Since 2014, Skip Ahead has helped develop a generation of Australian YouTube storytellers to expand the vision and scale of their content.
The initiative is targeted at creators who have a track record of reaching an audience on YouTube and are ready to ‘skip ahead’ their careers in terms of creative ambition and production values. Up to $150,000 in production funding will be available per project, with up to five projects to be funded. Screen Australia and Google Australia are jointly funding the initiative.
Both scripted narrative (i.e. fiction) and documentary projects are eligible, and the program guidelines detail how existing YouTube creators can submit applications together and/or work with an external production house.
Senior Online Investment Manager Lee Naimo said: “Skip Ahead not only provides Australian creatives with funding to make new content with higher production values, but it allows them to push their storytelling boundaries. We are open to applications for any kind of fiction or documentary content, whether it be short film, episodic or anything in-between creators can dream up.”
Aside from receiving production funding for their project, successful applicants will also participate in two workshops to be held in Sydney (July/August 2020 TBC). Travel and accommodation support will be provided for up to four team members per project.
Michael Cooley, Public Policy Manager, Google Australia and New Zealand said: “Skip Ahead aims to provide the next generation of Australian storytellers on YouTube with the support and tools they need to make amazing content and build new audiences, both locally and internationally. We’ve seen so many talented locals come through the program over the last five rounds, and we know Skip Ahead is an important step in the careers of many successful Australian content creators, in an ever-changing screen content environment. We’re looking forward to seeing who is next!”