Film and video production
The film and video production industry comprises businesses mainly engaged in the production of motion pictures on film or video tape for theatre or television projection. Services such as casting, film editing and titling are also included.
Australia has a well-developed film and video production industry comprising, for the most part, small specialised companies. They produce programs ranging from feature films to sports coverage, documentaries and television commercials. A relatively small number of Australian companies engage exclusively in film and television drama production. The majority specialise in the production of commissioned programs such as commercials and corporate communications.
According to the Australian Film Commission (AFC) the major market for Australian audiovisual products is the domestic television broadcast industry. However, export markets are also important for feature films and television dramas, some high-budget documentaries and some commercials.
A survey of businesses involved in film and video production services was conducted by the ABS in respect of 2002-03. At the end of June 2003 there were 2,174 film and video production businesses employing a total of 16,427 people.
In 2002-03 the film and video production businesses generated $1,596.6m in income. This income mainly comprised $393.6m from the production of television programs, $360.5m from the provision of post-production or film laboratory services, $350.9m from the provision of production services to other businesses, and $228.4m from the production of commercials.
Film and video production activity is undertaken by film and video production businesses, film and video distribution businesses and television businesses. During 2002-03 these businesses incurred total film and video production costs of $1,502.5m. Of these costs, $1,140.7m was spent on productions specifically for television, $219.3m on commercials and advertisements and $142.4m on productions other than for television. These businesses completed, or were working on, 5,774 productions other than for television, of which 5,057 were corporate, marketing or training productions and 66 were feature films. More information from the ABS survey on film and video production can be found in Chapter 20 Service industries.
The Australian Government provides assistance and encouragement, for the production of high-cost feature films, television dramas and documentaries, through measures such as the investment program of the Film Finance Corporation Australia, the development program of the AFC and the Australian content regulations of the Australian Broadcasting Authority.
Table 12.12 shows the number and value of Australian, co-produced and foreign titles shot in Australia from 2000-01 to 2003-04. Total feature film and TV drama production activity dropped in 2002-03 for the first time in eight years. In that year, the total production value of titles (Australian, co-produced and foreign) fell by 18% to $737m. The increase to $815m in 2003-04 was entirely due to foreign features and one high-budget, US studio-financed Australian animation feature, without which the total production value of Australian features would have been similar to the eight-year low of $49m in 2002-03. TV drama production has been declining for several years, with total expenditure in Australia falling from a peak of $393m in 2000-01 to $222m in 2003-04.
Additional information about film and video production, can be obtained from the AFC web site at <http://www.afc.gov.au/gtp>. Links to over 700 Australian film and television web sites are available on the AFC web site at <http://www.afc.gov.au/industrylinks>.
Film and video distribution
The film and video distribution industry comprises businesses mainly engaged in leasing or wholesaling motion pictures on film, video tape or DVD to organisations for exhibition or sale. Agents mainly engaged in leasing and wholesaling films and videos to organisations are also included.
At 30 June 2000 there were 58 businesses in the industry, which employed 1,426 people. In 1999-2000 these businesses generated $1,141.8m in total income and had an operating profit before tax of $103.6m. The main sources of income were the sale, rental or lease of prerecorded video tapes, disks, films and interactive software ($841.1m), and the provision of channels to pay television broadcasters ($169.2m).
Motion picture exhibition
The motion picture exhibition industry comprises businesses mainly engaged in screening motion pictures on film, video tape or DVD. It also includes businesses mainly engaged in drive-in theatre operation, cinema operation and film or video festival operation.
The ABS conducted a survey on the motion picture exhibition industry in respect of 1999-2000. At the end of June 2000 there were 173 businesses in the industry employing 9,282 people. At the end of June 2000 there were 326 cinema sites and 17 drive-in sites in Australia. While the number of cinema sites remained virtually unchanged from June 1994, the number of drive-in sites reduced from 41 sites in June 1994 to 28 sites in June 1997 to 17 sites in June 2000.
From June 1994 the number of cinema screens more than doubled, from 754 in June 1994 to 1,513 screens in June 2000. Paid admissions to cinemas increased by almost a third, from 60 million paid admissions during 1993-94 to 79 million during 1999-2000.
The 2002 Survey of Attendance at Selected Cultural Venues and Events found 69.9% of the Australian population aged 18 years and over (10.1 million people) attended a cinema, drive-in or other public screening of a film at least once in the 12 months prior to interview in 2002 (table 12.13). Attendance at cinemas was significantly higher than in 1999, when the attendance rate was 65.6% (9.2 million people).
12.12 FILM AND VIDEO PRODUCTION
Spend in Aust(a)
Spend in Aust(a)
Spend in Aust(a)
Spend in Aust(a)
|Type of film|
|(a) Includes some expenditure on foreign production elements - for example, fees for non-Australian actors or other individuals while working in Australia.|
(b) Productions under Australian creative control.
(c) Figures for Australian features in 2003-04 include one high-budget animation feature that is being made over a number of years, but in order to be consistent methodology its budget is counted in a single year, not apportioned across the duration of the production.
(d) Includes official co-productions and other productions involving shared creative control, that is, with a mix of Australians and foreigners in key creative positions.
(e) Productions under foreign creative control with a substantial amount shot in Australia.
Source: Australian Film Commission.
12.13 ATTENDANCE(a) AT CINEMAS - 2002
|Age group (years)|
|65 and over|
|Main English-speaking countries|
|(a) Attendance at least once in the 12 months prior to interview in 2002.|
(b) The number of people who attended, expressed as a percentage of the number of people in that population group.
Source: Attendance at Selected Cultural Venues and Events, Australia, 2002 (4114.0).