Thursday, May 25, 2006

Australian Film Industry

I made some comments in passing below about what many see as the sick state of the Australian film industry. Much has been said about this in the last few years. Apparently, the industry is producing on average about 16 to 19 films per year, down from an average of 30 in the 1990s and even more in the 1980s (see here).

Here's my take on it. I don't think it's so much a case of the Australian film industry being in a bad state, as it having almost "merged" with what is really now a global film industry.

Think how many Aussies are making it big in Hollywood these days. The Oscars red carpet is littered with antipodean talent every year. It's not just the actors (Our Nic, Our Russ, Our Heath, Our Cate, Our Geoffrey just to name a few) but also the directors (think Peter Weir, Baz Lurhmann, Phillip Noyce) and a lot of the behind-the-scenes people who do the cinematography, special effects, make up, costume design etc. Virtually every year now an Australian cinematographer is nominated for an Oscar, and this year an Aussie won. You didn't see that in the 1980s.

And think how many Hollywood productions get made in Australia (Mission Impossible, Matrix, Star Wars etc).

You could think of this as Hollywood swallowing up our local talent. But another way of looking at it is that the locals are taking on Hollywood. Indeed, the term "Hollywood" is really a misnomer - it really is a global industry, with many films being financed from multiple sources and involving cast, crew and shooting locations from round the world. And Australia's right there in the thick of it.

More thoughts to come later ...


At 8:42 am, Blogger David said...

nice post.
i think a good australian movie is much better than anything 'hollywood' has to offer.
but i agree with the whole globalisation thing (maybe i should spell that with a 'z')
still keen to see look both ways (tried to at the movies... but it was only on at some art house type places when we tried... and they were too far away)

At 9:52 am, Blogger Andy M said...

Yeah, good luck getting to see a decent movie on the Central Coast!

I reckon there's been some excellent "Hollywood" stuff the last few years, but mostly of the non-blockbuster variety (e.g. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Sideways, Memento, 21 Grams, Mystic River). I don't have a problem with non-Australian films, if they're good. And of course I'd rather see a good "Hollywood" film than a bad Aussie one.

I'm going to buy Look Both Ways, so don't bust your guts to see it - you can borrow off us. Althought it's available for hire, it doesn't come out for sale till later in June and will be a double DVD pack - looks excellent.

At 11:16 pm, Blogger David said...

of those hollywood non-blockbusters... i've only seen eternal sunshine of the spotless mind...
it was fantastic!!

do you like movies like Snatch & Fight Club?
i thought they were pretty good... violent... but clever and fantastic cinematography etc...

At 10:03 am, Blogger David said...

hey andy 'film maker' m.
r u entering ignite this year???

At 11:13 am, Blogger Andy M said...

dunno! Haven't had the inspiration yet. If I do something, I want it to be fairly simple.

Any ideas? You doing anything?

At 1:27 pm, Blogger ccecyouth said...

no i''m in the process of producing a significant video for ccec's 10 year anniversary.

(this is david... just logged into youthgroup news page)


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