Download the 2020 Annual Report
Awards Committee
Annual Report 2020

The Awards committee has just successfully completed the Screen Music Awards for 2020.
 The committee contributed to:

1. Reworking the judging guidelines and criteria

2. Incorporating a moderator for each judging panel category

3. Refreshing the judging portal, which has streamlined our ability to adjudicate and submit

4. Created a database of available judges

The Chair, Mark Buys, will communicate with APRA AMCOS in early 2021 to review the year, awards process and execution, and make plans looking forward. Thank you to the Awards Committee for their contribution this year!

Mark Buys, Chair

Education Committee
Annual Report 2020

We have recently welcomed Leah Flanagan, National Manager of peak body NATSIMO (National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Music Office), to our committee.  Leah has been working with Dale and Cameron to create vital strategic partnerships for an Indigenous Screen Composer Initiative. Indigenous Screen Composers represent less than .1% of all screen composers nationally (according to APRA’s database figures and screen credit research undertaken by the Education Committee).

In 2020, we have commenced research in partnership with NATSIMO and Screen Australia, toward developing and creating pathways for Indigenous composers. Opportunities for improvement include education, mentorships, internships and professional outcomes. We are working toward a paid internship for an Indigenous composer in the second half of 2021 and a Masters of Screen Composition Scholarship at AFTRS in 2022.

Brett Aplin and Dale have developed and delivered the free ‘Toolkit for the Emerging Screen Composer’ webinar to: Sydney Conservatorium, A.I.M., S.A.E, Collarts, Box Hill Institute, along with a national webinar delivery, made possible through our own Events committee & APRA. This webinar has connected the Guild to a number of tertiary institutions and their students in a meaningful way in 2020. Fiona Hill and Brett are spearheading the expansion of this program in 2021. These webinars are giving students and emerging screen composers much needed information, through the use of real life personal stories. Topics covered include scope of rights, negotiation, placing a value on your work, contractual language, understanding and coping with criticism, and the importance of community & communication within our sector.

Through these new connections, we have seen a number of new members joining the AGSC.
 After much planning, Cliff Bradley and Luna Pan have, in the last few weeks, commenced filming a brand new interview series titled ‘Composer to Composer’. Our first interview features Clifford Bradley interviewing composer Michael Lira, recently nominated at the Screen Music Awards for Best Music in a Feature Film. Cliff and Michael talk about their recent feature film collaboration, including behind the scenes footage of recording sessions with orchestra.

Following this interview, we have two brilliant (top tier) female screen composers lined up to interview one another in January 2021 (announcement to follow).

‘Composer to Composer’ interviews provide in-depth insights into the diverse practises of working screen composers in this country & will be available to AGSC members very soon. Stay tuned!

Dale Cornelius,

Events Committee
Annual Report 2020

Since joining the new Board in March 2020, I volunteered to be the chair of the Events Committee consisting of myself, Damien Lane and Annie Parnell.  Like the rest of the world, we pivoted to online events to keep our members connected and engaged.

We held 8 events over 9 months:

  1. April – Buy Outs Panel Session moderated by Caitlin Yeo
  2. May – In Conversation session with LA producer of Score documentary Matt Schrader – interviewed by Cameron Patrick (Board member)
  3. July – In Conversation with Kevin Penkin – Games Composer – interviewed by Meena Shamaly (ABC Games music host), in partnership with APRA AMCOS.
  4. August – Panel discussion featuring the past mentees from the APRA-AGSC Women in Film Mentorship programme of 2018 and 2019 as well as current mentor Bryony Marks – interviewed by Elizabeth Drake (Board Member and GEC 
  5. October – Toolkit for Emerging Composers Presentation – given by Dale Cornelius (Education Chair)
  6. September – Spring Social (members only) – moderated by Me-Lee Hay
  7. November – Re-Investment Deals moderated by Antony Partos (President and IR chair), in partnership with Ausfilm
  8. November – Championing Female Composers – an interview with Indian Cinema 
composer Sneha Khanwalker – interviewed by Me-Lee Hay, in partnership with WIFT Australia as part of the Asian Pacific Screen Forum and WIFT Excellence in Craft series

Average attendance – (not including the members only Zoom social) = 58% average, members attending events 32%.

One of the main goals of the Events team has been to provide engagement to different levels of membership (e.g. emerging vs established). Events are also an excellent way for the AGSC to foster relationships with other organisations such as APRA, Ausfilm and APSA.

Re-investment Tax Implication Resource

As an offshoot to the Re-Investment webinar – it became clear that more exploration needed to be done to truly understand the tax implications of different types of re-investment deals. Therefore I have sought and achieved Board approval to develop an information resource with Stuart Smith (AGSC accountant). This is currently being developed and we need member help. I will be sending emails to all composers that attended the re-investment webinar to call out for anonymous case studies to help us build different real life scenarios so that Stuart Smith can supply the most up to date information on the tax implications of these case studies.

