SBS Reel Drama

On September 16, 2005 by Christy

I just watched the SBS debate about the Aust film industry, which is available online, as I’ve mentioned before. Here are a couple of quotes applicable to the cross-media concern:

PENNY CHAPMAN, PRODUCER: The future of this industry is not cinema and it’s not free-to-air television. It’s that myriad of platforms and it means that we are no longer, as somebody said at the SPAA conference, looking at a four to five year life span for our programs. We’re looking at what somebody has called the long tail where it’s going to take us years to get back in a variety of markets what was spent on our program. But also I reckon the most exciting thing about this industry is the technology’s changing, kids are going out and making films for $2 on video cameras HDTV –

GLENYS ROWE, GENERAL MANAGER, SBS INDEPENDENT: […] Has that film-maker thought about the audience for the film, because there’s a lot of competition for audiences now. We’re now releasing Australian films into a market where literally people almost have Google TV at their fingertips WHERE they choose what they want to see, what they want to look at, what they want to know, what they don’t know now they can get it at their fingertips when they want it WHERE they want it. Going to the cinema I find quite an unpleasant experience now. It costs me $15, I have to sit there while terrible ads go on, I’m sitting with a lot of people who are eating, you know, horrible food, giant, you know cokes, it’s not a pleasant experience, coupled with the majority of the Australian films that have been around, or many of them look like a small experience. I want to see big cinema. I’ve paid $15, I want an orchestral score, I want to feel like I’m getting my money’s worth because otherwise, actually it’s cheaper and easier to stay home.

Summary of important points:
* The question isn’t: Is Film Dead? Is the Book Dead? Is the TV Spot Dead? They’re not dead and will not be far into the unforeseeable future. What we do have though, is another option on the horizon: film AND books AND TV AND Radio…
* A product has a lifespan now, not just a release date. Which means ongoing production AND income.
* Audiences want to choose how they experience a work: what medium & when. So give them access to all of it at once.