New record for drama production with a boost from Hollywood

New record for drama production with a boost from Hollywood

Thursday 13 November 2014

Australian screen drama production hit a record level last year with expenditure of $837 million. Screen Australia today released the 2013/14 Drama Report, its annual health check of the Australian drama production industry, showing an increase of 11 per cent on last year.

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. We are also thrilled to have Wastelander Panda, the first exclusively online series to be included in the report.

“Healthy domestic production levels continued with local TV and feature films accounting for over 76 per cent of the overall drama production expenditure in 2013/14 – a substantial $640 million.

“It has been a solid year for local features recording the strongest result in five years. And we are continuing to turn out the high-quality TV drama that audiences have come to love and expect.”

Production of feature films increased 18 per cent with expenditure of $297 million – influenced by highly anticipated Gods of Egypt and The Water Diviner, as well as international co-productions Life and Maya the Bee Movie.

The team behind The Water Diviner, Andrew Mason, Keith Rodger and Troy Lum, said, “It’s wonderful to be able to draw internationally successful Australian talent together to work on a great project back home, made possible by screen incentives, film-friendly government at every level, and of course the flexibility and skills of Australian cast and crew. The dedicated support through the Producer Offset was a vital component of bringing The Water Diviner to the screen. We’re all really proud of this powerful film – Russell Crowe’s directorial debut – and it was great to be able to make it on home soil.”

Graeme Mason said, “This year’s slate showcases some ambitious new programs like The Code and Banished and returning seasons of favourites Mako Mermaids and Love Child, which continue to feed Australia’s appetite for high-quality TV drama. This year we’re also seeing the centenary of World War I honoured on screen with ANZAC Girls for the ABC, Nine’s Gallipoli and Foxtel’s Deadline Gallipoli.

“The support provided through direct funding, incentives and regulation enables the sector to keep delivering great stories to audiences. And significant foreign production has returned to our shores this year, building on the strength and skills of our local production sector.”

South Australian activity increased to record its highest share ever at 9 per cent, guided by ANZAC Girls, Deadline Gallipoli and The Water Diviner. State-based production activity was high in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland for this period. The report also showed strong domestic drama activity for the rest of the states including the Northern Territory with 8MMM Aboriginal Radio and Last Cab to Darwin, Tasmania with Buzz Bumble and the ACT with The Code and Me and My Mates v The Zombie Apocalypse.

Foreign productions have added substantial production expenditure with Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken and San Andreas starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson attracted to our local shores by our film-friendly environment – including stunning locations and skilled crews.

The Drama Report 2013/14 documents the contribution of Screen Australia’s direct funding and administration of the Producer Offset to the annual slate of Australian features and TV drama, both domestic productions and official co-productions. Data is presented for the past five years, 2009/10 to 2013/14. Foreign titles are also included if they have been shot (or substantially shot) in Australia, or have carried out PDV work in Australia. Online series are currently included if they are a minimum of 60 minutes in total duration and are screened on broadcasters’ catch-up services.

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