2021 EVENTS planned so far:

  • Strategic Planning Forum of members (Antony will speak to this later)
  • Tax Implications of Re-investment deals
  • Covid permitting: 
- continuing the wonderful legacy of the late Martin Armiger’s “Glories of the Score” event that occurred in 2018 – a full day of events for composers and industry alike
- speed dating for producers / directors and composers

We would like to start thinking about increasing the value of membership through utilising events. E.g. free events for members, charge a small fee for non-member.

Me-Lee Hay, Chair

Gender Equity Committee
Annual Report 2020

The Gender Equity committee has been very active throughout the second half of 2019 and the first half of 2020. Felicity Wilcox stepped down as chair and Elizabeth Drake moved into the role on March 08 2020. New member was Bryony Marks with Petra Salsjo stepping down during the year.

Significant contributions the GEC has made this year include:

  • Choosing AGSC member Bryony Marks as the Mentor for the APRA AMCOS/AGSC Women in Film Mentorship Program for 2020, and selecting Chiara Costanza as the mentee for this, in April / May 2020.
  1. Supporting the creation of a special AGSC Women’s Playlist for tracks, for IWD in March, which we are re-launching in early 2021 with greater participation from female and non-binary members of the AGSC.
  2. Participating in the Screen Australian Gender Matters Taskforce Advisory Group, and contributing to the wording for the pledge that all screen organisations will be asked to adopt; keeping the idea of incentives and quotas for employment of female crew members on the table and supporting the new Screen Australia program to be announced in the new year for female shadow positions to be created in areas including screen composing, cinematography and other under-represented areas.  The wording for the pledge currently stands as:  “We commit to gender equity and inclusion across our decisions, actions, teams, and creation to benefit the Australian screen industry and our audiences”.
  3. Planning for the AGSC’s biennial Gender Equity Round Table Event in March 2021, to be held in Melbourne, for delegates from all areas of the screen sector, focusing on gender issues and regulation within the industry work place.

Elizabeth Drake, Chair

Health and Well-Being Committee
Annual Report 2020

This year was a remarkable year for the Health and Well-Being committee given the many challenges that COVID-19 presented. We rose up to face these challenges head-on. Never before has it been more important to reinforce the spirit of community, the bonds of friendship and the benefits of collegial professionalism that the AGSC delivers. This was achieved by remaining front-of-mind to our members by having a constant presence in the messages we sent – we wanted to ensure that our members knew that we cared for them.  Specifically:

‘Call a Friend’ campaign. During the COVID-19 coronavirus lockdown, we invited isolated Australian Screen Composers to contact us via a new AGSC email address. This initiative was important because of the high rates of loneliness among our members.  This, plus the unique problems that COVID-19 introduced, was something that we proudly tackled. 22 April 2020.

2nd Podcast (The Science of Psychotherapy) with Screen Composer Caitlin Yeo hosted by Matthew Dahlitz and Richard Hill. This podcast directly addressed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the members of the AGSC.

Stay Connected by RUOK? Campaign. During the persistent COVID-19 pandemic the Health and Well-Being team published essential information on how to stay connected – in order to reduce loneliness, depression and anxiety. The one-page reference guide was also updated and sent with the email. 3rd August.

RUOK?Day 2020.  Building on the established ‘Stay Connected’ Campaign, we invited Australian Screen Composers to contact us. The day was a success – with screen composers contacting me and debriefing on anything on their mind, as I listened as a friend. Further support information was supplied to the callers where they could access professional assistance if needed. 10 Sept. 2020.

After 10 years of membership and 8 years of board/committee work Craig Morgan will be stepping down from the AGSC Board and the Health and Well-Being Committee.  This opens an opportunity for a suitably qualified volunteer to step forward and lead the Health and Well-Being Committee.  Dr Morgan notes: “It has been a pleasure to see the transformation of what the Health and Well-Being team does over the years. I must thank everyone who has supported the important work we do for our members. I sincerely hope that the AGSC continues to recognise the challenges that face Australian Screen Composers and allocate resources and energy accordingly”.

Craig Morgan, Chair

Industrial Relations Committee
Annual Report 2020

A summary of the year’s activity that members of the IR Committee actioned includes:

  • Initiating a meeting with Trent Zimmerman, MP and Chair of Parliamentary Friends of the Screen and ADG Executive Director and independent producers David Jowsey, Helen Bowden, APRA AMCOS Chair Jenny Morris and APRA AMCOS Board & AGSC member Amanda Brown.
  • Initiated the White Paper Response into a sustainable film and TV sector.
  • Gave significant input into the report with APRA/AMCOS that recommended:
    • Streamlining offset to film and TV to 30% but with a 10% cultural uplift for using Australian HADs
    • Lowering the threshold for the Post Production rebate from $500,000
    • A 10% quota for streaming services revenue generated in Australia to be used for new Australian Content
    • 1% of advertising revenue generate in Australia by Big Tech Companies to be used for new Australian Content
    • Tax Incentives to screen/distribute Australian Films
    • Protection of copyright for Australian intellectual property
    • Submitted a response to the Government paper on the Creative Industries.
    • Met with Sally Caplan, Head of Content at Screen Australia to lobby for Australian Screen Composers to be promoted and to work with SPA to introduce guidelines and an agreement template to limit the exploitation of composers via intellectual rights and reinvestment deals.

Antony Partos, Chair