Film industry heavyweights gear up for Masterclass Series

One of the most accomplished ensembles of film industry heavyweights ever assembled in regional Australia is set to share their insights with emerging filmmakers and shine the spotlight on Far North Queensland as part of the Port Shorts Film Festival’s Masterclass Series later this month.

Port Shorts Film Festival Ambassadors – champion Aussie actor Stephen Curry, Wolf Creek Producer Matt Hearn and AFI Award-nominated screenwriter Kier Shorey – will be joined by Pirates of the Caribbean 5 drone operator Stephen Oh, former Hollywood Producer Jim Gorman (Les Miserables, Cutthroat Island, Sniper), much-loved actor Peter Phelps, acclaimed music video producer/director Natasha Pincus (Gotye, Powderfinger, Paul Kelly), Australian Cinematographers’ Society Victorian president Warwick Field and Australian Teachers of Media (ATOM) Queensland to deliver the Port Shorts Masterclass Series in Port Douglas from October 25-27.

The tropical paradise in Far North Queensland has a long association with the film industry as the location for big budget features including The Thin Red Line, Fool’s Gold and The Pacific.

Port Shorts Film Festival Director Alison George said organisers hoped the 2017 Masterclass Series would inspire the next generation of Australian filmmakers to take their career to the next level.

“Whether you’re the next Scorsese or a first-time filmmaker, the Masterclass Series has been developed to encourage emerging filmmakers to pursue their dreams and learn from some of the best in the industry,” Ali said.

“We’re grateful so many accomplished industry experts are making the effort to come all the way to Port Douglas to participate and share their knowledge with emerging filmmakers.

“There’s still spots left for filmmakers who want to register at and celebrate the art of filmmaking with us.”

Port Shorts Ambassador Stephen Curry, who will participate in an exclusive live read of an action-comedy heist film he co-wrote and is producing with Hearn which is currently in pre-production and slated to be filmed in and around Port Douglas late next year, said he was excited to be a part of such a high-calibre Masterclass Series.

“You’d be lucky to be able to participate in such a quality workshop series in Sydney or Melbourne, let alone learn from some of the best in the business while sipping on a mango daiquiri in the tropics,” Curry said.

“I’m excited to check out the other workshops myself and learn a few new tricks and Hearny and I are really looking forward to sharing the story of our new heist film with an audience for the first time and give some local actors and filmmakers the chance to participate in that process.”

As an added bonus, anyone who registers to participate in the Masterclass Series workshops before 5pm Sunday October 15 will be in with a chance to win a trip for two to the Great Barrier Reef with Reef Sprinter. There are also some great accommodation deals available for participants on

Stephen Oh on the set of Pirates of the Caribbean.


Wednesday October 25th

Film Acting with Peter Phelps 9am-12pm One of Australia’s best-known actors shares his insights on everything from useful warm-up techniques to bringing your character to life for the cameras with directors and other actors.

Camera Technique, Lensing & Lighting with Warwick Field – 9am-12pm Learn how to gain traction in feature film shooting, explore technical and creative preparation of key scenes and principal photography with cinematographer Warwick Field, Victorian president of the Australian Cinematographers Society.

The Dirty Details of Producing a Feature Film with Matt Hearn & Jim Gorman – 1pm-4pm Wolf Creek Producer Matt Hearn and former Hollywood Producer Jim Gorman (Les Miserables, Cutthroat Island, Sniper) give emerging and would-be film producers the dirty details of what they need to know and the best ways to approach getting their film project on to the big screen.

Thursday October 26th

The Inspiration & Reality of Music Video Production with Natasha Pincus – 9am-12pm Gain insights into the creative process involved in making music videos, from their inspiration to the reality of production, with producer/director of acclaimed music videos for musicians such as Gotye, Paul Kelly, Powderfinger and Missy Higgins.

Writing for the Rectangle: The Screenplay as Craft with Kier Shorey – 9am-12pm It doesn’t sound romantic, but writing for the screen is more carpentry than calligraphy. And because all good tradies need good tools, Australian Film Industry Award-nominated screenwriter Kier Shorey is here to help from first idea to final pitch.

Drones for Film with Stephen Oh – 1pm-4pm Stephen Oh and his team from XM2 have showcased their drone skills on blockbusters including Pirates of the Caribbean 5 and are delivering a hands-on demonstration on how to get the most out of your machine.

Cape Tribulation Live Read with Stephen Curry & Matt Hearn – 1pm-4pm Participate in an exclusive read through of the script for Cape Tribulation that Matt and Steve have developed for a clever heist film to be shot in Port Douglas which is in pre-production.

Friday October 27th

Port Shorts Young Filmmakers Masterclass – 8.30am-3pm An intensive full-day introduction to the film industry with Australian Teachers of Media (ATOM) Queensland, sound engineer Andrew Killengray and the Port Shorts Masterclass panel for school-aged filmmakers up to 18 years.


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