Photograph by Matthew Thompson
In 2017/2018, I was awarded placement at Oscar-nominated company FINCH as part
of the inaugural ‘Gender Matters’ initiative by Screen Australia and the ADG
(Australian Director’s Guild). LGBTQ+ short film/music video The Ocean for award-winning Irish artist Wallis Bird premiered in December 2018, produced by FINCH
and now enjoying international film festival selections in 2019. The film was most
recently selected for the Shiny List, at the Shiny Awards 2019 (UK)
with a panel review at M&C Saatchi.
My short film How to fall in love with a stranger – inspired by a famous ‘36 questions’ psychology experiment by Dr Arthur Aron and filmed in a Wes Anderson-esque,
dimly lit ‘lab’– was commissioned by TEDxSydney and published by The Guardian
and The Sydney Morning Herald, with features on live TV and radio. I followed this
with the development of format series based on the film, The Love Experiment.
Working with Media Stockade, the series won second place at MIPFormats
International Pitching competition in April 2019.
Since graduating from AFTRS in Dec 2014, I’ve directed multiple short-form pieces; both narrative and non-fiction. Short film Ballsy has screened on the international film festival circuit with nominations for Best Documentary at Sheffield Doc/Fest, the Academy-accredited Flickerfest and Fastnet Film Festival. Juxtaposing fly-on-the-wall cinematography with designed overhead stop- motion sequences, Ballsy aims to contrast the darkness of the hero’s reality with moments of brighter hope. Alongside the premiere of Ballsy, I won the prestigious KB Myer award for multiplatform series The Alchemy Project, which went on to be selected for the digital marketplace at Sheffield Doc/Fest.
Other milestones have included mini musical Edie landing in the top five finalists
for the ABC’s Girls series; two short docs for BBC World; and a number of commercials drawing heavily upon my design background including the most recent – a minimalist colour/neon tribute to Monty Python, The New Fit, for Rebel.
I also create the annual original short film program for TED Talks, collaborating with top filmmaking teams around the world. The TEDFilms 2018 program featured short films by Mother, London; BAFTA-winning director Duncan Cowles, Edinburgh; SpecialGuest, NYC; and Shane Griffin, LA. The films premiered live onstage at TED2018 in Vancouver.
I previously created similar program for TEDxSydney – toured globally by TED as ‘best in class’ – and acted as onstage host and co-writer of the Fast Ideas segment in 2016
and 2017. Have a gander at the Fast Ideas 2016 segment here – and 2017 here.
In other adventures; once a week, I volunteer-teach critical thinking skills and collaborative enquiry to primary school students in Sydney, through the Primary Ethics program (THE best thing since sliced bread). I'm also a fan of sushi,
Maeve Higgins, bikes, Barry's tea, Luca Guadagnino, Roald Dahl,
Christine and the Queens and early morning sea dips.
"Sinéad is amazing and honestly I can't say that enough. I felt a tremendous sense of trust right from the start with this massive project, which she delivered incredibly smoothly.
We naturally had a couple of tricky moments with the project along the way, given 2018
was our official launch year for TEDFilms. Her level of emotional intelligence and experience
as a director in resolving those moments blew me away. She's one of the most creative, authentic, hard-working, organized, meticulous, lovely people I have met.
The TED2018 films have been a huge success. It was a wonderful experience, both
creatively and organizationally, working with her. I feel like I've known her forever.
Say yes to working with her if you get the chance!"
Director of Production and Video Operations, TED
"Sinéad contacted us from Sydney. “Would you like to work together?”
After one phone call, it was clear that this was going to be a special collaboration...
I sent her a half written song, called ‘The Ocean’...
.. .Sinéad and I hit it off immediately...
Her visions based on our brainstorms gave me realisations about myself
and my half-written song that I had never imagined. We clicked so well that I felt safe
to share my precious private newborn song and watch it develop through collaboration
– in a way I’ve never ventured into so deeply before.
Sinéad’s a great soul, how she connects with and breathes her work. She talks like a poet.
We have 2-hour-long, often absolutely hilarious conversations about the finer details of life and the power of art, our experience in our art and how it relates only to women and femininity - a subject I don’t often pare a pencil to. We just want to create a safe space,
based on our own life experiences.
I’m so proud of Sinéad and the entire team she chose. Marking again another moment in our working lives where women are more at the forefront and the balance of power in all walks of life is becoming more equal. What a time to be alive!
I’m so excited to see how the moving picture looks, and to watch it in silence as I redevelop my half-written song and do Sinéad and our storytelling team justice.
"Over the past year (2016-2017), myself and Madeleine Hetherton have worked closely with Sinéad on the development of a documentary series, currently attracting significant interest.
