AUSTRALIAN FILM INDUSTRY: JUST A WASTE OF MONEY?

‘THE CRISIS THE AUSTRALIAN FILM INDUSTRY REFUSES TO SEE’ – 7 February 2005, The Age

‘HAS THE AUSTRALIAN FILM INDUSTRY LOST ITS WAY?’ – May 2006,  The Monthly

‘STREWTH! HOW AUSSIE DOES AUSTRALIAN CINEMA NEED TO BE?’ – 30 March 2012, The Conversation

‘FILM INDUSTRY CRISIS DEEPENS’ – 22 April 2013, SBS

‘ILLEGAL DOWNLOAD ARE A CRISIS FOR CREATIVITY’ – 16 September 2014, The Australian

The Australian film industry is in crisis. The collection of newspaper’s headlines above demonstrate it. This crisis started at least 10 years ago and no recovery seems under the sun. As the ABC service provided below points out, Australian Cinema crisis is mostly due to economic issues.

How can we solve this problem? Increasing economic incentives to the industry? Blocking online movies download and streaming? Encouraging the production of more engaging movies? These solutions are not enough.

“Think about it: when and where was the last time you viewed an Australian film, and how did you pay for it — as a download, on television, or at the cinema? And how did you find it — was it recommended by a friend, shared on your newsfeed, the result of a good review? Knowing more about how we consume will help us lift up the industry and support filmmakers. The box office is not where audiences are heading for local content; online and post-cinema markets are the real markets. We are wasting public funds on production if films, no matter how good they are, never reach an audience for lack of effective distribution support” – Lauren Carroll Harris

Lack of distribution support and lack of information about consumers. These are the main issues australian film industry is asked to face. There is not enough distribution support because the demand for movies is not that high.

Production_WorldStats85-08

 Australia domestic film production is the lowest in the world (as the chart above shows). There are no incentives, indeed, to increase the production. Where is the solution?

A qualitative research which could be useful to support Australian Film Industry would be an analysis of domestic audience. This research could include questions about people interests and hobbies in their spare time, their habits and something about their “ideal” night. Australian movies should meet australian audience’s preferences efficiently. Thus, they should be thought to satisfy australians favourite genres, customs and interests. Besides, movie theatres should be designed for an australian audience as well. We know that australian people are pretty lazy (no offence, it is just a consideration) so they should include, for example, cosier seat and low cost comfort food and soft drinks. People in rural area should be facilitated to reach movie theatres as well.

Thus, I would suggest the creation of both online surveys and telephone interviews about australians’ movies preferences and about their interests and habits. Very short and easy open questions, which could trigger interviewed persons interest in Australian Film Industry and increase their awareness towards its crisis (hopefully!).

REFERENCES:

Harris, L.C. 2013, ‘How do you solve a problem like the Australian Film Industry?’, Junkee, Available: http://junkee.com/how-do-we-solve-a-problem-like-the-australian-film-industry/21379 [date of access 30 September 2014]

World Cinema Stats, 2008. Available: http://screenville.blogspot.com.au/p/world-cinema-stats-index.html  [date of access 30 September 2014]

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