Running Free Live - Pivoting Production

ACMI, Film Victoria and Media Mentors present

Pivoting Production


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Thurs 7 May 2020

7–8.30pm (AEST)

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Leading producers and Channel 10 talk about commissioning and production in these unique and uncertain times.

In our first Running Free Live we’re doing a deep dive into how 10 and its production partners have managed their productions during the pandemic. Good news for content creators and screen professionals: Channel 10 is still commissioning shows and is working closely with production companies to meet Government regulations to keep shows on air. 

Network 10's Executive Producer Cathie Scott talks changes in production for Dancing with the Stars. Head of Popular Factual, Sarah Thornton, will be talking about her productions — including The Project — and what shows she would be interested in commissioning in the current climate. Producer Dan Brown will discuss how he worked with Sarah to turn Coronavirus Australia: Our Story around in 16 days. Fremantle CEO Chris Oliver Taylor will talk re-thinking development and production – including rebooting Neighbours for 10.

Running Free Live is presented in partnership with ACMI, Film Victoria and Media Mentors.


Sarah Thornton is Head of Popular Factual at Network 10 responsible for executive producing across shows such as The Project, Ambulance Australia and The Living Room. Sarah has over two decades of experience in programming, including over 15 years in the UK developing formats such as Say Yes to the Dress UK, Snog Marry Avoid, Top Chef, Undercover Dads and Kitchen Nightmares. Her shows have been nominated for BAFTA Awards and have won an RTS Award and Rose D’Or. Sarah began her career in News and Current Affairs at the Nine Network.

Chris Oliver Taylor started his career at the BBC in London, working across a number of production roles and programs.  He emigrated to Australia in 2000 and worked at the ABC in a variety of senior roles across Drama, Entertainment and Comedy. Chris was promoted to Head of Production in 2005 responsible for the physical production of the entire ABC TV slate. In 2011, Chris moved to the independent production sector as Managing Director of Matchbox Pictures. In 2018 Chris was appointed Fremantle’s CEO Australia, New Zealand and Asia, and assumes full responsibility for the company’s overall management and business performance across these territories as well as being a member of the Fremantle Global Board. He leads the development and production of the company’s scripted and unscripted programming. Fremantle Australia creates, produces and distributes television content including Recording Studio, Escape from the City, Family Feud, Great Australian Bake Off, Wentworth and Neighbours. Recent projects include Picnic at Hanging Rock, The X Factor, Australia’s Got Talent and Australian Idol.

Dan Brown has been creating, producing and directing television for 25 years. He co-founded Joined Up Films in 2010 after spending 8 years at the ABC. Dan has created multiple award winning formats and documentary series. Recent credits include – Coronavirus Australia: Our Story (Channel 10), Is Australia Sexist (SBS), Will Australia Ever Have A Black Prime Minister? (ABC), Secrets Of Our Cities (SBS), Is Australia Racist? (SBS) and Bite Club (Discovery).

Cathie Scott is an Executive Producer who works across both the broadcast and production sector. She most recently has returned to Ten overseeing the production of the past two series of Australian Survivor and the re launch and subsequent second series of Dancing With the Stars. During the past five years she has worked as an EP on various projects including the broadcast of the NSW School Spectacular for The NSW Department of Education Arts Unit, the 2019 NYE Fireworks coverage for the ABC, Coast Australia S4 for Foxtel’s History Channel, The 2 Cellos with the Australian Symphony Orchestra for Sony Masterworks US, The CMC and the Helpmann Awards for Foxtel and the Australia Day broadcast for the NSW Premiers Department. She has also consulted with BBCWW ANZ in the formats team during the transition to BBC Studios ANZ. Prior to this, Cathie spent five years at Fremantle Media Australia as the Head of TV Content and previously at Network Ten as the Network Executive Producer of Entertainment

Event duration

90 mins


Rewatch the entire discussion on our YouTube channel.


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