Filmmaking friends and colleagues gathered at Paddington Town Hall in Sydney last night, in a final party for Metro Screen, which is closing in December.
The screen resource organisation has been operating for 34 years, training emerging film and television practitioners.
Amongst those in attendance were Liz Watts (Animal Kingdom), Rosemary Blight (Holding The Man) and Wayne Blair (The Sapphires).
In a final industry gesture CEO Christina Alvarez revealed the findings of a report, Emerging Visions: Career Pathways in the Australian Screen Production Industry.
The research shows that since 2007 federal government support to the screen industry has increased by 90% to $419 million per year (including the Producer Offset), yet targeted federal funds for emerging screen practitioners is set to reduce by 80% to $2 million next year.
“We’re deeply disappointed that Metro Screen won’t be here into the future but the real concern is whether the screen industry is committed to ensuring that new and diverse voices are given opportunities to shape our vision of Australia in the way that previous generations have had. We simply don’t accept that all new talent can develop with crowd funding and YouTube – in this day and age there needs to be a choice of pathways to ensure diverse opportunities. The screen industry will benefit from a thoughtful and strategic investment in making these choices available,” she said.
Metro Screen is one of many organisations in the national screen resource network that has been affected by the cuts with the QPIX shutting last year and Tasmania’s Wide Angle closing next year.
• The annual production output of the emerging sector includes;
700+ short films
100 low budget web series
24 low budget features
• More screen practitioners now have a formal screen media qualification
In 1991 it was 17%
In 2011 it was 45%
• Each year 7000 screen media students graduate from a tertiary institution.
• The federal government provides $250m in federal funding support for tertiary screen media education each year. In addition, the average cost to the student is $20,000 for a three year degree.
• 36% of producers surveyed believe that emerging screen practitioners are over- qualified and under skilled. 24% disagree.
• On current analysis, in order to produce ONE creative filmmaker with 5 feature film credits, 80 emerging filmmakers need to have the chance to make their first feature.
• While overall federal support for the screen industry has risen by 90% since 2007, targeted federal funding for emerging screen practitioners is projected to fall by 80% in 2016/17.
• The research identifies six success factors required for a career in screen production;
o Practical production experience
o Education / training
o Access to resources
o Personal qualities
• State based screen resource organisations are the sole organisations that focus specifically on providing support to the emerging screen sector.