APATA – The Australian Performing Arts Teachers Association

Studio News > Article

Lessons from a Life in Film with Tina Brown and Matt Peterson ACS

Posted by APATA | Oct 28, 2020

Proudly Presented By:

Last month we had the absolute pleasure to sit down with Tina Brown and Matt Peterson ACS from 2300 Films to host an interview to garner insights and lessons from their stellar careers in film. ACCESS INTERVIEW @ THE APATA DIGITAL LIBRARY

2300 Films was founded in 2009. This award-winning Aussie duo have lived in and travelled around the world, including more than a decade based in New York City. They currently divide their time between Australia and America.

Their feature-length HBO documentary United Skates, now showing on Foxtel in Australia, won the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival Audience Award, was executive produced by John Legend, and was recently nominated for a 2020 Emmy in the ‘Outstanding Arts and Culture Documentary’ category.

Leading the charge our friend and film expert Richard Fabb from the Griffith Film School hosted the interview. It was also a great pleasure to have Griffith Film School students and alumni join us to record the interview working under the direction of Matt Peterson ACS. BIG shout out to the students and alumni for joining us and sharing their talents.


Richard Fabb, Senior Lecturer and Creative Director of the LiveLab, the commercial production arm of Griffith Film School works to connect students with industry and help build their professional portfolios. Richard began his career running scripts at Independent Television News (ITN) in London and spent ten years there on Channel 4 News, becoming a Producer and Foreign News Editor. He travelled widely, producing stories throughout Europe, Russia, the Balkans, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. While working on the program he won the RTS Journalism Production Award, for a short film he made with photojournalist David Modell, on the sectarian divide in Northern Ireland.

As a freelancer he has made numerous documentaries for CNN, RTE and Channel 4, including the critically acclaimed and award-winning Young, Nazi, and Proud. He won a BAFTA for this, as well as an Indie Award and was shortlisted for a Grierson and RTS Award. Richard was a producer on the BBC4 revival of the legendary late-night Channel 4 discussion show, After Dark, which The Guardian had described as “One of the most inspired and effective uses of airtime yet devised”.

In Australia he worked principally for Andrew Denton’s production company, Zapruder’s other films, but has produced programs for a range of broadcasters, including the ABC, SBS, Channel Seven, Channel Ten and The Comedy Channel. His credits include Insight, Hungry Beast, Balls of Steel, Randling, Can of Worms, Legally Brown, The Roast and The Full Brazilian.


Director | Cinematographer | Director of Photography

Matt Peterson ACS is a multi-Emmy Award-winning Director of Photography, Cinematographer, and twice winner of the prestigious Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS) award, the Golden Tripod.

Balancing commercials with series and feature films, Peterson has deftly integrated his cinematic style with the emotional nuances of storytelling.

Peterson was Director of Photography for the feature-length HBO documentary United Skates, which won the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival Audience Award, was executive produced by John Legend, and was recently nominated for a 2020 Emmy in the Outstanding Arts and Culture Documentary category.

His other feature film work includes Participant Media’s documentary about the Sandy Hook tragedy Midsummer in Newtown which received runner-up for the Audience Award at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival and was awarded the Mass Impact Award at the 2016 Boston Film Festival; and Dear Mandela which Variety described as “stirring…evocatively shot”, won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2011 Brooklyn Film Festival, and was nominated for an African Academy Award.

As Director/Director of Photography for BET’s 2019 Murder in the Thirst, Peterson created stylized recreations of the crimes for this 10-part true-crime series. He also DP’d recreations for Warren Jeffs: Prophet of Evil, a two-hour true crime documentary on the A&E Network; and Asylum’s I Am Elizabeth Smart, a 2017 Lifetime movie, part of a cross-network event with A&E.

Known for his poetic lens and lighting designs, Peterson’s wealth of experience has resulted in impactful collaborations with Apple, Coca Cola, Gatorade, Red Bull, Reebok, Puma, Under Armour, the New York Knicks, and the Super Bowl. He has also worked with a wide range of the world’s leading actors, musicians and athletes including Oscar-nominated Angela Bassett, Oscar-winner Rami Malek, Ringo Starr, Eric Bana, the Dalai Llama, David Beckham, Serena Williams, two-time Super Bowl winner Peyton Manning, Russell Wilson, Kelly Slater, Ryan Tedder (One Republic), Salt-N-Pepa, and Golden Globe-winner Tony Shalhoub (“Marvelous Mrs Maisel”).

Peterson’s coverage of extreme sports where he displays an innate ability to anticipate his subject’s next move, makes him one of the most sought-after cinematographers in the sports world. Peterson’s assignments have included the Dakar Rally, Olympics, US Open Golf, ASP World Surf Tour, Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, Winter Extreme Games, and the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii.

He has also filmed in some of the most rugged conditions in the world – from Alaska’s Yukon to the sweltering Sahara desert, and the Andes mountains to the dangerous waves of Teahupoo, Tahiti yet he is equally adept in the studio.


Director | Producer | Writer

Named as one of Variety’s 2018 top 10 documentarians to watch, Tina Brown is an Australian-Vietnamese filmmaker best known for United Skates, her feature-length documentary debut as a director/producer. Available on HBO, the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival Audience Award winner is executive produced by John Legend, and features interviews with Salt-N-Pepa, Naughty By Nature, World Class Wreckin’ Cru and Coolio, and was recently nominated for a 2020 Emmy Award in the Outstanding Arts and Culture Documentary category.

A New York Times Critic’s Pick, United Skates received an IDA Best Documentary nomination after touring some 140+ film festivals across the world where it won the Audience Award at the Chicago International Film Festival, New Orleans International Film Festival, Twin Cities Film Festival and Vancouver International Film Festival; and the Jury Award at the Smithsonian African American Film Festival, Bronze Lens Film Festival, D.C. Black Film Festival, and Baltimore Black Film Festival.

Brown co-produced the feature-length documentary Dear Mandela which was awarded the Grand Jury Prize at the 2012 Brooklyn Film Festival, and the Best South African Documentary at the 2011 Durban International Film Festival.

Her films have received funding and support from Sundance Institute Documentary Fund, Film Independent, IFP, Fledgling Fund, Chicken & Egg Pictures, Threshold, Women in Film, New York State Council of the Arts, California Humanities, Southern Documentary Fund, Left Tilt Fund, Kickstarter, Dance Film Fund and the American Documentary Film Fund.

Before relocating to New York, Brown was the Editor and Senior Features Writer for a monthly magazine. Graduating with a BA in Journalism and English, Brown devised film marketing and PR campaigns for Paramount, Universal, MGM, DreamWorks, Miramax, and Village Roadshow.

She is an industry mentor of the Australia International Screen Forum’s Women in Screen Workshop and continues to juggle directing and producing roles with her active toddler underfoot.

Sign Up to our newsletter and be the first to hear about the latest news and events.

Sign Up to our newsletter and be the first to hear about the latest news and events.