New focus for sound and vision
Artisans dedicated to making the magic of movies have created a new home at Lot Fourteen as part of a local initiative to build greater continuity of work for these talented professionals.
Artisan Post Group (APG) is led by Hollywood production veteran Michael Darren and seasoned local tech entrepreneurs, and brothers, Anton and Carlo Andreacchio, who have set up the group to provide centrally located facilities and a focus for sound and vision artisans who had previously been working across Adelaide in various locations.
APG has installed state-of-the-art post-production facilities and individual offices in the historic Eleanor Harrald Building overlooking leafy Frome Road.
These have already been put to good use on The Hunting, a confronting contemporary drama which screened on SBS TV in August. It was created by local South Australian company Closer Productions and filmed in Adelaide, with post production shared with another local company, Kojo.
APG has also produced a virtual reality experience of the 2018 AFL Grand Final and is embarking on the TV series, Stateless, with executive producer Cate Blanchett for Matchbox Pictures.
In August, two Hollywood filmmakers worked with APG at Lot Fourteen during August to wrap up a horror feature film.
Brian Frager and John Berardo worked with the post production specialists of APG and students from the Academy of Interactive Entertainment on editing, sound engineering, color grading and special effects for the movie.
Brian says he was impressed with the local film production industry and the APG concept.
“South Australia is an amazing place and honestly, there’s a burgeoning film scene here,” he said.
“Artisan Post Group is really innovative in that all of the different departments are right next to each other and it offers complete post services under one roof.
“For three weeks, I was able to walk three feet between the colour suite and the sound suite and watch this film come together.
“Lot Fourteen is a very cool space, very innovative in that it’s bringing many different industries together and I believe that’s going to be more and more relevant to the future of content – learning from startup culture, from technology companies that approach scale.
“There’s no way we could have finished the film on the schedule that we have if it wasn’t for a place like Lot Fourteen,” Brian said.
Creative industries is one of four focus sectors at Lot Fourteen, along with defence and space, artificial intelligence, and cyber-security. This uniquely located, seven-hectare neighbourhood at the eastern end of North Terrace is bringing together people, like the members of APG, to share spaces, experiences and most of all ideas across innovation, research, art and culture.
“This is a response to South Australia having great people doing great things,” says post supervisor and music composer Michael Darren. “We want to benefit our community and our industry.”
“I lived and worked in Los Angeles for 10 years. You’re replaceable in LA. You can be fired one day and replaced the next.
“In Adelaide, you get to know everyone, and you look out for each other.”
As Anton explains, there is a core team of 12 within the group, that expands based on how much work is coming through. The artisans involved span disciplines including sound post production, editorial, film making, visual effects, animation, virtual reality, augmented reality, colour grading, and music composition.
A major focus for the APG leaders is securing continuity of work in an industry that is based on short-term projects.
“We are trying to be an entrepreneurial force to attract more projects,” Anton says. “It’s incredible how much demand there is for post-production in Australia, we already have work lined up until mid-next year, and we’re now looking at how we increase capacity. “
Michael says the group includes several young people who are starting out in their careers.
“Getting skills from courses is one thing,” he says. “We can help people with that last twenty per cent, so that they can go from being skilled to being artisanal and we lead by example. “Right now, we have young people working directly with a director and a producer from Los Angeles, who are out here finishing their feature film.” Michael says.
One of those emerging artisans working with APG is sound engineer Leah McKeown, a recent graduate from the SAE Creative Media Institute in Adelaide.
“It’s great to feel valued,” she says. “Being a freelancer is a difficult gig, so it’s reassuring that there is business coming through.”
“They really value young people here and teach them the ropes.”
Leah has been at Lot Fourteen since June, working on post production for The Hunting and then on the US horror feature film.
Michael says that despite all the forms of electronic communication that are now available, the face-to-face contact that APG has made possible by having post production professionals and facilities in one place is still invaluable when working on creative projects.
“You can’t beat having a director sitting next to you,” Michael says.
“Here we want to combine all aspects of film making and just be able to walk between the offices and studios.
“This is a response to SA having great people doing great things. We want to benefit our community and our industry.”