Changing Names

Screen NSW

This used to be the NSWFTO.  It’s kind of curious that they’ve changed names to something that looks confusingly like a subsidiary of Screen Australia. The ScreenHub entry makes a similar point:

What’s in a name? Would an organisation body by any other smell as sweet? And do these “synergies” extend to a certain national agency bearing at least part of said name?

Chambers denies any direct link in the name Screen NSW to Australia’s national screen agency, Screen Australia. “We’re hoping not have branding issues as a subset or division of Screen Australia,” she says.

In fact, the decision behind the reference to ‘Screen’ was more driven by this same economic astuteness; by a need to be “platform agnostic” amongst the proliferation of digital platforms now involved in this burgeoning creative economy.

“We have to acknowledge digital content on all sorts of screens. In our strategic plan we recognized the need to work with new partners right across our industries, so we had to make sure that was captured in the name.”

Are we convinced? Are we ever convinced? As Screen Australia is proving over and over and over again, an organisation is only as good as the people in it so… I guess… we’ll… see.

NZFC Says ‘Stuffed’

Here’s another thing out of ScreenHub.

Graeme: “The much quoted death of the US independent distribution business is true.” The surviving companies are acquiring very few titles per year. “If your film needs US distribution, you should look at each company’s lineup to see their particular taste.” More and more films were having to find the finance to pay for prints and advertising, with $US500,000 as the minimum cost of releasing a film in US cinemas. The exception being a documentary released for $US30,000 “but you have to put in a lot of hours and do a lot of work.”

James: “Japan is stuffed. The number of theatrical distributors has gone right down. Often the only opportunity is a video sale for $50,000.” Graeme: “But New Zealand has a long history of relationships with Japanese investors. We must capitalize on that.”

Former sales agent Paul Davis (who used to sell the New Zealand films produced by Larry Parr) pressed the NZFC duo for specific sales details, but details weren’t forthcoming. Sales had been “mostly to smaller territories who are in the volume game.” Though the New Zealanders met all the British and American buyers, the bigger countries had been “more cautious.”

Were they happy with sales at the AFM? asked Paul. Graeme: “Wait till Berlin. I believe we have several titles which will sell in all territories. We’ll give you the actual numbers in March, and again after Cannes… Lots of offers were received. Some deals were done. But it’s a process.”

And the domestic market? Graeme: “I am concerned that the NZFC may have been between you and the New Zealand distributors. I need producers to have a very strong and really great relationship with distributors. They can give you a lot more information.” James: “Know what their interests are. Talk to them, the studios as well as the independents.”

That’s their equivalent of Dr Harley speaking.





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