Call out: Be a part of IF’s guide to NSW
New South Wales is often touted as the screen capital of Australia, and not without reason – nearly 60 per cent of all Australians employed in the industry and more than half of all Australian production and post-production businesses are located in the state.
According to Screen Australia’s most recent drama report, in the 2016-17 financial year NSW was also the home of the largest share of drama production expenditure in Australia – 36 per cent.
Many of the projects that contributed to that figure were lured to the state by the government’s Made In NSW fund, recently renewed for $10 million per year over the next four years in a boon for state funding agency Create NSW.
The state government had initially allocated $20 million towards the fund over two years to attract production from interstate and overseas. That money helped to trigger over $412 million in production and created almost 11,000 jobs. Among them were 12 international productions including Pacific Rim Uprising, Bleeding Steel and Playmaker Media’s mini-series Chosen, produced for Chinese online streaming platform iQIYI, and local TV drama like Wake In Fright, Mystery Road, The Secret Daughter, Mr Inbetween and the latest series of Rake and Doctor Doctor.
In the five years from 2012-13 to 2016-17, NSW also accounted for the vast majority of post, digital and visual effects expenditure in Australia – some 59 per cent, working out at an average of $120 million annually.
One of the most successful projects to come out of NSW of late has been Animal Logic’s Peter Rabbit, which has made over $US350 million worldwide. The state has also just attracted almost $40 million worth of VFX work in Australian-Chinese co-production Legend of Sun and Moon – attracting Chinese productions and co-productions is a key focus for Create NSW going forward.
The funding agency has had a somewhat tumultuous few years, with Screen NSW merging with Arts NSW in April 2017 to form Create NSW and a series of leadership movements. However, it has recently secured a new executive director, investment and engagement, in Elizabeth W. Scott, replacing Michael Brealey who resigned in March.
It has also continued to drive one of the strongest policies in the industry around gender equity – having already hit its target of a 50:50 gender split in its screen development and production funding programs by 2020, and recently launching a new development initiative for female TV drama directors, #Shedirects. On the diversity front, the agency has rolled a range of initiatives, the most recent an internship program for practitioners with disability, in which Goalpost Pictures, Animal Logic, Jungle Entertainment, ABC, SBS, Nine, Bus Stop Films and AFTRS are partners.
IF Magazine #184 will take a comprehensive look at production in New South Wales. We’ll talk to Create NSW about the kind of projects they’re looking to fund, attracting international production, and the agency’s focus on diversity and gender equity.
We’ll also look at the state’s talent, locations, infrastructure and services and talk to NSW-based businesses that are doing innovative work.
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