Events » Screen Business Essentials - Sydney

Two-Day Screen Business Essentials Workshop

Are you armed to take your screen business to the next level?

Screen Producers Australia and AFTRS present the annual two-day Screen Business Essentials course which guides screen industry professionals through the key issues that can transform your production company into a thriving creative business.

Building a sustainable and progressive screen production business is a balancing act of hard business acumen and creative vision. We share the insights and instructional knowledge of the best minds in the screen industry over May 17th and 18th at AFTRS HQ.

The course will be facilitated by SPA Commercial and Industrial Affairs Consultant Owen Johnston and feature special guest speakers from a range of disciplines. Leading screen start-up and entrepreneurial leadership specialist and producer Kylee Ingram will navigate the modes of adapting entrepreneurial skills into a creative production practice. Award winning producer and business coach Ellenor Cox, will reveal what makes successful creatives and producers tick. Fresh from selling his business in a multimillion dollar transaction, Essential Media founder Chris Hilton will discuss the secrets of his success.

In an intensive two day course, attendees will access speakers and sessions including; lawyer and Producer Nick Cole will lead the discussion on IP rights and management, Blueprint Law Director, Gary Rogers will outline the best business establishment practices, SBS’s Jennie Hughes will discuss diversity and inclusivity practices, Moneypenny's Jill Hewitt will give you the low down on how to manage production finance, Joe Lo Surdo, Managing Director at SURA will discuss insurance, Screen Australia and Create NSW will tell you how to prepare competitive applications and Screen Australia's Patrick May will delve into the latest industry intel and trends.

Click here to view the course outline!


DATE: Thursday May 17 and Friday May 18, 2018

TIME: 9.00am to 5.00pm
VENUE: AFTRS Building 130, Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park NSW
PARKING: Parking is available at the Entertainment Quarter carpark. Reduced rates are available if you validate your ticket with AFTRS reception.


SPA Members: $350  |  Guilds: $540  |  Full Price: $600


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.


Sponsored by Media Super

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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.

*Photos will be taken during the event for use in promotion and marketing.*


Chris Hilton is one of Australia’s most prolific and award winning factual producer/ directors who has made films across a broad spectrum of subjects for the world’s major broadcasters.  Chris’ recent Executive Producer credits include: Afghanistan:Inside Australia's War (winner of the 2016 NSW Premier's History Award Media Prize), Todd Sampson's Body Hack, The Real Mary Poppins, Australia: The Time Traveller’s Guide, My Brother the Serial Killer, A Traveller’s Guide to the Planets, Miracles, The Voyage of the Courtesans, Seduction in the City, and the 2013 RealScreen Award nominated The Grammar of Happiness. Chris serves as a Documentary Councillor for Screen Producers Australia and won the 2014 Stanley Hawes Award for his outstanding contribution to the documentary industry in Australia.

Kylee is a digital content/television producer and entrepreneur. She has received global recognition for her interactive work.

Kylee has fifteen years of experience producing documentaries and media programs throughout Africa, Central Asia, Europe, the USA, Australia and New Zealand. Kylee has produced content for all five free-to-air Australian broadcasters and her shows have been screened in over 100 countries to international audiences.

For the past five years her interactive projects have achieved outstanding international marketplace recognition. Kylee’s leadership in the cross-platform field has been recognized at XMedia Lab, iKids Awards, Sports Technology Awards (UK), Login Conference Venture Capital (USA), SXSW (USA) and includes two nominations at MIPTV Cube’s interactive awards (Cannes).

Kylee specializes in creating audience targeted digital properties, each designed with unique go-to-market plans and business models. She is able to work in a small team and adapt ideas quickly to suit different market spaces.

Kylee has recently returned from three and a half years in the US where she launched two apps and designed a reality TV/investment platform that takes advantage of the new non-accredited investment laws in the US - a platform that allows viewers to equity invest. 

Most recently Kylee has been appointed Entrepreneur in Residence at Southern Cross University’s Enterprise Lab. She has been tasked with building capacity around entrepreneurship in this part of regional Australia.

Ellenor Cox is an Emmy & AACTA award winning producer with nearly 25 years experience in the industry. She has now complemented this career with a Masters in Business Coaching and specialises in helping industry creatives and producers with strategies to enhance leadership skills, strategy and goal planning, time management, confidence and resilience. She is passionate about supporting people to discover their purpose, nurture their passions and master the skills that result in leading extraordinary lives.

Jennie has spent over 25 years in the creative industries.  This has included senior leadership roles in commercial, not for profit and government organisations. Jennie currently heads up National Sales for Cultural Training at SBS, current clients include Screen Australia, ScreenWest, Federal  Dept. of Treasury, Suncorp, Neuroscience, Myer, Fair Work Ombudsman, Queensland Dept. of Health, NRL and AFL.  Prior to joining SBS, Jennie held various senior positions including  CEO - New York Film Academy, COO - Screen Queensland, Festival Director - Brisbane International Film Festival,  Executive Director - Open Channel and Executive VP – Macquarie Filmed Investments.  She is a  current board director of The Art House, Central Coast and was recently invited by the Queensland Dept. of Health to present at their Refugee Health and Wellbeing Conference.  She is a former AFI board member and  has  participated in screen industry reviews  and conferences including Chairing the Investment Committee as a member of the Federal Governments  Strategic Industry Leaders Group for Digital Content.   She founded the SBS employee Gender Equality Group and is a proud ally of the SBS Pride Group.

