“I can’t control what other people do, but I can control what I do, and I can try to make opportunities for myself. … I left a very stable job, so I wasn’t gonna leave it for something I wasn’t passionate about,” Julie Kalceff.

On September 28th, writer, director and CuriousWorks board member Julie Kalceff held an online masterclass on Zoom with the Curious Creators.  She spoke about her experiences in the screen industry and the lessons she learned on distribution and audience-building with her works Starting From Now and First Day

Starting From Now is an award-winning, multi-platform drama series exploring the lives of four inner-Sydney lesbians. It started on Youtube, and quickly grew into a viral sensation that was picked up for Australian TV broadcast. Kalceff spoke about her experience creating the series, focusing on the work she did before putting the show online to ensure it would actually reach its niche audience, and how she later applied those same lessons with her ABC drama series First Day.

Afterwards, we had a Q&A session where Kalceff answered our questions about audience-building, including: how to get your audience to prioritise your work over the sea of endless online content; how to get over the fear of ‘over-promoting’ yourself to friends and family online; and how to transition your audience to care about your next big project. 

Three of the big tips we took away from the class were:

  1.  Research your audience – even if you’re a part of that audience! That means not only knowing who your audience is, it also means considering what content they’re currently consuming, where they’re consuming this content, and who is currently talking to them.
  2.  Build relationships with the people who are talking to your audience – including websites, organisations, news sites, journalists, etc. and make it easy for them to share your work. 
  3. Don’t leave distribution and audience-building to the end! It’s important to build time into the production to collect behind-the-scenes assets, photos and cast interviews; it’ll be difficult to balance, but it’ll be much easier to get cast interviews now rather than trying to wrangle everyone together later. 

She also shared some fantastic resources from producer Kirsty Stark, which you can find on her website here!

Thank you Julie Kalceff for taking the time to share your knowledge with us!