Griffith Film School graduate Lauren Brown has been awarded the coveted Village Roadshow Animal Logic Internship in Los Angeles.
Just months after completing her Master of Screen Production at GFS, she is at the heart of the world’s film industry.
The young film producer will spend the next three months at the Village Roadshow offices in LA gaining first-hand experience in developing, acquiring and producing feature films for the international market.
The Brisbane-based film producer said it was a dream come true.
“I was actually at the hairdresser when I got the call, and I had to stop myself from jumping for joy,” she said.
“For an emerging producer like myself, it is an incredible opportunity to be in Los Angeles working with an amazing company and getting some great support while I’m here.”
The highly sought-after internship is run by Australians in Film (AiF), and is open to recent Australian film graduates who demonstrate significant potential in their areas of expertise.
Established in 2014, it forms part of AiF’s mission to serve as a bridge between the U.S. and Australian screen industries and is valued at $20,000.
Australians in Film President Kate Marks said the internship provided an “incredible opportunity”.
“It allows emerging Australian screen talent to connect with, and gain invaluable experience from, some of the industry’s most cutting-edge and creative filmmakers,” she said.
It was a case of third time lucky when it came to securing the internship.
“It is such a rare program and I’ve applied for it three times now because it’s an opportunity that just can’t be passed up,” she said.
“From the moment I arrived everyone at Australians in Film, Village Roadshow Entertainment Group and Animal Logic have all been so welcoming.
“I am learning a lot about each company and have also had the opportunity to attend a few networking events and screenings run by Australians in Film.”
Lauren said she was looking forward to being at the heart of the movie industry.
“It’s a hive of activity and everyone seems to have their finger on the pulse of the industry,” she said.
“Whether you want to meet actors, writers, directors or producers, everything is at your fingertips and everything seems possible. It’s very exciting and really motivating!
“There’s also the historical aspect. Catching a glimpse of classic Hollywood monuments and seeing all the major studios, knowing all the amazing films that have been produced there over the years is very surreal.”
Lauren originally studied education and taught English and Film Studies in the UK for several years before coming home to enrol at Griffith Film School.
“After teaching for a few years I realized that I wanted to pursue film further, and decided to apply for the Bachelor of Film and Screen Media Production at Griffith Film School,” she said.
“When I got in, it just felt so right, and I knew that’s where I wanted to be.”
Lauren said Griffith Film School was “a wonderful creative hub”.
“Probably the biggest highlight of my time at Griffith was the chance to meet and work with so many like-minded people,” she said.
“It is a place for people to network and collaborate, and realize their creative vision.”
Acting Head of Griffith Film School Professor Trish FitzSimons said Lauren was destined for big things.
“We are very proud of Lauren’s achievement – she was an outstanding undergrad who continued to shine in the Master of Screen Production,” she said.
“She has been mentored throughout her time at Griffith Film School by Adjunct Professor Trish Lake – an experience that has been vital in smoothing Lauren’s path into industry.
“We are expecting big things from Lauren – she will go far.”
Lauren has worked as an independent film producer for the past four years. Her most recent projects include the short films Fell (2014), which screened in competition at Flickerfest in 2015, and Gentleman (2016) which is in the middle of its festival run.
As well as developing her own independent projects through her company Little Red Balloon Films, Lauren has worked for Brisbane-based production company Freshwater Pictures alongside Griffith Film School Adjunct Professor and renowned producer Trish Lake, who has been instrumental in guiding Lauren’s career.
“One thing I learnt early on from Trish, was that in order to have longevity and income as a producer, you always need to have multiple pathways before you, because you never know when something will take off or stall,” she said.
“Whether it’s multiple projects, internships or placements, you can’t simply rely on one thing to take you forward.
“You have to be proactive, develop strong networks and create opportunities for yourself. It is the difference between success and failure in the industry.
“The film industry is not an easy industry to work in, but if you want it enough, work hard for it, and establish good working relationships with those around you, opportunities will always present themselves.”