I had previously attended, and LOVED, the Melbourne Web Festival back in 2016.
At the time I’d saved up money and thought I was going to film & produce DISBOs as a web series. But then the opportunity to make The Morning After came along….
Last time I was a Wild Card in the pitching competition – meaning, I hadn’t applied before the event, but got an idea submitted early in the festival which got me into the comp.
This time around I was shortlisted in the Pitch iview competition, so was automatically “in” to pitch! To enter, I’d submitted a 30 second video pitch, and this had to be expanded to 2 minutes on the actual day. The theme had to incorporate “10”, as iview turned 10 this year.
My entry was The Ten Days of Galexsiri, about a woman’s home assistant turning against her. I didn’t win, but wow, the experience of pitching to a live audience is like nothing else. (Well, it’s something like stand-up comedy, or public speaking, but…)
As to the rest of the festival itself, not only were there so many accomplished people with whom to chat and network, and web series to watch, but the Masterclasses were magic!
Warwick Holt (with whom I’d been corresponding online since 2016, and finally got to meet!), led a session on Writing for Web Series. Self-effacing as he is, he often told us, “this is what WE did – don’t do that!” But there were so many amazing truth nuggets in there, tips and things to think about, that I immediately went back to some writing I was doing and made some edits.
John Cabrera, who had led a session on pitching for network execs back in 2016, returned this year. Not only is he just a very lovely and approachable guy, he has built a really substantial body of research into Building Story Worlds, which is what his session was about. Again, so much to take in, and think about later.
I’ll admit, due to still preparing my pitch for the next day, I didn’t attend the other two sessions.
As to the web series themselves, I have to say I was surprised by some of the winners. In terms of comedy, my faves were definitely Sexy Herpes – created and written by Madeleine Dyer & Daniel Mulvihill, Freudian Slip – created, written and directed by Clare Sladden, and Goodall and Gallagher, by, well, the guys Goodall and Gallagher.
As for drama, I had already seen Skinford and Event Zero, both helmed by Enzo Tedeschi – but boy, did they look amazing up on the big screen! Another aussie series with fantastic production value, great acting, design, sound etc was Patricia Moore, by Blake Fraser and Chris Thompson.
And as always, there was the media wall, in front of which I managed to get a few poses in 😉