Producers from around the country will gather today for the annual conference by the Screen Producers Association of Australia.
Held at the Hilton Hotel in Sydney, the topics cover everything from period drama, Kids TV, casting, digital platforms, the Arts, regulation and censorship, gaming, distribution, SBS commissioning, convergence, piracy, low budget films, Disney storytelling, film festivals, online content and regional focusses on the USA, China and India.
The keynote speaker is Gareth Neame, Managing Director UK, NBCUniversal and formerly Managing Director of Carnival Films (Downton Abbey, Hotel Babylon, Poirot, As If, Rosemary and Thyme). During his time commissioning at the BBC he developed Spooks, Bodies, Outlaws, Hustle, New Tricks, Tipping the Velvet and Clocking Off.
At the conference SPAA members will again be pushing for pushing for content quotas on one mandated multichannel for each of the networks after analogue is switched off in 2013.
Geoff Brown, president of SPAA, writes in The Australian, “The simple truth is, were there no regulation, there would be very few Australian programs on free-to-air commercial networks. To see this obvious fact writ large, look at the programming for the existing multi-channels. Trawl through the TV guides and see how much Australian programming is on 7Two, Gem, Go! 7Mate, Eleven, etc. Hardly any. Why? Because there is no local content requirement on multichannels.
“The networks don’t have to show Australian programs so they don’t. And because these channels are rating, their profits increase even further and the overall Australian programming on our screens is diluted.”
TEN recently urged for a similar outcome, as it plays Neighbours on ELEVEN without attracting any drama points under the current model.