Screen start-ups given a leg-up through sqhub
Some of Queensland’s brightest talent have been chosen to take up residence at Screen Queensland’s (SQ) sqhub, a co-working space and incubator investing in the growth and development of local screen industry businesses and creatives across games, film, TV and online.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the 10 sqhub residents for 2019 were the second intake for the initiative that began in April last year, ensuring local screen industry creatives get the professional development, industry networks and business acumen needed to grow successful screen start-ups in Queensland.
“My Government through Screen Queensland is investing in our state’s screen industry at all levels,” the Premier said.
“From screen infrastructure like the Screen Queensland Studios, attracting international production and post-production work to the state, investing in local game development, right through to grassroots business development via sqhub, we are building a strong and diverse Queensland screen industry.
“This broad investment means we’re ensuring Queensland is continuing to build its reputation as a global screen industry hub while cultivating strong local screen start-ups ready to capitalise on international opportunities.”
The sqhub provides residents with a collaborative workspace, facilities, workshops, training and access to key screen industry connections and networks to advance their businesses and develop screen content for global audiences.
The 2019 sqhub residents are a mix of new and continuing businesses from the inaugural cohort who are building on the success achieved during the first year of the sqhub initiative.
Queensland’s Subtle Boom, who specialise in games, has been able to expand their team while at sqhub during 2018. The Subtle Boom team are currently working on their first project Fledgling Heroes, with release set for late 2019. While at sqhub they plan to continue developing and launching high quality games for a premium market.
David Kilford, from Lamington Games, launched the successful game Super Drop Land (SDL) in 2018 during his time at the sqhub workspace. SDL has reached 600,000 downloads around the world, with the majority in China and Japan, and has received global recognition featuring on Google Play and the App Store across Japan, USA, China and Australia. Lamington Games is currently developing a new game while in residence at sqhub, with the aim to release by the end of 2019.
Zander Hulme launched his business Supertonic earlier this year from sqhub, which provides bespoke audio for games. Zander credits the workshops and mentors provided, along with the creative environment at sqhub, for his successful move from a freelancer to launching his own business.
The 2019 sqhub residents are from a range of fields spanning games, film, TV and online content and will move in from 1 July 2019.
About the 2019 sqhub residents:
METHOD TO MY MADNESS – Natalie Sim & Alex Flamsteed. A Brisbane film production company that has multiple projects in development and two in production. They work with a steady base of commercial clients across all industries to fund their creative goals including feature films, documentaries and television series.
Lamington Games – David Kilford. David Kilford is a game designer, programmer and artist, who (with Dale Freya) released SDL in 2018. SDL is a simple two button arcade action game, which has received global recognition featuring on Google Play and a number of features on the Apple App store across Japan, the USA, China and Australia. It has achieved 600,000 downloads to date, mainly in China and Japan
Supertonic – Zander Hulme. Supertonic provides bespoke audio for games and specialises in interactive music systems and audio direction. Supertonic assembles a team of contractors for each project, under Zander’s direction. By early 2020, Supertonic is on track to have its first credit on a console title and has goals to maintain a slate of local projects as well as beginning to work with international clients, provide work and training to its regular contractors, expand the business with full-time staff, and find ways to give back to the local game development community.
Mellow Games – Mel Taylor. Mel has successfully shipped two games and won numerous awards for her work, together with her former team at Osmotic Studios in Hamburg, Germany. Since moving to Brisbane in 2018, Mel has continued to make games that are emotionally resonant and meaningful to players, as well as dealing with societal and personal issues. The themes in the game Orwell were online privacy and data surveillance. Her new game Blueberry is about growing up and growing old while dealing with trauma and the responsibilities of parenting, especially from a female perspective.
Alex Butterfield – Alex is a 17-year games industry veteran and is planning to launch his own indie studio, with a social conscience. He wants more creative control over his games and is starting with Lifeboat Earth, a game that combines the important message of hope and human agency about climate change with a commercially appealing real-time strategy game. A successful 2020 release of Lifeboat Earth will act as a springboard to creating a small Brisbane Indie studio specialising in games with a social conscience.
Subtle Boom – Anya McNaughton, Brendan Watts and Lee Segawa. Brendan and Anya first began their working relationship two years ago. Brendan’s skill in making extremely marketable, well-designed gameplay and Anya’s high-quality art and strategic stylistic development merged seamlessly. In late 2018 they decided to commit to an official studio venture and began to expand their team. While at sqhub they have focussed on high-quality games for the re-emerging premium market and have been developing their first project Fledgling Heroes that is set for release in late 2019. In the long term, they will continue to expand their team for a quicker development cycle and for a steadier stream of game releases.
Cratesmith Game Assembly – Kieran Lord. Kieran is a software development engineer with 12 years’ experience specialising in Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Artificial Intelligence (AI) as well as a having substantial experience in design, production and project management. His main area of specialization is in programming, with several key focus areas; AR/VR, AI, Tools development, Optimization in the Unity3d game engine, programming best practices and education. In 2016 he established Cratesmith Game Assembly which continues to work on AR/VR projects, consulting for industry, providing education to developers on best practices and developing games using AR and VR.
Seeding Time Pictures (STP) – Arun Ketsirat, Kym Melzer (Queensland) and Joseph Taylor (Bali). For six years STP developed and produced short documentary and narrative films including Dark Waters (on ABC iview) with ABC/Screen NSW. In 2018, The Boob Issue bagged the Asia Pacific Screen Awards Brisbane Short Film Fund while Cool Fashion Girls won international laurels. STP’s slate now includes long-form TV properties and feature films. With Movie Studio Bali and Jungle Run Productions they produced the TV pilot Promoter in Paradise. There is a wealth of opportunity for Queenslanders in the Austral-Asian region, particularly given the growth of streaming platforms and STP is at the forefront of this exciting development.
8 Slice Media and Disruptor Studios – Nikki Organ and Bobbi-Lea Dionysius. Both producers, these two women are currently bringing their niche expertise in social impact (Bobbi-Lea) and digital marketing (Nikki) together at sqhub to create an LGBTI+ web series. The aim of the series is to highlight the importance of marketing screen content from the beginning of a project, while helping projects reach their full potential in terms of audience reach and marketability.
Caden Pearson – Caden is an early-career writer, director, and producer, originally from Cairns. He is working on a number of projects through his production company, Insights Media, including a half hour documentary in development with NITV. He is also developing a paranormal crime web series with Producer Dena Curtis at Inkey Media, which is based on his feature screenplay, Walter’s Ghost. In 2018, he also wrote and directed a short film called Walter’s Ghost, which was produced by Inkey Media with support from Screen Queensland and is a prequel to the series. Caden has completed two SQ attachments this year, assisting on Robbie Hood and Monster Problems. To achieve his career goals, he has temporarily relocated from Cairns to Brisbane, but sees himself very much as a Far North Queensland practitioner. Caden is a Bagarrmugu man from Cape York.
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Media contact – Chris O’Brien 0419 774 004
Screen Queensland Media – Bronwyn Fardon 0414 327 576