The Rocket: pathos meets comedy

I've been less than prolific here of late as other writing projects have taken more of my time but I recently had the opportunity to see The Rocket for The Guardian Australia. It is a rare Australian feature for two reasons: there is nothing … [Read More...]

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea officially dead? Was it ever alive and kicking?

  Is the Australian-based shoot for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea officially scrapped? Global reports say director David Fincher is done with the project with casting already underway on his next film, an adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s … [Read More...]

Why Australians love Australian film – when we don’t ignore it – and why the rest of the world doesn’t

Remember Crocodile Dundee or still trying to forget? It's the type of film which now does more to underpin Australians' in-built cultural cringe than engender a sense of pride in our local culture. But take a look at the type of films which … [Read More...]

Saving Mr Banks – could it be the next King’s Speech?

The King's Speech could have been an Australian film if not for some financing decisions which resulted in it becoming a global UK smash in 2010. Saving Mr Banks shows plenty of similarities. It began life as an Australian-UK co-production, led … [Read More...]

Australian cinema is dead – long live Australian cinema

I have worked in Australian screen industries for more than 30 years. My first job out of school was as a cinema manager with Valhalla; I’ve built, owned managed and programmed a cinema, the Byron Bay Triplex; I’ve programmed, directed and managed … [Read More...]

A look at The Great Gatsby’s VFX as film becomes seventh biggest of all time

The Great Gatsby has that larger-than-life Baz Luhrmann look to it. Now, the filmmaker and VFX supervisor Chris Godfrey, have given a behind-the-scenes glimpse with a three-minute excerpt showing some remarkable before-and-after footage. Take a … [Read More...]

Bondi Rescue lifeguards raise $105,000+ crowdfunding for adventure film Two lifeguards who appear on popular Channel Ten show Bondi Rescue have raised more than $100,000 via crowdfunding for a new adventure film. It is the second-highest aimed crowdfunded amount raised to shoot an … [Read More...]

The Turning teaser trailer released; new distribution strategy beckons

The Turning could be one of the few local independent feature films to make its run at cinemas a profitable one. This is pure speculation of course but the first look at footage (below) shows a high-level drama with an impressive array of talent … [Read More...]

Kim Dalton on why the ABC didn’t fund as many films as it wanted

A damning indictment from former ABC director of television Kim Dalton. At Screen Australia's Jobs, Dollars, Hearts & Minds conference he said the broadcaster didn't fund films to the level they wanted because their content didn't match up … [Read More...]

Luhrmann scores fourth film in all-time top 10 box office list with Gatsby

Baz Luhrmann has scored his fourth film in the top ten local box office hits of all time. The Great Gatsby grossed another $2.76 million in its third weekend across 566 screens. That was a drop of 39 per cent on the previous weekend but takes it … [Read More...]

An Education: why it was rejected from the Sydney Film Festival’s 2009 official competition

The UK drama An Education, starring Carey Mulligan, is quite a film. It swept up many awards and went on to be nominated for three Oscars in 2010. But while it closed the Sydney Film Festival in 2009, it was still rejected from the festival's … [Read More...]

Brisbane Council to spend $5.75m on film awards: bad idea

Experience can be a harsh teacher. Not so in the film industry where the mistakes of the past seem doomed to be repeated. New South Wales residents may well wonder what benefits actually flowed from the state government's decision to invest $1.7 … [Read More...]

Gatsby set to surpass The Sapphires at the box office: $14.1m after two weekends

The Great Gatsby has almost passed the biggest local film of 2012, The Sapphires, after just two weekends at the Australian box office. The Baz Luhrmann-directed film has now grossed $14.11 million, dropping just 33 per cent in its second weekend. … [Read More...]

Mad Max: Fury Road – punters say it’s the next Aussie box office hit in North America

Punters on the Hollywood Stock Exchange (HSX) are betting that Mad Max: Fury Road will be the next big Australian hit at the North American box office. However, the predicted box office for the long-delayed film is just $US55 million (the HSX … [Read More...]

Agents for acting: what you need to know

Talent alone is not enough to make it in the screen industry: an enterprising agent can provide the guidance - and open the right doors - to help forge a successful career. But what should an actor look for? Rob Woodburn, who co-founded Rise Media … [Read More...]

Deluxe Australia launches DDP Studios

Deluxe Australia has merged several of its post-production businesses to create DDP Studios. DDP now includes the previous brands and personnel behind Deluxe/Cinevex, CornerPost, Digital Pictures and EFILM. The post-production sector has been … [Read More...]

Adoration (Two Mothers) poster – will audiences buy it?

The controversial film, about two best friends (played by Naomi Watts and Robin Wright) who fall in love with each other's sons, has been re-titled yet again. The film will be released as Adoration although it began life as The Grandmothers (the … [Read More...]

The worthlessness of celebrity interviews: The Times’ Rhys Ifans disaster

There are many facades in journalism but you'll rarely hear about them from journalists. Instead, you'll hear a lot about (apparent) attacks on press freedom and the crucial role that journalism plays in a democracy. So what role do highly-publicized … [Read More...]

Fuel VFX: behind the company’s work on Iron Man 3

Local company Fuel VFX is making holographic images for Hollywood into a specialty: The Avengers, Prometheus and now Iron Man 3. "The first one we did we had to discover it," Fuel VFX supervisor Simon Maddison says. "What makes light look like … [Read More...]

After Earth: why it won’t break high-res 4K screenings in Australia

Few Australian exhibitors plan to screen Will Smith blockbuster After Earth in 4K despite the film being distributed at the sharper resolution. While most films are filmed and screened at 2K resolution (2048 × 1080 pixels), After Earth is just one … [Read More...]

Nothing on Earth: a study in isolation

Murray Fredericks knows about isolation. The award-winning documentary Salt recorded the cinematographer spending inordinate amounts of time on the saltpans of South Australia’s Lake Eyre. His latest documentary - Nothing on Earth - explores similar … [Read More...]

The Great Gatsby posts record $6.37m Australian opening weekend

Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby has grossed more than $6.7 million on its opening weekend in Australian cinemas. The adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel has already grossed more than $US248 million globally, according to Box Office Mojo … [Read More...]

How Screen Australia told the Senate my reporting was inaccurate – and why it wasn’t

Screen Australia has told the Senate estimate hearings that my reporting of their annual drama spend was inaccurate. It's a serious accusation and one that doesn't stand up under even the barest examination of the facts. On December 18, 2012, … [Read More...]