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.
Ben Andrews is Filmbites Head of Filmmaking, Production Manager, and Head Writer. After working several years in youth services in Australia, Ben moved to Taiwan in the late ’90s to study Chinese and teach English. There he began writing and performing before being cast in a nationally syndicated TV program that was broadcast three times a day across China and Taiwan. After this minor brush with fame, he leveraged an opportunity to move behind the camera and has worked in film and video production ever since. Ben writes, produces and directs many of our senior-level productions as well as teaches acting and film-making across all levels at Filmbites.
Peta Kalaitzis is Filmbites’ Office and Projects Manager. She coordinates Filmbites’ classes, holiday and special workshops, events, venues and marketing. Since graduating from WAAPA with a BA in Arts Management, Peta has worked at the Department for the Arts, Film and Television Institute WA, Sunset Cinema Kings Park, WA Screen Awards, Prospero Productions and the Department of Premier and Cabinet. Peta also holds a Bachelor of Arts in English & Drama and an Industry Certificate from AFTRS in Content Creation.
Grace Stevenson is Filmbites’ Office and Production Assistant. She originally attended Filmbites as a filmmaking student, achieving Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking in 2017 and Outstanding Production the same year. Graduating in 2019, she has written and directed the short film Mohammad and won Outstanding Commitment and Achievement award for her year. Grace also works as a freelance producer and has just created several projects big and small in 2020. She is working towards launching her podcast production company Hot Pink Sludge in 2021.