Partner up with Australia:

TRUST

HONESTY

RESPECT

AUSTRALIA HAS A RICH HISTORY IN FILM AND AUSTRALIANS HAVE BEEN AT THE FOREFRONT OF THE FILM BUSINESS – IN FRONT OF AND BEHIND THE CAMERA – FROM ERROL FLYNN’S SWASHBUCKLING DAYS THROUGH TO THE CRITICAL AND BOX OFFICE SUCCESS OF THE MAD MAX FILMS. THE GLOBAL NATURE OF THE FILM AND TV BUSINESS MEANS THAT PARTNERSHIPS ARE INCREASINGLY COMPLEX AND THE EVOLUTION OF NEW MARKETS IS SEEING NEW PARTNERS FIND NEW WAYS OF DOING BUSINESS.

AS AUSFILM CELEBRATES TWO DECADES OF CONNECTING AUSTRALIAN FILMMAKERS WITH THEIR COUNTERPARTS WORLDWIDE, PIP BULBECK TALKS TO THOSE WHO HAVE BUILT THE STRONGEST OF RELATIONSHIPS OVER SEVERAL DECADES AND OTHERS WHO ARE FORGING NEW PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE FUTURE.

Partnerships are at the essence of bringing any story to the screen. Whether it’s the creative partnership between the writer, director, actors and all the various departments on set, or the business partnerships between producers, financiers, distributors, studios and government agencies, they are, as Village Roadshow Entertainment Group’s Greg Basser says, based on “relationships not transactions”. The Australian production sector has built decades-long, robust relationships that have produced blockbusters from The Matrix trilogy, through to Alien: Covenant, Thor: Ragnarok and Aquaman and have provided the opportunity for multiple Oscar® winners to shine. These are true collaborations between the US, Australian federal and state governments, Australian studio complexes and our hardworking key crew. They’ve also forged true friendships off set.

Newer partnerships are developing as the film industry expands to every corner of the globe and technology innovation brings far flung people and companies closer together. The Chinese market is a case in point. Its continued growth trajectory is seeing
Chinese producers and companies looking to Australia for its film expertise, locations and facilities, as the number of productions and co-productions being made with China balloons.

Over the past 12 months, US studios and streaming services have invested in and partnered with Australian companies.

Additional partnership support has come from Screen Australia and state government screen agencies to create stories for global distribution: feature films like Peter Rabbit™ and binge-worthy TV like Netflix’s upcoming projects Tidelands, Pine Gap and Chris Lilley’s new series.

The same model has evolved and flourished with long-term partnerships between Australian VFX companies and Marvel, Disney, Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Bros., Lionsgate and Paramount, to name a few. With the support of the Australian Government’s PDV Offset, state screen agencies have combined with the talent and creativity of our VFX industry to fuel the delivery of VFX work on the world’s biggest blockbusters. It’s a partnership built on trust, ingenuity and innovation. So, what makes these partnerships work? Those on all sides say it largely boils down to intangibles.“You can’t put a value on Australians’ ‘can-do’ attitude,” says Warner Bros. President, Worldwide Physical Production, Bill Draper.

Others cite communication, openness and respect as the cornerstone of any successful partnership. “We are always working to build trust and rapport, with the intention of providing meaningful outcomes,” says Screen Queensland’s CEO, Tracey Vieira.

Adds Draper: “Australia provides great value and it’s more than just about bodies and numbers. The partnerships we have in Australia are all based on trust, honesty and respect. You have to live up to your word, agree upfront about what you want and what
you are doing and that has been our experience with Australian companies, agencies and talent. There’s an honesty about what you can do and about trying to help make things work.”

BILL DRAPER
PRESIDENT,
WORLDWIDE PHYSICAL PRODUCTION
WARNER BROS.

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“It’s Australians’ ‘can-do’ attitude that’s hard to put a price on.”

TRACEY VIEIRA
CEO
SCREEN QUEENSLAND

LEE ROSENTHAL
PRESIDENT, PHYSICAL
PRODUCTION
PARAMOUNT PICTURES

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“With Screen Queensland it’s not about ‘what can we do for you now’ but about keeping us updated all the time with what’s happening in the industry there.”

GREG BASSER
Vice Chairman, Perfect Village Entertainment and CEO
Village Roadshow Entertainment Group

BILL KONG
PRESIDENT
EDKO FILMS

CAROLINE PITCHER
CEO
FILM VICTORIA

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“Adapting to the differences in culture and work habits between countries is a challenge that all multilanguage co-productions face… but filmmakers do speak the same professional language.”

SOPHIA ZACHARIOU
DIRECTOR OF SCREEN INVESTMENT,
ENGAGEMENT & ATTRACTION
CREATE NSW

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“Be open, transparent, have integrity and do what you say you will. As a screen agency that’s about 50 per cent of our job.”

JANELLE MARR
CHAIR
SCREENWEST

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“Productions have increased in amount and regularity since the introduction of the Western Australian Regional Film Fund (WARFF) and we’ll work to make sure this trend continues to grow.”

COURTNEY GIBSON
CHIEF EXECUTIVE
SOUTH AUSTRALIAN FILM
CORPORATION

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“There’s genuine warmth and pride in screen production in South Australia, from local businesses, to councils and people on the street.”