Ararat film-maker Mark Shea debuts independent film in Horsham

ARARAT film-maker Mark Shea’s work has reached millions of people on YouTube.

However, in his eyes, global reach does not beat screening films in front of his home crowd.

Mr Shea will host a screening of his latest film capturing his trip across Australia on a motorbike at Horsham Centre Cinemas on Monday.

Journey to the West traces his trip from Ararat, across the Nullarbor and up the west coast, finishing in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

Mr Shea was one of the first travel vloggers on YouTube, and made enough money on the platform to travel to Asia and Central American in 2011-12.

He believes film screenings are the future for independent filmmakers.

“In the internet age, I think a lot of people are craving real contact – events where they can meet and share their interests,” he said.

“In 2011-12 I started putting travel videos up on YouTube, and I was getting over half a million views a month.

“They put ads up against your videos, and you get a percentage of that revenue.

“Back then it was something new and the ad rates were a lot higher. Now it's changed a lot, and you have to get millions and millions of views to even make a little money.

“YouTube is overcrowded and I don't see it as a viable option for film-makers.”

Mr Shea said Netflix and Amazon had also changed the industry.

“Independent screenings can be a possible future for film-makers, taking their films to the people and finding a niche audience,” he said.

“It's exciting for me. I've had over 20 million views on YouTube, but it is more enjoyable to greet people and be with them to watch your work.”

Mr Shea said next week’s event – which follows a screening in Ararat – was a test case for screening independent films in the Wimmera.

“It’s kind of a first for Horsham, and depending on how it goes it could become a regular event,” he said.

The film will screen at 7pm, with a question and answer session with Mr Shea to follow. Tickets are $20.

Mr Shea asked people to pre-book tickets online at www.overlander.tv/shop/#store-item=59f16950cca91802b8af565f.