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The Wrong Perspective

It Ain’t The Money, It’s How It’s Spent

It’s one thing for me to write on and on about how fucked the Australian Film Industry is, because it so happens that I’ve toiled in it, and it’s my industry. It’s another thing when some random outsider drives by with a shot. While I hate aspects of the industry, I wouldn’t be in it if I didn’t believe in being in it at a deep level. Yes, it’s true, my grand cynicism is concealing a grand romantic when it comes to cinema. There, you can go write that down.

So it really gets my goat when somebody lines up to kick the industry without actually understanding what the problems are, just because it’s down. Chances are, if it wasn’t down, they’d want to be in it. This article takes the cake in those stakes.

While average Australians are being asked to tighten their belts so much they’re in danger of being cut in half, Bana, one of this country’s highest paid actors, reckons the Government could do more to help local writers.

“Not enough money is spent on resources for our writers and getting them better access to overseas talent and experience,” he said before taking his seat at the $US10,000-a-table knees-up called G’day USA in Los Angeles.

“It would be great if a lot more of them would be exposed to the rigours of the overseas market.”
No wonder they call it La La Land.

So just what part of the word “buggered” doesn’t Bana understand?

Buggered was the choice term used by Access Economics in its report to describe the state of Australia’s finances.

“Batten the hatches,” the report went on. “This is not just a recession. This is the sharpest deceleration Australia’s economy has ever seen.”

Something tells me this is not going to be a writer-led recovery.

Buggered is also the right word to describe the Australian film industry.

Yes, I know it’s an opinion piece on a tabloid paper’s website – one owned by Rupert Murdoch at that – and the one sentence paragraphs really betray a shallow mind preoccupied with insults rather than proper argument The utter lack of charity in understanding why Eric Bana is arguing for more development money for the writers is flabbergasting.

The only way in which the Australian Film Industry is going to win back its position is through better writing, better writers and more and more of them. There is no other way. It cannot invest in directors or actors or, any other crew area or infrastructure without putting a lot more money into the writing and development of the projects.That’s how it’s done. Eric Bana is not arguing for anything outlandish.

In fact, the people who are wrestling with this problem know this is true, and are trying to figure out how to get the most effective transmission of money to the writers. At least, that is the theory of the Screen Australia and ts spat with the Australian Writers Guild. It’s entirely reasonable for Eric Bana (bless his soul) to ask for more assistance in the writing end of the development.

This Naomi Toy woman is mistaking the results of previous neglect as a case for arguing that further investment is a case of throwing good money after bad. It’s simply wrong to argue the case, even if the current crop of Australian films are not something the wider Australian public would care to spend money upon.

Rumourmill Says…

Screen Australia has hired SB who used to be one if its assessors. SB has been known to be obstructive, obstinate, and downright mean and irrational in the way SB has treated projects under the FFC regime. Some have described SB as ‘EVIL’ without a hesitation in the sentence. It’s really hard to see how Screen Australia is going to forge ahead in a new direction when it hires back somebody who has essentially been a BIG PART of the PROBLEM.

The word on the street is that SB’s boss from the FFC era felt sorry for SB, because SB would be unlikely to score another job in the industry. It’s the worst reason to retain SB as a development officer, but that’s the word.

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