The growth of the Australian showrunner

The Matchbox / ABC Production Stateless is one of the latest examples of a number of Australian productions using the showrunner model. In this Screen Australia article, Elise McCredie describes the writing and production process.

“Belinda Chayko is a fabulous story producer,” McCredie says. “She’s also really forensic about character and trajectory of character. So Tony, Belinda and I over those years in rooms together would do massive diagrams on whiteboards that followed character lines.

“There were times we would just be tearing our hair out about a particular character, or how we were intertwining and weaving the four [stories], what was working and not working. But we would always slog through on those days and get to somewhere that we thought was dramatically interesting. [We] worked incredibly well together and our skills complemented each other.”

Read the full article at the Screen Australia blog.

Sling Shot program for emerging Western Sydney writers open

Following the Australian Writer’s Guild National Screenwriters Conference in 2016, I applied successfully to be a part of the Sling Shot program. This enabled me to develop a pitch document for an initial idea that subsequently got me into the AFTRS Graduate Certificate program.


There is something slightly obscene about binge-watching any television show. To think of the years of writing, production, post and scheduling that have gone into creating the characters and their world, and here am I on the couch for 8 hours consuming it whole. Left without the angst of the episode cliff-hanger, or even the gaping questions left at the end of a season, the pace is dictated by the viewer.

In watching a show this way, I have joined the mainstream. Show me now. I want to beat the spoilers. Feed me. Feed me.

And yet we consume so many other entertainments in full. A novel we can read in a sitting. A movie beginning to end.

The mass marketing of content as a boxed set or streamable series gives us new opportunities to see the arc of characters, to engage in a way that invokes a greater visceral punch than seeing a story unfold week to week. The emotional energy may dissipate after the loss of a major character, or an injustice or a victory. Condensing these experiences allows us to immerse ourselves deeper into the world of the story.

Beyond the boxed set, technologies such as digital recorders, ABCs iView, Quickflix and cracked access to Netflix allow us to choose our pace and time, giving the viewer the greatest degree of control of story consumption. I can watch a show on my TV, my laptop, my tablet or my phone. Add to that those who access shows through streams and torrents and it becomes a viewer’s market.

That is a good thing for the creators of stories.  

Build it and they will come, but design it and they will collaborate…

As Enterprise Social Networks become the ‘killer app’ for unlocking tacit information and enabling connections within organisations, there can be a tendency to take an organic approach to the relationships and networks that will emerge.  However, this 2007 (!) article from McKinsey & Company, describes the underlying structures of informal networks. Authored by Lowell Bryan, Eric Matson and Leigh Weiss, it is an essential foundation read for communicators and technologists striving to foster networks on their collaboration platforms, whether they be Yammer, Jive, Connections or other.

Harnessing the power of informal employee networks | McKinsey & Company.

Just as formal hierarchical structures define management roles, formal network structures define collaborative professional ones. In this way such networks can enable large companies to overcome the problems of very large numbers by creating small, focused communities of interest integrated within larger, more wide-ranging communities—for instance, subcommunities focused on different aspects of financial services, such as wholesale and retail banking.