Australia’s film industry is still young in comparison to that of the United States, United Kingdom and India. Our film industry was born in the late 1960s, with the first Aussie productions shown in the early 1970s. With this youth comes the ability to build and strengthen, especially in the face of times such as the coronavirus health crisis.
Popular Australian films such as Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) and Mad Max (1979) were wildly popular upon release. There is no coincidence that the popularity of these aligns with the approximate closure of two worldwide events: the Cold War and the Vietnam War. So, we wonder what blockbuster could possibly come out of Australia, after the pandemic.
Whilst Aussie productions such as Neighbours and Home and Away were forced to pause during the pandemic, we are looking forward to having our talent jump back into filming as we ride out the coronavirus situation. Historical examples within the industry tell us that there is growth and prosperity waiting on the other side. That means even more jobs and opportunities for our talented kids!
The 1980s saw many talented Aussies poached by Hollywood. However, this opened doors for upend-coming names like Baz Luhrmann to step into the spotlight. Now, forty years later, Luhrmann is a household name and continues to support and strengthen Australia’s film industry. Luhrmann’s new film Elvis, a biopic about the rock and roll icon, was forced to pause production amidst the peak of Queensland’s coronavirus crisis.
The Warner Brothers production features Hollywood superstars Tom Hanks, Austin Butler and Maggie Gyllenhaal, and is currently resuming production on the Gold Coast. The film is set to reel in a whopping $105 million in profit to the state of Queensland.
This comes in the wake of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s announcement on July 17 that the federal government will be injecting $400 million into Queensland’s television and film industry to encourage further growth and profit for the state, as well as the country as a whole. Mr Morrison says the money is estimated to attract around $3 billion in foreign spending over the next three years and will offer an additional 8,000 Australian jobs.
This announcement is extremely exciting for us at Bettina, as it provides us with the knowledge that a huge number of opportunities for our talent are going arise from this.
This Little Love of Mine, a new film directed by American-born Sydneysider Christine Luby, has resumed production in Cairns. The film stars Aussie actors Liam McIntyre and Saskia Hampele, who say that despite the virus, the crew are looking forward to the future of Australian productions.
“I’m very grateful to be back on set after a difficult few months for the film industry,” Hampele said.
These government initiatives are profoundly valuable to us who rely on the entertainment industry being stronger than ever. The creation of more jobs and productions means an increase in demand for talent. That’s where our kids come in!
Over 200 Cairns-based adult extras were required when filming for This Little Love of Mine, which is incredibly encouraging. Just one movie has provided hundreds of Aussie entertainers a fantastic role and we can’t wait to see children’s roles appear within these films. Imagine what the next few years will bring for our local talent!
It’s not just Queensland that have the film industry fired up.
Stunning locations, a rich culture and world class film and production facilities, such as Docklands Studios, are among the reasons Victoria’s industry is expected to experience a boom in the next few years. The studios in Docklands are about to undergo an upgrade, which will see a 60 percent increase in the studios’ capacity, adding in its sixth super sound stage.
The Victorian Government recently announced a new initiative, providing near-instant funding to freelance producers, sole traders, creative practitioners and micro-organisations. This financial boost, known as the Sustaining Creative Workers initiative, is worth $2.2 million and is expected to reignite a spark in the industry when it begins reopening after the pandemic.
Film Victoria, the state government’s industry agency, also has numerous financial grant incentives for production companies, writers, content providers and other organisations. Incentives of up to $500,000 are expected to bring new and exciting film and television projects to Victoria, opening up even more opportunities for our Bettina babes to shine.
As we continue to draw production for worldwide blockbusters such as Thor and Pirates of the Caribbean to our shores, opportunities are hopefully going to open up for our talent to show off their skills and expertise.
It really shows that we will come out the other side of this slow down and we can see a bright future for our industry and for our talent. We can’t wait to see what the future of our industry holds, and we can only see positive prospects ahead.
Over the last year we have been delighted to have our talent star in a range of stage shows, feature films, short films and TV series. Some of these have included Home & Away, Neighbours, Wentworth, Sydney Theatre Company productions, Madam Butterfly Opera, Penguin Bloom, a multitude of short films and we currently have a child who filming for a large-scale feature film! There is excitement all around here at Bettina, and there will continue to be into the future.