Today some high profile industry people will be debating why Australian films are unpopular with the audience.
I have blogged about this before but I believe these are the six key factors that have brought our industry to its knees:
- Australian films have been financed almost exclusively by government agencies, whose primary concerns have never been accountability or viability.
- Australian films have lacked strong concepts because writers and producers ignored the market, and distributors have come to the table way too late.
- The development of Australian films has been managed by people without a stake in the projects or without understanding of story principles and market needs.
- Writers and producers have been ignorant about universally accepted story paradigms (3-Act Structure, Hero’s Journey) or – worse – reluctant to adopt them.
- Critics have mislead the audience by giving mediocre Australian films star ratings that are equally high as or higher than worldwide box office successes.
- Film schools have prioritised an artistic, historical and technological approach to filmmaking. Feature screenwriting studies have ignored the commercial reality.
Metro Screen has promised to make a filmed report of the debate available to The Story Department. So watch this space over the next few days.
Meanwhile, if you have an opinion, specifically on the six points above, please give your comments below. Thank you!
Here is a report on the night, confirming many of the points I made above.
Karel Segers wrote his first produced screenplay at age 17. Today he is a story analyst with experience in acquisition, development and production. He has trained students worldwide, and worked with half a dozen Academy Award nominees. Karel speaks more European languages than you have fingers on your left hand, which he is still trying to find a use for in his hometown of Sydney, Australia. The languages, not the fingers.
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