Nick is an intellectual property and commercial lawyer. He has extensive experience in the media and entertainment industries with a particular specialisation in film and television. He also advises clients generally in relation to commercial matters and intellectual property.

He is also a Producer at Talk Films, a small independent film and television production company.

Andrea is an Investment Manager (Screen) at Create NSW and manages many of its screen initiatives for new and emerging screen content creators. She is an award-winning documentary filmmaker who has been working across a broad range of factual programs in film, TV, digital and radio for 28 years — initially as a television and radio news reporter, news reader, TV presenter, director, creative producer, post producer, consultant executive producer for domestic and international broadcasters including ABC, SBS, Nine Network, Network Ten, Arte, BBC, National Geographic, UKTV, Discovery, S4C WALES and CBC Canada. Her credits include Life at 5, Outback House, Nerves Of Steel, The Floating Brothel, Rodney’s Robot Revolution, Class of 2011, Deserts, Australia’s Got Talent, Hello Birdy, Who Do You Think You Are (SBS) and Miracle Hospital for National Geographic.

Prior to joining Create NSW in 2016, Andrea worked as a Commissioning Editor in Factual at the ABC (2014-2016). While there, Andrea was responsible for commissioning a wide range of films, series, and web series for ABC, ABC2 and iview including the inaugural Good Pitch supported theatrical and 55 min documentary Call Me Dad with Media Stockade,  the ACS award winning documentary Lest We Forget, the Walkley nominated Sperm Donors Anonymous, the sequel to the Walkley award winning Code of Silence-Breaking the Silence, Terry Carlyon’s Logie award-winning (2017) documentary special Conviction --revealing the true detective story behind the capturing of Jill Meagher’s killer, the scientifically evaluated three-part series and AACTA nominated --Man Up for ABC starring Triple M radio star Gus Worland and the ABC’s first ever fixed rig observational documentary series from WTFN Tattoo Tales, now available on Netflix --along with a raft of straight to iview commissions, including the Logie nominated 25 part comedy-doc series The Daters which also screened on ABC2. She has a Masters Degree in Film & Television from AFTRS, 2001.

Pru is the Assessment and Industry Manager in the Producer Offset and Co-production unit having joined the unit full-time in November 2013. Her role includes managing assessments for the offset and co-productions; contributing to new policy and procedures; and advising on business, accounting and production related matters. Between 2009 and 2013 Pru was an external Independent Film Production Consultant (IFPC) for Screen Australia. Prior to 2013 Pru’s film and television career spanned more than 25 years as a freelance independent producer, production manager/line producer, production accountant and financial controller. She is also a CPA.

Patrick joined Screen Australia in 2016 and works across policy projects, industry research and special reports such as Screen Currency: Valuing our Screen Industry and Seeing Ourselves: Reflections on diversity in Australian TV drama. Patrick has previously worked as a script and story analyst for Australian production companies and distributors, as a TV documentary and book researcher, and as a journalist for Fairfax and Rural Press.

Gary established Blueprint Law in 2004 as he wanted to offer high-quality legal services that thoroughly understood the commercial context his clients were working in.

Since then, Blueprint Law has increased its client base almost entirely through referrals and recommendations and now has a substantial roster of successful clients.

Gary has over 20 years’ experience gained at respected commercial law firms in the UK and Australia, including the firm now known as K&L Gates and Coudert Brothers. He has worked in Sydney, Los Angeles and London, including four years as senior in-house counsel with major free-to-air broadcasters, Channels 4 and 5, in the UK.

He has worked across a broad range of commercial and corporate law issues, including joint ventures, financing, acquisitions and disposals, across many industry sectors. Gary's particular expertise lies in relation to providing advice on the commercial application of intellectual property rights in many different industries. He is also very experienced in relation to film and television financing, production and distribution. Gary has significant litigation experience, particularly in relation to intellectual property, media and technology matters. His clients are predominantly in the media, entertainment, intellectual property and technology areas of legal practice.

Gary is admitted to practice in New South Wales, Australia and originally qualified in England & Wales.

Joe has over 25 years’ experience in the Film and Entertainment Insurance Industry and was previously the Managing Director of Film Insurance Underwriting Agencies (FIUA) and Cinesure, performing these roles for a combined period of over fifteen years. Joe is responsible for the day-to-day operation of SURA Film & Entertainment Pty Ltd and has full Underwriting authority. Joe is very well regarded amongst Industry professionals, both locally and abroad, as an expert in his field and has been a keynote speaker at seminars to many leading industry bodies such as the Australian Film Television and Radio School, associations supporting Women in the Entertainment, Film & Television Industries, Young filmmakers, Documentary filmmakers, Animations etc. Joe is a Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance.

Owen Johnston has worked for Screen Producers Australia for over a decade in both policy and industrial relations. Owen has produced feature films, documentaries, television drama, and commercials and is a former Director of Film Development and Marketing at the Australian Film Commission.