Can Australian Films Make Money?

*I first published this post for SPAA (Screen Producers Association Australia) on 3/10/2009.

It is a simple but very important question and in short the answer is yes they can!

If this is the case then why don’t more Australian films make money either domestically or internationally? As a consumer marketer & producer my professional view is that most of the Australian films being made are simply not the types of films the majority of Australian (or international) audiences will pay to see and filmmakers are just not in tune with what consumers and audiences want. Further, even when we do make films which should connect and appeal to audiences – Balibo is a great example – the marketing is either mis-targeted and or insufficient or left too late. This also then results in an inhibited release (very few screens) and a non-optimised distribution outcome (filmmakers largely focused on only securing a ‘traditional’ theatrical & video release). Continue reading →

The Future of Filmmaking: Seizing back control of the Six Pillars of Cinema

*I first published this post for SPAA (Screen Producers Association Australia) on 23/10/2009.

After attending the forum ‘OZ Films vs OZ Audiences’ put together by Metro Screen last night and moderated by Andrew Urban at the Chauvel Cinema I came away despondent that the same people are having the same conversations about the same problems in the Australian Film industry and in most cases we are asking the wrong questions and spending too much time discussing the problems and not enough time addressing realistic & feasible solutions.

As a marketer who lives, breathes and dies around my skills and ability to understand Joe Average consumer and in this case the average moviegoer, I get totally fed up and angry at the pretentious and elitist attitude actively demonstrated by some filmmakers and commentators towards the intelligence and tastes of the average person who pays to see movies. It’s their money and they’ll choose what they like & don’t like! If Australian films were really that good AND in tune with what people want to spend their money on AND we got the marketing right then we would have more Australian films seen by more Australians. But, generally speaking we aren’t making films which appeal and resonate with Australian audiences and if filmmakers and commentators keep deciding to blame consumers and consumer tastes instead of looking at what we are making then sadly our industry will never change. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

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Movie Marketing Magic: Top Hollywood Digital Marketers Coming to Sydney

I was very honoured to be approached by SPAA* to create and lead a session on Reaching Your Audience in this era of Digital & Social Media Marketing for the 2009 SPAA Conference in Sydney between 17-20 November. I am now happy to announce that I have secured two awesome new media / digital marketers from Hollywood to help me:

  • Gordon Paddison** – Principal, Stradella Road & former Executive Vice President New Media, New Line Pictures (District 9, Lord of The Rings trilogy, Snakes on a Plane, Austin Powers and many more & Variety’s Integrated Marketer of the Year” Award in 2005)
  • Stephanie Bohn** – Director of Worldwide Marketing, Digital Distribution Warner Bros (The Dark Knight, Sex and the City, Hangover, Harry Potter and many more)

*SPAA – Screen Producers Association Australia

**Detailed bio’s outlined below.

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