The Australian Film Industry

After the success of various highly acclaimed feature films, it seems that the Australian film industry remains in a crisis. You would think after the success of popular Australian films such as The Great Gatsby, Crocodile Dundee, Australia and Wolf Creek, our film industry would build some sort of momentum and continue to produce successful films. Unfortunately this is not that case; instead the Australian film industry continues to struggle to connect with its audiences. But whose fault is this? Should the failure of Australian films be blamed on a lack of funding, or is it the lazy audiences and our unwillingness to engage with our own culture that is destroying our film industry’s success and reputation?

Due to its cultural diversity, Australia continues to question its identity as a nation. This therefore is reflected in its films, which further highlights Australia’s struggle to connect with its audiences. Although directors and writers are trying to capture the essence of Australian culture and its associating values, it seems that the films that are produced revolve around an over-generalised culture and over-stereotyped characters, which makes the film itself cringe-worthy and potentially a failure.

Why are we shocked when an Australian film flops when it’s not accessible, not available, and most cinema goers don’t actually have the choice to watch it?” – Ms Carroll-Harris

Along with a creative script and an admirable cast, a great film must be delivered to the right audience in order for it to be a success. Although Australia continues to produces talented directors, writers and actors, they seem to all travel abroad to prove their talents due to the lack of opportunities Australia seems to provide. Advertising and poor distribution are considered to be the cause of Australian films being unsuccessful in the domestic box office. But while local films perform poorly at the cinema, they do however seem to be more successful on other platforms.

Attending the cinema is still a popular activity for Australians, with a 68% attending in 2012 and an average of seven visits. According to The Conversation (2014), around 25 new Australian feature films are released into the market each year. Research conducted by Screen Australia (2013) confirmed that television and DVD were the dominant platforms that Australians utilised to watch local films. With easy access to continuous programming on free-to-air television, pay TV services, and DVD and Blu-Ray, access to Australian films in these secondary platforms is broader and more flexible than the cinema.

The future of the Australian film industry relies heavily on extensive qualitative research, which should focus on exploring the opinions of Australian and international audiences. In order to completely understand how the Australian film industry can capture the attention of its audiences and improve its success, insight into the current views towards Australia’s film industry should be the industry’s initial step into its rejuvenation.

By conducting both primary and secondary research, Australian filmmakers should be able to distinguish what audiences want and what needs to be changed in order to cater to their needs. The film industry should also focus on selecting a diverse range of audiences from various demographics such as backgrounds, age groups, locations and gender, to review various Australian films and provide feedback. This therefore will expose what Australian audiences are interested in, and it will also uncover what genres and story lines they find appealing. This would therefore reveal what Australian audiences are willing to pay to see at a cinema.

When It Comes To Illegally Downloading Content, Australia Wins!

Copyright Protection is free and automatic in Australia, thus protects the original expression of ideas, not the idea themselves. The moment an idea or creative concept is documented – printed or electronically – it is automatically protected by copyright. The Copyright Act (1968) gives individuals exclusive rights to license others in regard to copying your work, performing it in public, broadcasting it, publishing it and making an adaptation of the work.

As we are currently living the digital age, we can access and purchase content online with a click of a button. While computers and the internet have provided us with various positive changes, such as easily accessibility and efficiency, they have also given rise to new risks and possibilities for copyright theft. When you create, download or stream unauthorised copies of someone’s creative work, you are taking something of value from the owner without their permission. Digital technology has made it extremely easy for individuals to make copies perfectly and quickly, and also has enhanced our ability to distribute them instantaneously to mass audiences.

 

In order to enforce rules and regulations regarding online piracy, the federal government and Australian courts are planning to crack down on internet piracy by ordering Internet providers to block access to websites that allow users to illegally download material. According to Graham Burke, internet piracy in Australia has grown to unprecedented levels and with download speeds increasing, Australia is on the urge of losing valuable taxpaying industries and community businesses. The real question is whether blocking these popular websites will actually prevent online piracy. The reality is, when access to websites are blocked, others will emerge and take their place.

