Television/On-line

QUEEN & COUNTRY: SMALL SCREEN ENTERTAINMENT IN PRAISE OF COUNTRY QUEENS

Hilarious, just hilarious.  But not just hilarious.  This week I had the chance to watch all 6 episodes of Ironbark Media’s web series hosted by American travel writer, Jesse Archer.

QUEEN & COUNTRY AUSTRALIA is about the rural women competing to be the Beef Week Queen in Casino in Northern NSW. Co-created by long-time friends Mark ‘Max’ Walker (Australian Story, Who Do You Think You Are, Grand Designs Australia) and Matthew Kelly (Screen Australia, Foxtel)  the 6 short films go on the journey with Jesse as he meets the 5 competitors.

Through the eyes of a self-confessed piscatarian, tree hugger, animal activist, ignorant city folk, tiara envious, gun hater and Yank, we will fall in love with this diverse mob of women.  For, if Jesse has his pre-conceptions confronted, so do we.  We might mostly cling to the edges of this continent (and Tasmania) but our rich pastoral history is important to us, what else explains 3 R.M Williams shops in Sydney city?  Continue reading QUEEN & COUNTRY: SMALL SCREEN ENTERTAINMENT IN PRAISE OF COUNTRY QUEENS

STAN AUSTRALIA THROWS A BIG BASH FOR NEW SEASON OF ‘YOUNGER’

Stan​​ celebrated their newest season of ​Younger last Tuesday in one of Hemmes` decadent party chambers on George Street. Beyond a mere screening, guests were invited to gambol about a boozy miniature fairground, which among it boasted a personalised bookmark booth, larger-than-life cheeseboard, 3D media wall and bagfuls of ​Younger merchandise.

Darren Star`s ​Younger  reprises the sparkly chick lit slant of his iconic ​Sex & The City.   ​ The (primarily) bubbly female characters tell the near-fantastical narrative of Liza (Sutton Foster), a forty-something mother, successfully operating professionally under the guise of a twenty-six year-old college graduate with the help of a bit of makeup and her friend Maggie. (Debi Mazar). The deception is initially deemed necessary by Maggie, a Brooklyn-based artist, after Liza fails to secure a job in the competitive New York publishing scene. After being forced out of her New Jersey home by the sins of her gambling ex-husband, she starts a new life in Brooklyn with Maggie, establishing a role at one of New York`s more prominent publishing houses as a `twenty-six year old`. Centrally, Liza becomes caught between two men. She lusts after a charming tattoo artist of twenty-six (Nico Tortorella) while also feeling a deeper attachment to the handsome head of Empirical Publishing (Peter Hermann). Hilary Duff makes a chic acting comeback as editor Kelsey Peters throughout the series. Continue reading STAN AUSTRALIA THROWS A BIG BASH FOR NEW SEASON OF ‘YOUNGER’

REVENGE HAS ITS PRICE: TIN STAR – DVD GIVEAWAY

Set in the majestic Canadian Rockies and starring BAFTA award-winning Tim Roth and six time Emmy award nominee Christina Hendricks, TIN STAR tells the story of Jim Worth, a former British detective now small town police chief who brings his family to the tiny and tranquil town of Little Big Bear for a better life.

To celebrate the release of TIN STAR,  Sydney Arts Guide is giving 10 of our lucky readers a chance to win a copy of the 3 DVD box set.   Continue reading REVENGE HAS ITS PRICE: TIN STAR – DVD GIVEAWAY

DIVERSITY SHOWCASE – APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN

Your voice. Your stories.Calling all writers, directors and performers!  This is a national program which welcomes applications Australia-wide.

Diverse performers, writers and directors will collaborate during a six-day program of morning workshops, discussions, professional development and rehearsals for a final showcase.

Continue reading DIVERSITY SHOWCASE – APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN

‘Behind Closed Doors’ – An Opportunity for Sydney Film-Makers

S. Shakthidharan: Executive/Artistic Director of Curiousworks

Writers and producers keen to carve out a career in the film industry can now apply for Behind Closed Doors, a new initiative run by CuriousWorks and supported by Screen Australia’s Enterprise Ideas Program, that connects emerging storytellers in Western Sydney with some of the industry’s most experienced creative talent.  Continue reading ‘Behind Closed Doors’ – An Opportunity for Sydney Film-Makers

ART BITES WILL RETURN FOR THIRD YEAR

This image: Unboxed / Photo credit Kirsty Stark
Banner image: Mirror / Photo credit Kate Paul and Brodie Poole

ART BITES, the successful short-form documentary initiative from the ABC and Screen Australia, will return for a third year it was confirmed  at the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) in Melbourne, this week.

