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Photoplay Celebrates a Decade of Creative Film-making


Photoplay is a production house that now includes Photoplay Film & TV, Photoplay Photography and Playtime

Photoplay Celebrates a Decade of Creative Film-making

Photoplay has celebrated a decade’s worth of crafting uniquely intriguing stories with a 10th Anniversary party held at Porteño Surry Hills last Thursday night; and a thank you note to everyone who has supported and helped Photoplay’s success over the years.

Last week’s event also paid tribute to Photoplay’s own story, from its humble beginnings with three self-confessed naïve filmmakers knocking about in a Redfern warehouse to a globally recognised, award-winning production collective housing more than 40 people working across advertising, film and photography.

Photoplay is a production house that now includes Photoplay Film & TV, Photoplay Photography and Playtime. The actual Photoplay journey began back in 2009 when executive producer, Oliver Lawrance; director, Scott Otto Anderson; and producer, Florence Tourbier, left Independent Films, where they worked together for a number of years, to launch a boutique production company dedicated to creative storytelling and filmmaking in all its forms.

“We were naive about the advertising industry when we started out but I think that impressionability gets you everywhere and gives you the energy to keep going,” Lawrance says.

“Essentially, we broke away to start our own venture to be free to play on all kinds of creative projects that interested us whether commercial or not, all under the one roof.” Those interests included film and TV, long-form and short films as well as commercial work.

Their aim was to create a sustainable business ecosystem that merged together advertising, film and television projects, so that the two streams could co-exist. As Photoplay grew they added Photoplay Photography in 2016, with six international photographers on its initial roster. In August 2017, Photoplay launched Playtime, a place where creators can collaborate on inventive projects, and Photoplay Film & TV, which produces provocative screen stories. 

Now representing 18 directors and ten photographers, Lawrance adds, “Photoplay has a reputation for supporting an eclectic mix of brave storytellers and we hope even braver stories.” 

Photoplay has also collected an impressive showcase of awards from Cannes, One Show, D&AD, and has a permanent collection in ACMI. Its awarded campaigns include work on campaigns for major brands such as Sony, Telstra, NAB, Ikea, Nestle, AirBnB, Hyundai et al. And Photoplay has been a production partner on high profile feature films such as Berlin Syndrome, Sweet Country and Goldstone, and feature documentaries, Hairtales and The Lost Aviator. 

Above: A selection of images from the celebrations at Porteño Surry Hills

Growing steadily over a decade, Photoplay more recently outgrew its space. “We were overflowing and had to rent a shared workspace for the stills guys and we were still short of space, so we found a larger warehouse in Alexandria to allow our film and TV side to continue to grow and develop,” Lawrance states. 

The rise of any business doesn’t happen without support. Lawrance and Anderson would like to thank creatives Dean Hunt and Yanni Pounartzis, “for giving us a start in the industry” on their first interesting work for Bonds; and all our agency friends for their consistent support over the years including The Monkeys, BMF, DDB, Clemenger, Leo Burnett and Saatchi and many more including all the boutique agencies that have entrusted Photoplay with their projects.

“We also give thanks for all the agency and industry partners, crew and clients that have backed us along the way,” Lawrance says. “We’d also like to thank our own people for nurturing a culture that has not only allowed Photoplay to grow but has made it a great company to work in and a fun place for people in other companies to partner with.”

Lawrance adds: “We have always had a culture in which we look for new and interesting talent and daring storytellers. We have been ardent supporters of the move to give more female directors equal opportunities and have worked on this alongside Free The Bid which is run by our fabulous director Jasmin Tarasin.” 

Lawrance is also grateful for Photoplay’s core values. “It’s our emphasis on craft and storytelling in anything we do. It’s that we’ve never been fazed by big or small budgets and that we’ve always been about approaching every project from a filmmaking angle. We’re never a copy and paste production company; we are a creative partner that helps intriguing ideas come to life.”

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Photoplay / Playtime, Tue, 24 Sep 2019 13:06:13 GMT