8th October 2015
Australian Screen Industry Group
This group of Australia’s Film and Arts Guild’s meet to discuss the issues affecting our film and television industry.
The key organizations are:
ACS, MEAA, APDG, VES, AWG, ADG, AGSC and ASE
The meeting discussed a number of important issues. It began lightly by discussing the all-important Combined Guilds Christmas Party, a great chance to network and find out what’s going on. More news on that in the coming weeks, but looks like a date for early December.
Next on the agenda was the Sydney Film Festival Fund Guide lines that appear to cut off anyone being the member of a guild. A strange oversight indeed. Lee Small says he will amend this in writing.
The closure of Metro Screen in Paddington was also mooted as a sad indication of the lack of respect for this important grassroots organisation that gives a strong voice to often marginalised groups that operate outside mainstream media. The important training and experience that Metro screen provides will be very missed.
The Screen Sector Summit for Canberra in 2016 was next discussed as a needed response to the quota system being introduced.
As Kingston Anderson ADG says ‘we need to lead, things wont stay the same, wont be Quotas, the Trade Agreement are an unknown, whatever is in there, worries us as we don’t know.’
Screen Producers Association and Screen Australia were chosen to represent the industry without consulting the guilds in the process. The shift seems to be driven by economics and not what the market or the industry needs or represents. ie. the cultural element of Australian Film. As the guilds discussed these issues it became clear that we must make up a proposal of what we all want, to show that to SPA to sign if they wish but that we don’t change it to please them.
It was also floated to get the Game developers Association of Australia to join as well.
The next item was about Low Budget Film Making for films under $1.5Mill, with reinvestment being half the funds. It is completely unregulated. Is there a way to devise something creatively rather than just using the lazy accounting document, “Lets just pay everyone half and break the law” this feels like it is in the too hard basket? The guilds feels that Government that does not consult the practitioners, just the producers. We would like to point out with the backing of everyone - that this scheme cannot be agreed to because of (and list the multiply reasons, unfair wages, half pay, etc, etc.) ridiculously prescriptive. Maybe useful for training but is too open for abuse, but there will always be films made like this because we want to make them (films). These films often up being often just a show-reel for those involved. Mantra of growth, growth at all costs, we will be shooting ourselves in the foot, our technicians are world class. The fear is that every $1.5 Mill will be shot for $3 Mill value i.e. no one will be able to get paid a fair wage.
A very interesting meeting showing the on-going work that these important volunteer organisations is doing on behalf of our industry.
(ASE was represented by Jane St V Welch)