ART BITES presents an exceptional opportunity for four emerging Australian filmmaking teams with a passion for art to create a 6 x 5 minute documentary series that will premiere on the ABC Arts channel on iview in 2019. Continue reading ART BITES WILL RETURN FOR THIRD YEAR

DVD GIVEAWAY – LOVE, LIES AND RECORDS

In the hit British comedy drama television series LOVE, LIES AND RECORDS Ashley Jensen is hilarious as Kate Dickenson, the Registrar of the Birth, Death and Marriages Department in Leeds who struggles to juggle her personal life with  the daily dramas which take place as part of her job. Continue reading DVD GIVEAWAY – LOVE, LIES AND RECORDS

FRESH BLOOD: 4 COMEDY TEAMS TO CREATE PILOTS

This Image: THE ANGUS PROJECT
Banner Image: KOALA MAN

Viewers can now binge on all of the bite sized sketch comedy series  called FRESH BLOOD anytime on ABC COMEDY on iview or on ABC COMEDY on YouTube.     But now four of those 20 sketch comedy teams have been selected as Fresh Blood’s Class of 2017,

These four will now receive $75,000 each to produce a half-hour pilot to premiere on ABC iview in 2018. Continue reading FRESH BLOOD: 4 COMEDY TEAMS TO CREATE PILOTS

RED CARPET : WORLD PREMIERE OF STAN ORIGINAL SERIES OF WOLF CREEK

Featured image – Director Greg McLean, with producers Rob Gibson and Lisa Scott. Pic Ben Apfelbaum.

Director Greg McLean and some of the show’s stars including Tess Haubrich walked the Red Carpet at the World Premiere  on Tuesday 21st November at the brand new  Palace Central complex, Central Park Mall, Sydney.

A high-end psychological thriller, the new season of WOLF CREEK pits a diverse cast of characters against an inhospitable, remote landscape, whose lethal dangers are personified by the series’ infamous serial killer, Mick Taylor.

A six part television series WOLF CREEK will premiere exclusively on Stan on December 15.

 

 

Screen Australia Releases 2016/17 Drama Report

Three Summers – Photograph by David Dare Parker
Source: Screen Australia

Screen Australia’s 27th annual DRAMA REPORT is not just for number crunchers.  It has major implications for what we see and hear on Australian Screens.  And the news is good.

The $1.3 billion spent on screen drama production in 2016/7 is an all-time high.  Of that $667 million was spent on home-grown projects and foreign project spending here was also up, showing as $610 million.

The report covers Australian and foreign feature films, TV drama and online programs and includes PDV-only (post, digital and visual effects). In addition, for the first time, this report includes online drama programs longer than 30 minutes.  These are reported separately, with 22 titles made for platforms such as Stan, ABC iview and YouTube.

Graeme Mason, CEO of Screen Australia said: “Crossing the $1 billion expenditure threshold is an incredible milestone for the Australian screen industry and has not happened by accident. There is a whole ecosystem of support measures that keep our industry firing, including direct government funding, tax incentives and Australian content quotas.”

We all know though that there have been some big budget blockbusters worked on here, both full shoots and PDV only.  The Australian dollar remained below USD$0.80 assisting companies to remain competitive and the Location Offset and PDV Offset, as well as other state and federal government incentives, attracted foreign productions.  These included Thor: Ragnarok, Aquaman and Pacific Rim: Uprising and the PVD on Spider-Man: Homecoming.

But local production of drama features rose to 41 titles from 32 films in the previous year. The report cites  the foreign-backed Peter Rabbit as a driver but also strong domestic and co-production ventures including Sweet Country, Swinging Safari, Cargo and Mary Magdalene (UK).

When we look at drama on the small screen, the growth continues.  Last year had record highs for Australian produced television and this year raises the bar again.  With 46 titles and 457 hours of content.  The majority of which were half-hour comedy formats such as The Family Law (S2), Here Come the Habibs! (S2) and Get Krack!n. Mini-series production remained strong too and included series returns of Cleverman, The Secret Daughter and Wentworth, as well as adaptations such as Wake in Fright and Picnic at Hanging Rock.

Locally produced children’s television drama took a knock though with a sharp decline in Australian expenditure in 16/17 ($48 million), significantly below the five-year average of $60 million.

For those interested in state rivalry New South Wales accounted for the largest share of total expenditure in Australia (36%), however Queensland was not far behind (33%) with the significant rise driven by several major Hollywood blockbusters shooting in the state.

The Screen Australia’s DRAMA REPORT 2016/2017  is available online at     https://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/fact-finders/reports-and-key-issues/reports-and-discussion-papers/drama-report-2016-17