In general I’m inclined to agree with Louis Nowra (‘Nowhere Near Hollywood’), but I think there may be larger causes behind such comprehensive failure! Most Australian film is English language; our main markets should also be English language. But the trade imbalance between us and the two largest English-speaking markets couldn’t be more extreme. Our film and TV industry services a relatively tiny population of around 20 million – compared with the UK industry’s nearly 70 million and the US industry’s 300 million.
We need only to look at the proportion of overseas TV programming and cinema screening schedules in Australia to realise that we are simply not getting a chance to compete. Even if our films were better, the sheer weight of UK and American imports so overwhelms local production as to make any prospect of fair competition laughable.
The other big problem is the gravitational effect of our unfairly matched trading partner in film production. The moment any Australian rises above the herd in this country he or she is either headhunted by Hollywood or drawn of their own accord to try their luck at the biggest end of town. Where does this leave our local film production community?