Guy Strachan and Tenika Smith on the set of ‘Neighbours’.
Fremantle and Film Victoria are currently offering three writer placements and three director placements for early-to-mid career Victorian practitioners on Neighbours.
This is the second time Film Victoria has run Neighbours placements, with the first round in 2018 resulting in ongoing roles for four candidates. Directors Tenika Smith and Guy Strachan, and writers Beth King and Eugénie Muggleton will join the Neighbours team in early 2019.
“Film Victoria’s partnership with Fremantle has included placements on a slate of Australia’s top dramas, including Neighbours, Picnic at Hanging Rock and Wentworth, sharing the work of our next-gen screen making talent with audiences at home and around the world,” said CEO Caroline Pitcher.
“Gaining hands-on writing and directing experience on such a prolific series like Neighbours is invaluable in terms of skills development and career progression. Already the results of this program attest to its success, so far generating jobs for four early-career writers and directors. We look forward to providing more opportunities for up-and-coming Victorian practitioners thanks to our diverse range of programs and industry partnerships in 2019.”
Neighbours’ EP Jason Herbison said: “This initiative from Film Victoria has been a resounding success with all of last year’s candidates not only gleaning vital knowledge from our seasoned behind-the-scenes team but also providing their own creative input in the writers’ room and on-set with the directors which has been invaluable – it’s a win-win for everyone involved and I look forward to welcoming our next round of placements.”
Emerging director and recipient of a 2018 director placement Tenika Smith, said: “It’s almost unheard of to have the opportunity to direct a full episode of television as part of a placement program. The director’s placement at Neighbours has been the highlight of my career and is a huge stepping stone towards further TV credits. It’s more than I could have imagined.”
The state agency also intends to offer attachments for technical crew Neighbours, currently calling for early-career practitioners to apply to be considered for technical attachments across a slate of Film Victoria-supported productions.
The six placements are currently scheduled to commence in June, with the director placements offered in five week stages and the writer placements running for six week periods.
Applications for both placements are open now. Director placements close March 6 and writer placements close April 3.