DIRECTOR + WRITER
Behind the scenes at Bus Stop Films
A BTS look at my lovely Bus Stop Films students as they work towards their major project for the year and my most recent short - low-fi sci-fi/drama
Way Out Assistance.
Writing, directing & producing - Stef Smith’s tips for nailing the Generator: Emerging Filmmakers Fund
Joy Boy was one of six films selected for funding and screened on SBS to help celebrate 40 years of Mardi Gras. How did you ensure your application stood out in a very competitive field?
It’s truly impossible to know what the competition will be, so my advice is to not focus on that aspect at all. Just do the absolute best you can with the tools you have on hand. I was lucky enough to be shortlisted in 2016 and then successful in 2017, but even applying and failing taught me so much.
Shooting has wrapped on low-fi sci-fi/drama short film Way Out Assistance. Inclusively made with Stef's students at Bus Stop Films.
MIFF Accelerator Lab 2018 supported by Create NSW
Accelerator Lab provides four days of workshops, screenings, seminars and networking events on the business and creative aspects of the film industry by leading local and international film practitioners for 15-20 short film directors seeking to make the transition to feature film making.
ADG Commercial & Content Directing Mentoree Profile: Stef Smith
How did you become involved with the program?
I heard about the initiative in 2017 when they announced the recipients and made it my goal to at least do enough work to be in consideration for the 2018 round. When the time came to apply I had no existing relationships with any of the production companies involved so I made my silly application video that showed how much of a weirdo I am and how much I swear and crossed my fingers.
Which company/who have you been mentored with?
When time came to interview I researched every production company, their directors and their work to make sure I would fit in and thankfully the one that I felt I aligned with most was the one I got! Bloody love Photoplay. They’ve been so welcoming and generous, the people that work there are incredibly kind and talented and I feel genuinely really grateful. And they took two of us so I’ve made a brilliant new friend in the other recipient Aimee-Lee X Curran. That’s not even a lie. She’s friggen great.
2018 ADG Gender Matters: Commercial & Content Directing Mentorship Recipients Announced
Funded by Screen Australia’s Gender Matters: Brilliant Careers initiative, the Commercial & Content Directing Mentorship pairs emerging female directors with commercial production companies to gain an insight into life as a director in the commercial space.
The programme is jointly designed and implemented by the Australian Directors’ Guild, The Communications Council, and the Commercial Producers Council.
Meet The Women Rewriting The Rulebook Of Australian Cinema
In Smith’s opinion, the path to more inclusive storytelling is to make professions within the film industry, both in front and behind the camera, more accessible. “I believe that the times are changing," she says, "and rightly fucking so. It really is about time. But there’s definitely more that can be done. I've always strived, whether I was on-set as a director, or facilitating a production as a producer, to make every single shoot gender equal. So, I would have gender parity productions, and then I would also try to make my production inclusive, particularly behind the scenes. But there is such a negative perception of people with disabilities being on set. It’s like, ‘Oh god, is it gonna slow us down. It's already so hard. There's already so much going on. How are we going to do it?’ And you know what? You just fucking have to do it.
"We've just got to keep pushing and making it happen and being uncompromising about these standards. Because it can only be a good thing."