Recession or not, times are pretty good for independent producers in Australia, according to an article in the US showbiz bible, Variety.
An article penned in the trade magazine’s unique writing style by Australian writer Michaela Boland paints a pretty rosy picture, based on the fact that Australian audiences are loving local product, together with networks that are happy to outsource.
The ABC, TEN and Nine are referenced as networks building their business on outsourcing of television. While the trend certainly isn’t new (remember Crawfords and Grundys?), there’s a lot more of it in recent times. ABC outsources so much in drama that Friends of ABC have frequently called for a return to production levels to be produced internally.
“It is a good time to be a producer,” agrees Geoff Brown, executive director of the Screen Producers’ Assn. of Australia. “The broadcaster-producer model is gone.”
Of course the irony is Seven has perfected the internal production model through shows including Home and Away, All Saints and Packed to the Rafters.
Working Dog, Zapruder’s Other Films, Roving Enterprises are healthy examples of “smaller” independent production companies all delivering popular programmes right now. They go up against FremantleMedia, Granada International and Freehand, to name a few. Even small companies such as Renegade, Ruby Entertainment and WTFN have been busy.
Elisabeth Murdoch will bring Shine Reveille to Australia later this year.
Andrew Denton has become so busy he had to step fown from hosting Enough Rope. Zapruder’s developer Anita Jacoby agrees times are good for indies, and the networks are paying fair prices.
“It opens doors” to have a famous name (Denton) running the company, she says, “but the product (still) has to be good.”