CRA RELEASE: Well-known Australian actor, writer, producer and director, Rob Carlton will be the main speaker at this year’s Sirens Masterclass, a one day creative seminar that provides keynote speakers and interactive sessions on how to best write and produce radio commercials.

Carlton, best-known for his work in The Hollowmen and the comedy series, Chandon Pictures, has also won Tropfest 2006, with a mock documentary, called Carmichael & Shane. He will provide insights from his extensive experience about production and direction of comedy.

The Masterclass, with the title “Getting radio off the Page” will focus on writing and production, and will be held in Sydney at Waters Edge, Walsh Bay on May 8. Other speakers at this year’s Masterclass include casting director, Anousha Zarkesh, who has over twenty years experience working in the industry and has cast many Australian films.

Also speaking is commercials director, Tim Bullock, who has worked in advertising and is renowned for his directing skills, particularly with comedy.
Advertising radio specialist and creator of the award-winning Australian radio brand campaign, Ralph van Dijk of Eardrum Australia, will also talk at the Masterclass and run several interactive sessions on how to write world-class radio ads.

Chief executive officer of Commercial Radio Australia, Joan Warner, said the Masterclass would focus on the importance of production: “It is important to invest as much as possible in the production process for radio ads - casting, production and direction are all vital. The speakers at the Masterclass all have extensive experience in these areas and should provide some valuable tips for everyone attending,” Ms Warner said.

The Masterclass will follow a breakfast at the same venue, where the best radio ads for 2009, the winners of the Siren Awards, will be announced. The hosts of the breakfast will be Jonathan ‘Jono’ Coleman and Ian ‘Dano’ Rogerson, from the drivetime show, “The Jono & Dano Show", on-air on WS-FM (Sydney), GOLD 104 (Melbourne) and 4KQ (Brisbane), as well as many regional stations across Australia.

The 2009 Gold Sirens winner, chosen by a panel of industry experts, will be automatically entered into the Cannes Radio Lions – to be held in June and its writer will also win two tickets to attend the festival.

Last year’s Gold Siren winner, an advertisement for RACV Financial Services called “Disclaimer”, written by Paul Reardon and Julian Schreiber from Clemenger BBDO in Melbourne, won a Silver Radio Lion at the Cannes Advertising Festival. The RACV ad was one of three 2008 Sirens finalists and winners that made it to the radio shortlist in Cannes last year. Paul Reardon from Clemenger BBDO is this year’s Australian radio judge at Cannes.

Ms Warner said the Siren Awards provided a great opportunity to recognise excellence in Australian radio advertising and highlight the great work being achieved.

“Each year the Siren Awards continue to raise the bar in terms of creativity and originality. There have been nearly 600 entries this year – a fantastic result which shows how important this Award has become. Also the success of past winners and entrants at Cannes is testament to the fact that great work is being achieved with radio ads in Australia,” Ms Warner said.

Both the Sirens breakfast and Masterclass will be held at Waters Edge, Sydney on May 8. The breakfast will run from 7.30am to 9.30am and the Masterclass will follow the breakfast and includes lunch. Tickets are on sale now at $395 for the breakfast and Masterclass combined. Tickets for the breakfast only are $65 and a table of ten is available for $595. For a booking form and more information visit the Sirens website,

The national Siren Awards, now in their sixth year, are run by Commercial Radio Australia and are designed to recognise the best radio advertising in the country. The awards promote the importance of creativity as a way to make radio advertising more effective. Entries for round one of the 2010 Siren Awards are now open.