Message from our CEO
The Victorian screen industry operated at close to capacity in 2014/15 with production in the feature film, television and games sectors all experiencing high levels of activity.
It’s encouraging to see that in a highly competitive global marketplace, Victorian practitioners continue to be able to create unique and engaging content that appeals to audiences worldwide.
This year’s result of $173.4 million in leveraged activity is an excellent outcome. The employment opportunities generated by this activity ensured that Victorian practitioners continued to create a diverse range of screen content across comedy, documentary, animation, drama and games.
Many of these opportunities enabled talented practitioners to use their creativity in production and costume design, make-up and hair design, set and prop construction, cinematography, editing, sound recording and design, music composition, stunt work, visual effects and animation along with
the key disciplines of writing, producing and directing.
Feature films were a major beneficiary of these highly skilled practitioners with the production of nine projects including The Dressmaker, Lion, Holding The Man, Looking For Grace and Downriver.
These projects also saw international cast such as Kate Winslet, Caroline Goodall, Dev Patel and Rooney Mara working alongside talented Victorians including Liam Hemsworth, Ryan Corr and Radha Mitchell.
Six documentary features were supported this year including Neon, Other Earths - Life in Space and Ecco Homo. We look forward to the release of all these projects in the year ahead.
A highlight this year was the success of Victorian producer and director Robert Connolly’s feature, Paper Planes, supported by Film Victoria in 2012. The film found huge popularity with families around Australia during its summer release, grossing over $9.6 million at the box office.
Melbourne’s VFX houses were hard at work on Ted 2, Gods of Egypt, Ant-Man and Avengers: Age of Ultron among other projects. These four projects accounted for $27.3 million of activity, signalling the global awareness of the talented VFX artists working here in Victoria.
Victoria’s reputation as a centre for high quality television production enabled us to attract the NBCU six hour sci-fi drama Childhood's End to shoot on location and at Docklands Studios in Melbourne, with a further NBCU 13 part television series Hunters also being secured and
commencing pre production in June 2015.
Meanwhile domestic television production remained buoyant with 23 projects commencing production over the year. These included returning series of The Doctor Blake Mysteries, Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries, House Husbands, Please Like Me, The Adventures of Figaro Pho and Nowhere Boys along with new series Glitch, The Beautiful Lie, Ex-PM, Little Lunch, Ricketts Lane, Kuu Kuu Harajuku and Molly. Many of these projects were supported through the Victorian Drama and Comedy Initiative, a strategic partnership between Film Victoria and the ABC, which was announced in June 2014.
In the games sector this year, Crossy Road by Melbourne based company Hipster Whale was downloaded more than 90 million times, taking over USD $10 million in the first three months of release. Film Victoria funded a total of 12 games this year, all of which demonstrated original concepts with strong market potential, adding to Victoria’s growing international reputation as a centre for games excellence. Film Victoria’s lead in addressing accessibility in our game guidelines has been recognised internationally with other countries now introducing this practice.
A major piece of work undertaken during 2014/15 was the preparation of the Film Friendly Guidelines developed to support the Filming Approval Act 2014 which came into effect on 1 March 2015. Film Victoria worked closely with other public agencies and local councils to ensure that compliance with the Act could be easily implemented to enhance Victoria’s reputation as a film friendly destination.
Supporting industry activities and events remains a core activity of Film Victoria as they are an excellent means of bringing industry practitioners together to share knowledge, update their skills, and create new business opportunities and relationships. A major highlight this year was the Screen Producers Australia’s Screen Forever Conference with renowned producer Gale Ann Hurd as the keynote guest. Other key events included The TV Week Logie Awards, ADG Awards, Melbourne International Film Festival, AACTA Awards, Indian Film Festival of Melbourne, St Kilda Film Festival, RENDER Animation Conference and the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) conference, which saw over 48,000 gamers from around the world centre in on Melbourne for three days of intense game playing, technology updates and business networking.
Victorian practitioners were recognised for their achievements, with Bryce Menzies and Nadia Tass receiving the John Howie and Jill Robb Awards respectively. Anna McLeish and Sarah Shaw were acknowledged with the Greg Tepper Award, while the team at Loveshack Entertainment were
acknowledged for their huge success with Framed receiving the Tim Richards Award.
The Victorian Government recognises the value of film, television and games production to the economy. We are excited by the prospect of contributing to the Creative Industries Strategy which will deliver new opportunities for collaboration and innovation within the screen sector and across other creative industries.
I’d like to thank Board President Ian Robertson for his continued guidance and support, along with all our Board members who each continue to contribute to the organisation’s and industry’s success with great passion and enthusiasm.
I’d also like to acknowledge the ongoing support of our Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley MP and the Victorian Government who are genuinely committed to seeing our industry flourish. The support of The Hon Louise Asher MP during her term as responsible Minister was also most appreciated.
I particularly want to acknowledge the wonderful team of Film Victoria staff, who continually find new and innovative ways to assist the industry through the delivery of our many programs and services. Their passion and commitment continues to inspire and deliver improved outcomes for the industry
and the organisation and I feel most fortunate to work alongside each of them.
In closing, I wish to acknowledge the talented practitioners and businesses that underpin the Victorian screen industry. Without your drive, creativity and collaboration we wouldn’t have the rich and diverse content that has been produced in the state this past year. We congratulate you on your achievements and look forward to assisting you to find continued success in the coming year.
Chief Executive Officer