Screen Australia has released the findings of its annual Production Report on the state of film and television.
Never wanting to paint a bleak picture, it manages to find optimism with a healthy state of production, if boosted by the big investment of George Miller’s Happy Feet 2 and the $100m Hollywood animation Guardians of Ga’Hoole in Sydney.
TV Tonight has taken a look at the television sector separately, and the results are still very good. While series / serials were down, mini-series (which also includes telemovies) were up.
The joint Australian / co-production TV drama slate was $308 million, up on last year’s $257 million and above the five-year average of $245 million.
The total hours of produced television dropped from 691 hrs last year to 646 hrs, due largely to the cancellation of Out of the Blue. Factoring out such co-productions, Australian drama increased from 606 hrs to 614 hrs.
Direct government sources contributed $43m to 25 titles, accounting for 13% finance, more than doubling last year’s contribution of $21m. The Australian film/TV industry funded 71%, some $231m. The largest contribution came from the commercial FTA broadcasters with the balance coming from public broadcasters, subscription TV, distributors and production companies. ABC and SBS, contributed $27m 11 Australian productions and two co-productions this year. Another 14% came from foreign investment and 2% from private investment.
Series and serials for adults: -includes sketch comedy.
30 Seconds, All Saints, Chandon Pictures, City Homicide, Double Take, Home and Away, The Jesters, The Librarians, Neighbours, Packed to the Rafters, Rush, Satisfaction, Swift and Shift Couriers, Tangle, Thank God You’re Here, Whatever Happened to That Guy?, Wilfred.
Adult drama series dropped from 519 hrs to 486 hrs -10 hrs lower than the 5 yr average. The average cost per hour was $313,000. Most of the new titles were in the Pay Television sector.
Mini-series for adults:
Bed of Roses, The Circuit, Dirt Game, East of Everything, East West 101, Rescue: Special Ops, Sea Patrol, Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities, The Killing of Caroline Byrne, Saved.
Miniseries boosted from 48 hours last year to 73 hours this year. The average cost per hour was $986,000. There were two Australian telemovies in the slate in 2008/09, with total budgets of just $4 million compared to four titles and $10 million in 2007/08.
Children’s programs (incl animation):
The Adventures of Charlotte and Henry, Dogstar, Gasp!, a gURLs wURLd, H2O: Just Add Water, K9, Legend of Enyo, Li’l Larikkins, Lockie Leonard, My Place, Pixel Pinkie, Sumo Mouse.
Children’s programs (co-production)
Dirtgirlworld, Erky Perky, Sally Bollywood.
Hours produced were down on last year’s slate but mainly due to co-productions dropping back again after last year’s increase. By contrast, local children’s drama was up by 45%.
Two foreign TV drama titles started shooting in Australia in 2008/09: the Sri Lankan mini-series Pamaweeawa Vasanthaya and two episodes of Heartbeat. Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Deadliest Warrior also had post-production / visual effects in Australia.
To compare, last year’s Production Report is here.
Source: Screen Australia