In that time, she has been an absolute pleasure to work with. Hard-working and
rigorous in her attention to detail, she successfully balances strong creative vision
with openness to collaboration.
We first met Sinéad at AFTRS, where she won the prestigious KB Myer award.
Since then, we've been highly impressed with her work, influenced by a background
in art direction. I have no hesitation in recommending her."
Producer, Media Stockade
"I produced the short film, 'How to Fall in Love with a Stranger' which
Sinéad directed for TEDxSydney 2015. I was impressed by Sinéad’s incredible
ambition and drive, alongside her ability to bring her vision to the screen.
Sinéad brought her talents as a designer to the role of director in order
to achieve a beautiful aesthetic for the film.
She is a great collaborator, easy to get along with and has a great intuition
about what makes a good story. In addition to the film we worked on together,
Sinéad has also shared ideas for her other projects with me and I have been
struck by their timeliness and her ability to choose really strong projects and
then make them come to life. I would have no hesitation in recommending
her for any other directing roles."
Emmy-nominated and Oscar-shortlisted Producer, Fathom Films
“What can I say about Sinéad? No mystery – I’m a huge fan. Intelligent, engaging concepts that nail the brief every time, strong art direction skills and a cracking eye for clean, beautiful design... she manages to generate and inspire a huge amount of sticky ideas, that not only answer our clients’ briefs and communicate the message successfully but look fantastic too. That’s the magic mix you’re always looking for in a great creative. Her smart construction of narrative and her ability to bring that narrative to life in the best way has helped us deepen trust with our clients and win new business multiple times. I was highly impressed with her work from the first job...to the most recent job. I wouldn’t hesitate for a moment in recommending her to anyone looking for consistency and reliability – and the kind of personality that gets things done, but makes it fun getting there too.
She’s an asset to any team."
Creative Director, Foxtel Creative
“Sinéad was a genuine pleasure to collaborate with on the Fast Ideas segment at TEDxSydney 2015. As Curator of the segment, she approached the task with intelligence, enthusiasm, competence and creativity. I look forward to working with her again!"
Head of Editorial & Curation, TEDxSydney
“Sinéad has worked with us here at The Creative Method on numerous occasions. I have found that in Sydney getting great quality senior creatives is extremely hard to find. Whilst we don’t use a lot of freelancers, when we do, I need to be confident that they can come in and not just do a job but do a great job – exceed my expectations. Sinéad is one of few senior creatives in Sydney that has delivered to these expectations time and time again. We have a small studio and it is equally important that anyone that comes into work fit into the culture. Sinéad is a lovely person to have around and works well with all in the office. The downside to giving a good reference to Sinéad is that potentially we may end up losing
her ourselves. Such is life. She is awesome and I wish her all the best."
Managing Director, The Creative Method
“Sinéad has worked with us as design director over the last five years on a contract basis. From brand development to publication design, Sinéad’s approach and design thinking have consistently impressed us. Her high-level conceptual approach, combined with an interrogation of the brand and business that she is working on draws out absolute truths from the brief – and some amazing creative results. Sinéad takes a real leadership role in the agency, works closely with our design team and has demonstrated her ability to move from concept design through to art direction on many projects."
Managing Director, The Purpose Agency
Creative Director, There
“Sinéad McDevitt has recently worked with Landini Associates for three months across a number of projects concentrating mainly on the evolution of a Korean cosmetic skin care brand. Sinéad is very easy to work with, thinks about what she does and is also quite prolific. Her work is of a very high standard and during the time that she worked with us both we and our clients were very happy with what she achieved.
I have no hesitation in recommending her to you."
Managing Director, Landini Associates
“I had the pleasure to work with Sinéad at Billy Blue College of Design for a number of years and during that time I was lucky enough to team-teach a branding subject with her to several groups of second year students. She was always well-prepared, brought excellent live industry examples in to show and discuss with students and was great fun in the classroom. Sinéad then went on to develop and write a first year subject for the bachelor degree at Billy Blue called Ideas Generation. She carefully crafted a dynamic subject that included lectures, exercises and assessment tasks. She coordinated this subject and showed great leadership, collaborating with staff across three campuses; Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Ideas Generation was a subject with a wide remit, covering everything from brand identity and digital to film, animation, print, advertising, branded fashion and environment.”
Head Academic Studies, Billy Blue College of Design
“I had the pleasure of teaching Sinéad McDevitt this year at AFTRS as part of the Grad Cert Documentary course. I was impressed by Sinead's ability to learn and master documentary craft and story-telling, across a range of formats. Her final pitch, a multi-platform project structured around short inspirational portraits of people who've turned the 'awful into awesome' in their lives, strikes me as both highly innovative and potentially lucrative.”