Monday, April 10, 2006

Faint Pulse?

Recently I read this article about the dire state of Australia's Film & Television industry in Sydney Morning Herald. Not encouraging reading. Of course working in the industry I'm all too aware of how shocking it's gotten, but the information that the ABC alone is producing a 7th of the drama it had been really brought it home. Working in Australia has, on the whole, become a very very frustrating excerise. I heard just recently a whole new slew of sound workers bailing out, either overseas or out of the industry all together, and many others are struggling. Yet some Australians overseas are winning Oscars. Obviously we have the talent. So why can't we get it together? Is it some kind of backwater, parochial thing? Is it natural that we get our skills here and then just sail off into the big wide world? Or is it the way we organise ourselves? I read a couple of other articles in Screenhub (subscription required) one on Documentary development funding, which basically compares our very fragile and possibly illogical system for this to the model used in the UK where a great amount of money is spent in the development stages. Another article points to the complex way drama writing staff's are run, and compares the way we work to the way American writing staffs work, which is very organised in comparison. In all these articles there seems to be an emerging pattern of not really being organised enough or focused enough to progress in a successful way. I found working in the UK was a pretty good experience mostly. The TV dramas seemed to be quite calmly run. In Australia there is more of a cut throat feel to it all. I wonder why? Do we need to find better ways to cooperate and communicate? Perhaps that's why more money isn't invested. Or is it because not enough money is invested? Right now there is some great drama coming out of the US and UK, and yet we can't deliver. I wonder why that is. Perhaps we need to make TV about something real in this country as they do in the UK? Of course people are probably trying to do that, but can't find the funding. This is the negative, catch 22, chicken and the egg sort of atmosphere many of us find ourselves trying to work and stay positive in. For my money, the patient is sick, and needs help before it's dead and buried.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Listening to

Derrick May classic The Dance.

Still great after all these years...