Australian screen drama production hit a record level last year with expenditure of AU$837 million, according to Screen Australia’s just-published2013/14 Drama Report. Spend increased by 11% on last year.
The figures quoted are to the end June 2014, which means the cuts imposed on Screen Australia by government as part of its austerity package didn’t affect the numbers in the report. $200 million or so of inbound production helped the figures to their record level, but considerably more will be needed in the coming months if the figures are going to look anything like as good next time around. Inbound productions included Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken and Brad Peyton’s disaster flick San Andreas, starring Dwayne Johnson.
Speaking at the Writer’s Room late last month, Matchbox Pictures’ Tony Ayres noted the Australian industry was experiencing a downturn, despite Screen Australia’s best efforts to absorb as much of the funding cut as possible.
Local film productions did their best box office in five years and The Babadook has been a stand-put on the international festival circuit.
Unable to get enough of Russell Crowe, Screen Australia and the Producer Offset put him on both sides of the camera for directorial debut The Water Diviner. to the screen.
Graeme Mason, CEO of Screen Australia, said, “It’s been a strong year for Australian production with an exciting line-up of content to hit our screens next year. While local content is still the main game and the bedrock of our industry, we’ve seen a boost in total production with top-profile talent such as Angelina Jolie choosing our shores and crews to make their films.”
ANZAC Girls, featuring Antonia Prebble and screening here on Prime, helped South Australia to its best production spend in a long time. Also for smaller screens the report includes, for the first time, a web-series, coincidentally also made in SA: Wastelander Panda.
The report can be downloaded from Screen Australia