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Editions

Open Channel is here to stay

01 Jul 2013

Open Channel is here to stay Image

Open Channel moved into its new home at Docklands Studios last month, the perfect location for the screen-industry training organisation.

Open Channel has been based in Docklands, at Shed 4 in Victoria Harbour, for the past seven years.

However, late last year Places Victoria notified the organisation that its lease was expiring and wouldn’t be renewed.

Places Victoria general manager Simon Wilson said the space was required from mid-2013 to make way for the construction of the community boating hub.

A grant from the education department came in handy, providing the funds needed to construct a new building at the Docklands Studios.

Open Channel is now set up in three demountable-style buildings, featuring a reception, office, classroom and editing suite.

While the buildings may seem to be of a temporary nature, according to new executive director Marc Gracie, Open Channel plans to stay in Docklands long-term.

Mr Gracie joined Open Channel in January this year, following the resignation of his predecessor Jennie Hughes.

He’s worked in the entertainment industry for more than 20 years and has created film and television as a writer, director and producer with credits including Take-Away, The Craic and Full Frontal.

He’s also previously worked with Open Channel as a contractor running mentoring projects.

Mr Gracie said his main charge when accepting the Open Channel director role was to work out how to build the new complex, move the organisation and, at the same time, keep it up and running.

According to Mr Gracie, the transition across the harbour was relatively smooth.

Open Channel’s 10 staff members are now set up in their new office and classes have continued uninterrupted.

“We’ve got the best offices of anyone in the film and television industry right now,” Mr Gracie said.

And Open Channel’s new location offers its students a first-hand look at the industry.

“As long as we follow protocol then the studio is more than happy to talk to us and get involved with us,” Mr Gracie said.

“That’s the big thing for us, being placed right in the middle of the industry.”

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