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Film and Tv Production Processes

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Essay title: Film and Tv Production Processes

Assessment 1

Film & television (industry Production Practices)

The Australian Film and Television Industry has its differences and similarities with other production countries. This becomes evident when we compare the Australian independent process with the big American studio-based process. Each of these systems has it’s advantages and disadvantages, and by looking into the funding structures, above the line personnel, distribution and marketing and the development process we can begin to understand the the differences and similarities in depth.

The current Australian film and television industry is not performing as well as it could compared to our competitors. Our film industry is in a downturn at present following it’s early prominent years at the start of the 1930’s. Over this time it has had a number of high and low periods and now it seems we are moving into a low period again. This is due to a number of factors in the Australian development process.

http://www.uta.fi/festnews/fn2002/eng/01032002/australiancinemaeng.html

The first key issue is funding. The funding gap between the Australian independent process and the US studio-based process of film production is astonishing. America spends over $80 million plus per annum and as a consequence makes approx. 125 -130 films a year. Australia spends less than $2 million per annum and so, as a consequence produces approx. 20-30 films per year. Of course, this relates to the difference in the size of the production houses in the US and therefore the inbuilt ability to take risks with less profitable films.

Another issue is the development process in Australia compared to that in America as it is also vastly different. In Australia a script will have to be well developed before any or little funding is provided. This leads to movies taking a lot longer to be written as producers tend to take on more projects at the one time in order to be financially viable. This then makes it a lot more risky as there are no funds or little funding at the early stages. Some movies can take up to 11 years plus to make. This is different to the US where the funding is usually given very early in the project to a group of people who have an idea for a film, then with the funding a script will be written. The studio fund each draft before it moves to the production stage. Also, in America, even weak scripts can be given support and developed if the main idea is attractive enough to the studio, whereas in Australia the initial script needs to be strong and well developed prior to any funding being provided. In brief, there is much more chance to produce a film in the US as there are a large number of films being developed. One way of looking at it is the more projects, the more chances for big blockbusters. You have to “spend money to make money”. Hollywood will only take up to 4 or 5 years to produce a film from beginning to end. Some benefits for this may be that the team is more energized and don’t lose sight of their goal. In comparison in a long disrupted project, as can be experience in Australia, writers could loose sight of their “set out” target.

The difficulties with funding in Australia also obviously effect the producers ability to advertise the film, whereas in America the studio will assist in the promotion of the film to a greater extent.

www.abc.net.au/7:30/content/2005/s1297765.htm

www.afc.gov.au/downloads/speeches/kimd.pdf

http://www.afc.gov.au/funding.html

When we look at our television industry the first thing we find that is different is the number of channels we have compared to America but this is mainly because of our population difference. Australian television is still the most used medium and major source for news and entertainment in Australia with just about every Australian owning at least one television however the overseas distribution and marketing of some of our television programs is limited by resources including funding and

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