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Draft Statement of Intent 2008/09

Comments received Monday 29 September

8.43am from Tom Burns

I am a young industry professional, so I think very highly of anything to do with the future of the Australian Film and Television industry. I believe, that this Draft Statement of Intent fails to address key issues in production financing and control of public resources. Instead of just throwing money in the general direction of films and vaguely pointing to distribution and marketing, why not improve the ROI and put that money into training of industry professionals, such as Producers and Directors, so that they can have a better understanding of these areas. Money isn't the problem, it's teaching people what to do with that money. Enough of boring and arty Aussie films which fail to effectively market themselves. It's time our government invested in the long-term future of this industry rather than just gave a quick fix with a cash injection. 

Yours truly,
Tom Burns 


8.43am from Graeme Bond

In another world, perhaps more socialist (Utopian) than capitalist (and we may be seeing this with the global economic exposure to the toxic economy of the US run on greed disguised as merit) the film industry would be, well, an industry. In an industry one often has 'factories'. So here is the model: Governments in league with industry set up filmmaking 'factories' with actors and crew employed full time to make films or 40 minute parts thereof. Anyone with a clean and worthwhile script may simply book in a 10-day shoot and use the actors and facilities free. Even the scriptwriter gets free board and accommodation during the production week, and is free to direct if preferred. Any lull in activity and the actors get to make a 'remake' of an old movie from the 30s or 40s to keep busy.

These factories are set up in each state, perhaps a regional town to avoid high rental, and are fitted out with a green screen, lights and sound and full production equipment. With 99% of actors out of work, it would be an easy solution in a world that is now changed after the 'crash' - a return to living within our means.

Each year the films are assessed by guest actors. The best are completed and fully  screened on television or in hired cinemas around the country - even sold to commercial distributors if they stand out. The upshot is actors are employed full-time and scripts are being produced without a blizzard of red tape.

Should we imagine for a moment?

Graeme Bond
Publisher
Birdsong Press


8.43am from Oscar Scherl

Comments received via Word document


12.34pm from Stephen Wallace

Comments available via PDF document


3.50pm from Ian Dunlop

In going through the draft SOI the only reference I could find to the work once carried out by Film Australia is the statement that "Screen Australia is giving consideration to revising the management of the existing National Interest Program and History Initiative from an executive production to commissioning editor model..."  What I take this to mean is that Film Australia (Screen Australia) as a production unit will cease to exist.  As this appears to be a fait accompli I will not comment on it.

What does concern me is that there appears to be no mention of what will become of FA's vast and incredibly valuable library and archival holdings stretching back well over half a century.  This is surely one of the most valuable archival resources in the country.  Will the management of this be left to bureaucrats or will there be some vital continuity of management by existing professional staff?

Ian Dunlop


6.12pm from Jeremy Bean

The SOI contains a range of ideas familiar in one form or another to most people in the production industry and it proposes that Screen Australia consult widely to develop detailed programs. This probably means that development of programs will be based on anecdote and individual experience, negotiated with stakeholders. What is not apparent is any intention to ensure that the design of programs will be based on evidence of what has and hasn’t worked previously or in other places. Although such evidence may not always be available, much relevant data has been collected over the years, by the AFC and others, covering both the Australian production industry and production industries in other countries. It would be encouraging to see analyses of this data used to guide Screen Australia’s choices in the months ahead.

Jeremy Bean
Faculty Dean - Creative Technologies & Media
Murdoch University


7.46pm from Glen Crawford

Here's the complete 'official' list of Australia's 100 most successful films, from the AFC website source MPDAA with the assistance of the Australian Film Commission

Crocodile Dundee
Babe
Moulin Rouge
Crocodile Dundee II
Strictly Ballroom
The Dish
The Man from Snowy River
The Adventures of Priscilla
Muriel's Wedding
Young Einstein
Lantana
Gallipoli
The Wog Boy
The Piano
Mad Max II
Green Card (Australia/France)
The Castle
Shine
Phar Lap
Crackerjack
The Man Who Sued God
Ned Kelly (Australia/UK)
Looking for Alibrandi
Babe: Pig in the City
Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles (Australia/US)
Rabbit Proof Fence
The Man from Snowy River II
Lightning Jack
Chopper
Two Hands
Reckless Kelly
Mad Max
The Craic
Picnic at Hanging Rock2
Dirty Deeds
Strange Bedfellows
Breaker Morant
Alvin Purple
Japanese Story
Mad Max
Charlotte Gray (Australia/UK)
Antarctica (Imax)
Puberty Blues
The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course
Fat Pizza
Africa’s Elephant Kingdom
Malcolm
The Delinquents
Dark City
The Sum of Us
Romper Stomper
We of the Never Never
My Brilliant Career
Evil Angels
Paradise Road
The Hard Word
Cosi
Caddie
Sirens (Australia/UK)
Death in Brunswick
Bootmen
Me, Myself, I
The Wiggles
The Heartbreak Kid
Storm Boy
Dating the Enemy
Hostage: The Christine Maresch Story
The Bank
Dead Calm
Careful He Might Hear You
They're a Weird Mob
The Year of Living Dangerously
The Big Steal
Bad Eggs
Getting Square
Proof
Oyster Farmer
Somersault
Hating Alison Ashley
Napoleon
Black Robe (Australia/Canada)
Far East
The Nugget
Blinky Bill
Alvin Rides Again
Joey
Head On
Oscar and Lucinda
Eliza Frazer
Flirting
Love and Other Catastrophes
Lighthorsemen
Mr Accident
Newsfront
Stone
Burke and Wills
Starstruck
The Silver Brumby
The Year My Voice Broke
The Magic Riddle

If we're going to talk 'commercially viable' or even just 'successful' films, then this list needs to be printed up in 2m high panels and stuck on every office wall in Screen Australia.

Take a good look through the entire list. There's no 'confronting' films, no 'dangerous' films, (except perhaps Romper Stomper) no films that offend or alienate the audience. That list makes it pretty clear that Australian audiences want to be entertained at the movies. Educated too perhaps, but most importantly entertained. So let's get out there and entertain them!

Glen Crawford


7.51pm from Cherie Grant

I am glad to see script development mentioned, but I have a feeling that little development will actually be employed. What I would really love to see are internships with film and television as they do in the US. We need to see more training initiatives....and well just more intiative.

Cherie Grant.