Screen Trades

Arts & Cultural Exchange (ACE) and leading industry partners presents

Screen Trades is a job training and placement initiative that is addressing the significant shortages in below-the-line jobs in the local TV and film industry, tailor-made for underrepresented communities.

Through this innovative program, Arts & Cultural Exchange (ACE) continues to play a pivotal role in revitalizing the Australian film industry. Screen Trades strategically addresses shortages in below-the-line jobs in the local screen industry, offering significant support to First Nations, multicultural, and individuals from culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) backgrounds in Western Sydney.

With Screen Trades at the forefront and a rich history of community involvement, ACE is poised to continue its role as a key pillar in the Australian screen industry’s development. By championing diversity and creativity, we ensure that Australian storytelling remains unique, vibrant, and representative of its rich multicultural landscape.

In its pilot year, the Screen Trades program has seen a remarkable achievement. From the Assistant Camera courses, 34 participants were trained, and impressively, 18 of them landed paid gigs, working on high-profile television commercials, television series, and digital series. These projects included big names such as McDonalds, Aldi, Tooheys, and the Sydney Opera House 50th Anniversary. The Production Accounting courses and Note-Taking workshops also saw participants securing full-time employment and internships.

We are now working in collaboration with industry partners to roll out the next phase of the Screen Trades pathways. 2024 will see new intakes for the Assistant Camera skill set working with Panavision Australia, and the Production Accounting skill set with Entertainment Partners powered by Moneypenny, as well as ‘Note-Taking’ and ‘Script Coordination’ again with the Australian Writers’ Guild. New skill sets will be piloted including Location Scouting & Management with Ecomlocations, Production Design with the Australian Production Design Guild, and a First Nation VFX Artist pilot with TAFE NSW with the state-of-the-art facilities at the Nepean-Kingswood campus.

Upcoming Screen Trades events also include an information and networking session on Saturday 11th November 2023 presented by ACE and the Australian Production Design Guild (APDG). The session will be an introduction to opportunities in the Design Departments in the screen industry, focusing on the Art, Costume, and Make-Up Departments. Click HERE for more info and where to apply.

Previous Screen Trades Programs Include:


Production Accounting

From 30 September – 1 October, 18 passionate students with TAFE Accounting diplomas and participants from ACE’s previous ‘Bookkeeping for Filmmakers’ workshop, attended the 2-day ‘Production Accounting Essentials’ workshop with Jill Hewitt, Senior Production Accountant and Director of Training, Australia, Moneypenny Production Accounting Services.

The workshop provided an extensive overview of the role of the Production Accountant during Pre-Production, the Shoot and Post, covering everything from Budgets to Cost Reports, and Cashflow to Payroll.

Assistant Camera

The AC program worked with industry partner Panavision (the world leader in camera equipment and lenses) and featured 3 events that addressed key skills shortages in the Camera Department that Australia’s Film and TV industry continues to face.

Panavision workshop at their HQ in Lane Cove on 14 November, with Panavision film industry influencer Nicolas Godoy, gave entry-level practitioners from First Nations and CaLD communities a comprehensive introduction to the work of the AC and on-set protocols.

A follow-up masterclass with Christian ‘Critter’ Huxton, a veteran First AC with extensive experience in Feature Films, TV series and TVCs, provided a deep dive into the roles and responsibilities of the AC and employability skills.

One-set attachments for select participants with award-winning TVC production companies: GoodOil, Collider and Revolver

Note-Taking in the TV Writers’ Room

In April 2023, ACE partnered with the Australian Writers’ Guild to present their successful Note-Taking Workshop, facilitated by screenwriter and development executive Catherine Kelleher, for early career practitioners from target communities.

Creating a perfect set of notes isn’t easy, and nailing it requires a different skill set to screenwriting. In this workshop, participants learned the art of skillful note-taking: how to take notes, how to present them, and how to make the most of the opportunity.

The Australian Writers’ Guild is the professional association representing writers for stage, screen, radio and online and has protected and promoted their creative and professional interests for 60 years.

The role of the Note-Taker in the screen industry is a specialist skillset currently in high demand and valued as an entry point to the industry for early career writers.

The writers’ room is where writers pitch ideas, brainstorm, break down the scenes, create characters and write first drafts. The role of the note-taker in the writers’ room is a crucial one – detailed and accurate notes can either make or break a room.


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