News 26.04.22

FIRST NATIONS SPOTLIGHT: ACT PRODUCER SHANNON WILSON-MCCLINTON



Producer and First Nations woman, Shannon Wilson-McClinton has allowed her skills and natural progression determine her trajectory in the film industry. Ausfilm caught up with the Canberra-based talent for a chat about her journey, advice for up-and-comers and more.

How did you get started in the screen industry? 

I won a work experience placement that was in an advertising agency. They offered me a job as a junior writer, a few career-stepping-stones later I’d moved from agencies into a production company.

Can you tell us about the community in the area you grew up in?
I grew up in Canberra far from any community. I didn’t actually find out about my Indigenous heritage until after my father had passed away. He had papers signed with the local community to identify us but we’d not seen them. His father had been removed from his family and they had not identified themselves as Indigenous, not surprising considering the state of Australia when my dad was born in 1933.

What made you want to work as a Producer/Line Producer?
I didn’t always consider myself creative, but I saw structure in the role of Producer, and that suited my skills. As I’ve grown in my career, I have come to realise that those skills were only part of what I needed – my own creativity and ability to identify great projects with great people; and further, to be inspired by those people and projects– were and still are equally important skills.

What projects have you worked on? Did you have a favourite?
Can I say that they’re all my favourites??!

With every project comes a new team, new challenges and ultimately, great satisfaction with the completed project.

What do you do then when you’re not filming?
When I’m not filming, generally I’m working on the development of other projects or spending time with my delightful children and husband.

Where’s your favourite region to film?
So much of Australia takes my breath away. I’m particularly fond of the NSW South Coast though – especially Booderee National Park.

What’s your favourite equipment to use in film or TV?
The coffee machine!! For my role though I would be lost without my phone and laptop.

Who’s your Producer/Line Producer idol?
No idols here. I’m quite happy doing my own thing and having my own set of expectations.

Who have been your biggest industry mentors?
Rather than forget someone, I’ll just say I’ve been lucky to have been supported across my career by many great mentors – all whom I still look for support from today.

What was one of your most challenging shoots, or something that you’ve worked on that was really challenging?
6 Festivals was challenging – we had bushfires, Covid, live music festival environments, a very tight budget, aging (teen-aged) cast. All were totally worth it, the end result will be released on Paramount+ in the latter part of 2022, which is amazing.

What’s your favourite film?
I think films speak to you at different times in your life. Some of my favourites include….The Little Mermaid, Moana, Shawshank Redemption, Toy Story, Inside Out, Like Water for Chocolate, Pulp Fiction, An Education and Marriage Story. 

What’s your favourite First Nations film?
The Tracker.

What was the first Indigenous Australian film that inspired you?
Samson and Delilah.

What’s your work philosophy?
I try to have some balance – which is much harder when filming, but generally, I’d say my philosophy is to do what you love, with people you like – having joy in the people and the project makes everything else easier!

What advice would you give to any emerging Producers/Line Producers?
Take all the advice from those who are willing to share, and get a mentor or five!