When it comes to illegally downloading television shows and movies, Australians are among the worst in the world. So, why are Australians illegally downloading material online? Is it because we’re cheap and don’t want to purchase content when we can get it for free, or is it because of Australia’s isolation and inability to access matieral that has aired overseas. According to Choice, in order to seriously address piracy, the Australian government needs to address that Australians often find it hard to gain access to content and when they do, they pay more compared to consumers in other countries.

Public Space

Public space is referred to as all areas that are open and accessible to all members of the public. It also can be considered as non-domestic physical sites that are distinguished by their relative accessibility, including parks, restaurants, cafes and Universities. Along with playing an important role in urban environment, public space also serves as an important site for social interaction. Public spaces allow individuals to come together and socialize away from home and work, therefore encouraging public interaction.

Private spaces on the other hand are the complete opposite – the more private the space, the more rules are made by the owners. Therefore, private space is one in which the owner can control what goes on by implementing certain rules and regulations. As the owner has bought the rights to the space, they essentially can do whatever they want without any interruptions from the outside world.

Nowadays, public space often functions as a space between the virtual and the real, and between work and home. In an urban public space, we are often sent into a virtual world due to technology and our mobile devices. Wireless technology and the media are breaking down the boundaries of the public space due to the constant connectivity. Communication technology and the emerging popularity of mobile devices have allowed individuals to overcome the barriers of time and space. I always see myself listening to music or checking my phone when I’m in a public space by myself. For some this may be considered as an anti-social act, but I merely see it as passing time. Individuals are also using their mobile social networks to transform the ways in which they come together and interact in public spaces. The rise of electronic technology and the ability to access to all forms of media has begun changing the nature of the public space in that we are now performing private acts in a more public setting.

Remember That One Time When Television Was Black And White?

…Cause I certainly don’t!

The television has evolved into one of the most important and reliable forms of communication due to its ability to reach mass audiences worldwide. Along with this the television is able to inform individuals about global events and news, educate people on various topics, and of course provide entertainment. It therefore has revolutionised the way in which individuals receive information and the way individuals understand the world around them. Nowadays, it is becoming more common for households to acquire more than one television, which adds to the importance of television in the family home.

My mother’s childhood memories of television were very different from my own. Although I was born in the Philippines, I was raised in Australia and have been here since 1995. She, on the other hand, grew up in the Philippines with her parents, her 12 other siblings – yes, you read that correctly, 12 OTHER SIBLINGS – and of course the extended family. Therefore, living in a developing country with a large family meant that everyone was situated in front of the one TV.

According to my mother, her family rarely fought over what television show to watch as they were taught from a young age to respect their elders and to behave. This meant that her parents and older siblings got to choose what the whole family watched. According to her, this wasn’t a bad thing as they had similar tastes – plus they weren’t that many choices. Although she cannot recall how old she was when her family got their first TV, she does however remember what it looked like, and what decorations surrounded it. She has a clear memory of the television unit, and the TV being surrounded by photos, flowers, toys and ceramic decorations.

Nowadays, my mother spends her time on our family computer watching television shows that are being aired in the Philippines. Whilst she does sit and watch television programs that air on Australian TV, she prefers to watch Filipino programs and news, just so she can keep up to date with what’s happening over there.

First Things First..

Helllooooo! For those who don’t know me already, I’m Sierra. I’m currently a 2nd year Communications and Media Studies student, majoring in Advertising and Marketing. BUT! I’m looking to switch to a double degree in BCM and Commerce because why not.

Although it’s been close to a year since I’ve last written on this blog, I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things and post something worth reading each week. You would think as a BCM student I would have this whole blogging thing “down pat”, but of course that’s not the case.

10596062_10203459361977797_1088193820_nLike every other member of Gen Y I spend quite of lot of time online, whether it be on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram or other social media platforms. I see myself having a love/hate relationship with Facebook due to my constant “need” to refresh or scroll through my news feed, waiting for something interesting or amusing to pop up. But when I’m not doing that, I’m keeping in touch with friends and/or family living overseas. I also prefer using Facebook and other social media platforms to keep up to date on world events and the latest news stories.