Hallie Mckeig is the Director of Filmbites having founded it in 2003. After completing a graduate diploma in film at Curtin University and a bachelor in Communications minoring in screenwriting, Hallie worked as a director at Channel 9 before leaving to work in Taiwan then Canada, where she worked on many major motion pictures and TV series. She had the pleasure of teaching students filmmaking during her stay in Taiwan and on her return to Perth, Hallie created Filmbites. Hallie’s commitment to providing the very best learning opportunities for young people has seen Filmbites grow to an industry leading and well-respected screen skills school with over 5 branches as well as a talent agency with a reputation for the excellence and screen readiness of its actors.
Shanta Surendran is Filmbites’ Head of Screen Acting. She has trained actors since 2005 and has worked with both youth and adults at a range of levels from beginner to elite. Shanta is the creator, writer and head trainer of the acting curriculum. She also trains adults as part of the core training team at Nicholson’s Academy of Screen Acting. Shanta was also one of the key training team for the Diploma of Screen Acting at FTI which trained 2015 Heath Ledger Scholarship Winner, Cody Fern. In addition to acting training Shanta has worked with Jane Norris Casting as an acting coach.
Shanta‘s students have achieved many levels of success in their acting from confidence to self discovery to honing skills to success in industry. Industry outcomes have included entry into high caliber acting schools in Perth, the eastern states and internationally. Her students have also had success in getting high level audition call-backs and short lists (both nationally and internationally), as well as winning roles on commercials, web series, TV series and feature films.
Please email Shanta here for information on applying to Filmbites’ Intermediate, Advanced or Intensive Screen acting courses.
After completing a secondment at ABC TV and graduating from WAAPA in Arts Management, Peta has worked almost exclusively in the arts in events, marketing, policy, partnerships and research roles at the Department for the Arts, Film and Television Institute WA, Sunset Cinema Kings Park, WA Screen Awards and Prospero Productions. She also enjoyed a few years as a Project Officer at The Department of Premier and Cabinet. Peta was selected to join the Perth Festival’s Film Review Panel in 2016/17.
Peta also holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Drama.
Please email Peta here for information and quotes on workshops or to discuss partnership opportunities.
Filmbites Screen Academy Instructors
Jennah Bannear (Screen Acting) is a Performing Arts Graduate from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. She majored in Performance Making and attained skills such as movement and voice fundamentals, clowning, puppetry, script writing, directing, producing, marketing and critical analysis.
This formal training compliments 26 years of performance experience ranging from musical theatre, stand up comedy and traditional stage acting through to screen acting. For Jennah, Filmbites has been a great place to both share with and learn from enthusiastic young actors.
Tim Green (Film-making, Green Screen VFX & Beginner Acting) has been making movies for longer than he could remember. He got his first video camera at eight and never really stopped. He started training at Filmbites in 2008, graduated from Murdoch University with a Bachelor of Media in Screen Production in 2015, and completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Media Production in 2016. He has directed numerous short films, including Bodhi which was selected to screen at Cinefest Oz, and worked in the photography, production sound and editorial departments on a variety of projects.
Jessica Hegarty (Screen Acting & Screen Presenting) has been teaching at Filmbites for almost 10 years, starting as a student back in Filmbites early days and then progressing her training at the Film and Television Institute with a Screen Acting Diploma. Jess draws on her own onset experience and the numerous films she’s made at Filmbites to ensure the students get a professional and enriching learning experience.
Jess loves seeing students developing confidence in their own abilities and empowering them to make creative choices whether in improvisation or working with script.
Jessica O’Connor (Screen Acting) has taught screen acting at Filmbites since 2011, teaching actors aged 5 to 15. She was formerly a Filmbites acting student herself, completing the Filmbites Professional Partnership program in 2011, and taking two years of Intensive level training in 2012/2013.
Jess is currently completing her Bachelor Degree in Education specialising in Drama and has worked in the US as a summer camp acting instructor. In addition to teaching, she has written workshop curricula for schools and has delivered programs to specialist groups such as PEAC.
In a past life Lyam Overington (2D Animation, 3D Animation and Gaming) was a Filmbites animation student. He went on to study 2D and 3D animation and game design at both TAFE and university and earned a Bachelor in Creative Industries from ECU. He now teaches Filmbites’ 2D Animation, 3D Animation and Game Design term and holiday classes.
Lyam is famous at Filmbites for his gentle manner and never-ending patience with his enthusiastic students!
Marshall Stay (Screen Acting) has been practicing film and theatre for several years, working first in Brisbane, Queensland, before coming to Perth to train at WAAPA. Before coming to Filmbites, he led acting, film & television workshops for the Shake & Stir Theatre Co. as a part of their core teaching unit.
Outside of teaching, Marshall has been a recognised finalist in the ATOM Awards and BUFTA for his short films. Marshall recently graduated with a Bachelor of Performing Arts (Performance Making) from WAAPA, and is now focused on making new works, including work with Perth production company The Last Great Hunt (Le Nor).
Filmbites Community Instructors
As well as the above instructors, these lovely screen industry professionals join us when they are available to run courses and workshops for local government councils, community groups and schools…
Cody Cameron-Brown (Film-making). After graduating from the WA Screen Academy, Cody was one of ten directors selected worldwide to attend Judith Weston’s Director’s Studio in Toronto. He applied his newly acquired skills to directing two short films, Outline and Watchdog, the latter being funded by Screenwest’s Elevate program and earning him a nomination for Young Australian Filmmaker of the Year at the 2017 Byron Bay Film Festival. In 2014, Cody won Best Tertiary Film at the WA Screen Awards and was nominated for Best Music Video for Words From Robin To Batman by The Kill Devil Hills.
Frank Carroll (Film-making) is an English born director represented by local production company Beautiful Pictures and owner of production company Contrast Creative. After graduating film school in 2015, Frank began making independent short films before entering the realm of commercials and advertising.
He has created a range of content for local and national brands such as Specsavers, Telstra, Rocky Bay and Western Australia Police. Frank loves to teach and encourage the young filmmakers of the future.
Deanna Cooney (Screen Acting & Screen Presenting) began training in performance in 1999. She has been a professional, working actor for 18 years, primarily focused on voice work (most recently Deanna was the voice of season 2 of Struggle Street for SBS).
Deanna has worked in all performance mediums across her career. Storytelling is embedded in her acting work, and she also applies her knowledge of acting and the industry as a casting headshot photographer.
Stephanie Davis (Makeup SFX) practically kills actors for a living. Having trained in London in film and television make-up and special effects make-up, Stephanie returned home to Perth in 2011 and works as a make-up artist on many local films.
She is also a successful producer, having been awarded ScreenWest funding, and applies her film knowledge not only on her film sets but also when teaching SFX to her students during her gory yet super enjoyable Filmbites workshops.
Tim spent three summers delivering music video, short film and claymation workshops at a US performing arts camp and works in community-services, where he uses filmmaking and arts as a youth engagement tool.
He has created advertising and educational resources for the state government and a range of not-for-profit organisations.