So it appears the Australian film industry is in a little bit of a pickle. In the beginning, we got on the film boat with the right foot forward. According to the Australian Government website we (probably?) produced the first ever full length feature film ‘The Story of The Kelly Gang’ in 1906. We have also had huge success with other movies in the past such as ‘Picnic at Hanging rock’ in 1975, ‘Gallipoli’ in 1981 and ‘The Rabbit Proof Fence’ in 2002 (Marks 2014). However, these movies were government funded through Screen Australia, which is now facing up to a 50% cut (Needham 2014). Now this is where we face our pickle. No funding, no movies. Therefor, the death of our film industry as we know it.
However, this cut in funding traces back to another underlying issue. Australian Film doesn’t make money. Why? People don’t seem to like Australian films. Why? Well, we don’t know. And this is where the use of qualitative research comes in. In order to make our film industry successful, we need to actually figure out why it is unsuccessful in the first place. I have been contemplating why this may be for the past few days, and can’t seem to come to any awesome ideas other than the fact that Australian films, most of the time, are pretty shit. Sorry to the Australian film enthusiasts reading…
In saying this, our film industry has recently produced a couple of hits, for example the movie ‘Australia’, in 2008 which produced over $37m in box office dollars, and ‘The Great Gatsby’ in 2013, producing over $27m in box office dollars (Screen Australia 2014). However, when looking at these few more recent successful Australian movies, as well as other more successful Australian movies mentioned on Screen Australia’s top 100 feature films of all time, there seems to be a correlation with the marketing of these films. As in, they are shoved in your face and down your throat and everywhere else possible until you feel guilty enough to go and support our good ol’ film industry.
This idea relates to the movie discussed in the lecture ‘These Final Hours’, and its apparent dismal performance for the film industry. Lets compare the marketing campaign for this with a movie like ‘Red Dog’. I feel as though I saw advertisements for Red Dog everywhere, and I don’t even go to the movies much. It had a marketing presence online, on TV, in the cinemas, and most places in-between. However, I had never even heard of These Final Hours until it was mentioned in our BCM240 lecture. I had no idea it existed, therefor I didn’t go and see it.
So, I’m just taking a little guess, but this may just possibly have something to do with it. So to relate this back to the topic of qualitative research, a strategy that focusses on the marketing of Australian Films could be helpful. This could be carried out through focus groups, online surveys, as well as mail surveys and take home surveys given to cinema attendees in both metropolitan and rural areas across the country. Rewards could be involved with the engagement in a focus group or the completion of a survey, and could include things such as buy one get one free at their local movie cinema, a free snack when they next attend the cinema, or vouchers for their local video retail outlet. Just to keep it all within the theme of the film industry.
This research strategy would include questions such as where they are likely to notice advertisements, which types catch their attention, which don’t, and why. Topics of themes portrayed in movies could also be covered, in order to not only figure out information about where our marketing is going wrong, but also what the actual filmmakers are doing wrong too. In figuring out the minds of the consumers, our film industry may just pull its way back up the successful film ladder. We may just be able to see ourselves out of this unfortunate pickle we have wound up in.
Australian Government 2007, Film in Australia, Australian Government, accessed 29 September, <http://australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/film-in-australia>
Marks, K 2014, ’10 classic Australian Films that required government funding’, Guardian, 2 May, Viewed 29 September, <http://www.theguardian.com/film/australia-culture-blog/2014/may/02/10-classic-australian-films-that-required-government-funding>
Needham, A 2014, ‘Cutting film funding would send us back to the stone age, says producer’, Guardian, 2 May, viewed 29 September, <http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/02/cutting-film-funding-would-take-us-back-to-the-stone-age-says-producer>
Screen Australia, Top 100 Australian feature films of all time, ranked by total reported gross Australian box office as at January 2014, Australian Government, accessed 29 September, <http://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/research/statistics/mrboxaust.aspx>