourne)

View the course outline here.

Masterclass Details:

DATE: Friday 15 September, 2017
TIME: 1.00pm - 5.00pm
VENUE: Holding Redlich, Level 8, 555 Bourke Street, Melbourne
Afternoon Tea

Ticket sales have closed.


To receive the SPA members special discount, select ENROL on the AFTRS booking page, and choose SPA member registrant type.

Presented by Screen Producers Australia and the Australian Film Television and Radio School.


For lawyers attending the Business Essentials Workshop:
Seminars and other CPD activities are not accredited by The Law Society of New South Wales. Under the CPD Rules, if SPA’s Business Essentials Workshop is relevant to your immediate or long term needs in relation to your professional development and practice of the law, then you should claim one “unit” for each hour of attendance, refreshment breaks not included.


Lizzette Atkins is a producer and company director of Unicorn Films. Lizzette previously worked for Dendy Films and Newvision Films as Marketing and Acquisitions Manager.

Over her career Lizzette has produced over 25 dramas, documentaries and documentary series for television and cinema, winning many local and international awards.

Her most recent feature film LOOKING FOR GRACE (2015) was selected in Official Competition at Venice Film Festival, Toronto Platform Competition and Chicago Film Festival.

With 20 years senior media management experience in content investment, acquisition, sales and marketing – plus ancillary rights exploitation - Sharon Ramsay-Luck is able to offer producers meaningful guidance on distribution options and considerations. Having managed the global distribution operations for both the SBS and ABC, Sharon’s experience with traditional international broadcasters and emerging platforms has equipped her with valuable insights and knowledge to share with producers to assist them in making the best decisions to optimise the lifecycle and returns from their productions.

Tim has worked as a Senior Investment Manager for feature films and television, including managing Screen Australia’s involvement in The DressmakerOddballPaper PlanesBlinky BillThat Sugar Film and Red Dog, as well as series including MollyMiss Fisher’s Murder MysteriesNowhere BoysDance Academy and the upcoming Tomorrow When the War Began.

Most recently Tim was the Senior Manager of the Interactive and Multiplatform team in Melbourne, managing Screen Australia’s funding programs activities for online drama, as well as contributing to organisational strategy and content for digital platforms. 

Prior to working at Screen Australia, Tim was the Legal and Business Affairs Manager at the Australian Children's Television Foundation (ACTF), where he was responsible for advising on all aspects of their production, funding, distribution and licensing activities. As a lawyer at Minter Ellison, Tim advised media and online businesses on Intellectual Property.

Brian has been working in the film and television sector for over 40 years. He has produced feature films – both live action and animation – and television drama. He has worked in Australia, the USA and Europe both as an independent producer and as an executive.  He was CEO of the Film Finance Corporation of Australia from 2003 until 2008 and was instrumental in bringing about the recent government film incentives of Producer Offset and merging of the federal film and TV agencies into Screen Australia.

Brian began producing films in the US in 1991 with the animated film ‘FernGully – The Last Rainforest’ distributed worldwide by 20th Century Fox. In 1994 he moved permanently to California when Walt Disney Pictures brought him to San Francisco to executive produce Roald Dahl’s ‘James and the Giant Peach’ with Tim Burton and Denise DiNovi as producers. From 1996 until 1999 he had a developing and producing deal with 20th Century Fox Family Entertainment under Chris Meledandri. In late 2002 he returned to Sydney to be CEO of the Film Finance Corporation of Australia.  With the merging of the FFC into the new federal government agency Screen Australia, Brian returned to the independent sector.

Brian was Executive Producer on the 2015 animated film ‘Blinky Bill The Movie’. Brian’s recent live action film ‘Around The Block’ starring Christina Ricci premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2013.  He is producing Maya The Bee 2’ as a German co-production with Studio 100 Media in Munich through his animation company – Studio B Animation. With partner, Su Armstrong, he is actively in development on a number of projects with directors Vincent Ward, Claire McCarthy, Kim Mordaunt and Peter Hewitt. He has just closed financing with JuVee Productions in Los Angeles for the feature film The Personal History of Rachel Du Pree to star US Academy Award winning actress Viola Davis. 

Beatrix is a content strategist who specialises in working with screen projects. With Matt Atkins, she runs Melbourne-based ScreenHerd, a consultancy providing marketing strategy and support and sales packaging to titles from Australia and New Zealand.

Recent projects include the social and influencer strategy and execution for both The Dressmaker, and the Dance Academy feature. Away from the screen industry, she has collaborated with brands including Medibank, Australia Post, Telstra, Kmart, Intrepid Travel, BUPA and The Good Guys.

Before focusing on marketing, she worked across production, development and funding for screen organisations including the London Film Festival, MIFF, Film Victoria and Eyeworks Television.

Previous speaking engagements include General Assembly, the ICAA Conference, Open Channel and Melbourne Web Festival, as well as guest lectures and presentations at La Trobe University, RMIT and VCA. 

Tait has worked in a range of roles within the Australian and international film industry for more than 30 years which combine to create a unique skillset embracing creative development, producing, marketing, distribution, exhibition, financing and curation. 

Tait is the principal of The Acme Film Company, a Melbourne-based production company; and established the boutique distribution company Label, in 2014. As a producer, over the last 5 years he has co-produced 6 projects and has others in active development, with collaborators including Rolf de Heer, Jason Byrne, Richard Frankland, Stephen Amis and Trish Lake, spanning features, documentary, webseries and television.  

David is the principal of entertainment legal firm DWA and is admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of NSW.

David is regarded as one of the leading and most experienced entertainment legal practitioners in Australia, possessing over 20+ years’ entertainment legal experience including senior executive positions with Omnilab Media, Holding Redlich, Beyond, ABC TV and PolyGram.

David’s areas of expertise include copyright, trademarks, Australian and international film and television financing, production and chain of title agreements, music, advertising, distribution, production and marketing funding, and sales. He has been in involved in providing legal advice to Australian and international clients ranging from studios, distributors, broadcasters, major production companies, talent and creative across the globe across hundreds of film, television, advertising, music and theatre projects.

David has also executive produced cumulatively over $350 million worth of film and television production in his career.