Western Australian director Bree Billington is one of eight female directors selected for the Australian Directors’ Guild (ADG) Commercial and Content Directing Mentorship program.
Over the next several months Billington will be mentored by Beautiful Pictures, providing her with a comprehensive experience in commercial content production and opportunity build relationships with potential clients and advertising agency representatives.
Billington’s career is on an upwards trajectory, working with Showrunner from 2014-16 producing, directing, writing and operating the camera various 72 series, which streams on Netflix. She now heads up her own company, Busy Bee Productions which is in development with factual entertainment and scripted comedy.
“Directors rarely get to work with other directors, especially in the commercial sector so I’m really excited about this mentorship with the team at Beautiful Pictures,” said Billington.
“This mentorship will be a valuable insight into other directors’ processes and the relationship between agency and production company. I’m really appreciative that the commercial sector being recognised by the ADG and Screen Australia as a legit pathway to a directing career.”
ADG President Samantha Lang and CinefestOZ 2016 Screen Legend recipient Gillian Armstrong in reflecting on their careers, together identified that working in commercials as emerging film makers striving to make features was a benefit not to be ignored, especially as the statistics for women in the commercial sector are strikingly below parity.
Lang says that female directors in Australia make up a 16% of feature films but “most alarmingly 10% of women directors are represented by commercial agencies in Australia. That doesn’t even mean that there are 10% of women directing commercials.”
Lang remarked that she and Gillian “enjoyed healthy careers as commercials directors and that didn’t just… fund the development of our feature films, we actually got to really hone our skills and have incredible relationships.”
The Commercial & Content Directing Mentorships were made possible thanks to Screen Australia’s Gender Matters: Brilliant Careers funding.
Applications for the 2018 Commercial & Content Directing Mentorships will be open later this year.