Film and video production
Australia has a well-developed audiovisual production industry composed, for the most part, of 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.
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.
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.
A survey of the film and video production industry was conducted by the ABS in respect of 1999-2000. At the end of June 2000, there were 1,975 businesses in the film and video production industry, employing 15,195 persons. In 1999-2000 these businesses generated $472.2m from the production of television programs, $233.1m from the provision of production services to other businesses, $262.6m from the provision of post-production/laboratory services to other businesses and $505.9m in other income.
The Commonwealth Government provides assistance and encouragement, through measures such as the investment program of the Australian Film Finance Corporation, the development program of the Australian Film Commission and the Australian content regulations of the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA), for the production of high-cost feature films, television dramas and documentaries. Table 12.16 shows the number and value of Australian titles produced in Australia and overseas, as well as foreign titles shot in Australia, from 1996-97 to 2000-01.
During 1999-2000, businesses in the television services industry, film and video production industry, and film and video distribution industry incurred total film and video production costs of $1,791.7m. Of these costs, $1,315.4m was spent on productions specifically for television, $243.0m on commercials and advertisements and $233.4m on productions other than for television. These businesses completed, or were working on, 5,410 productions other than for television, of which 4,727 were corporate, marketing or training videos and 51 were feature films. For additional information about the film and video production industry, see Service industries.
Film and video distribution
The film and video distribution industry comprises businesses mainly engaged in leasing or wholesaling motion pictures on film or video tape 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). For additional information about the film and video distribution industry, see Service industries.
Motion picture exhibition
The motion picture exhibition industry comprises businesses mainly engaged in screening motion pictures on film or video tape. 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. The motion picture exhibition industry had an operating profit before tax of $113.3m for 1999-2000, which represented a profit margin of 11.4%.
At the end of June 2000, there were 326 cinema sites and 17 drive-in sites in Australia. For 1999-2000, there were 79 million paid admissions to cinemas.
For additional information about motion picture exhibition, see Service industries.
The 1999 Survey of Attendance at Selected Cultural and Sporting Events and Venues found that 67.0% of the Australian population aged 15 and over (almost 10 million persons) attended a cinema, drive-in or other public screening of a film at least once in the 12 months prior to interview in April 1999 (table 12.17). Attendance at cinemas was significantly higher than in 1995, when the attendance rate was 62.1% (8.7 million persons).
12.16 FILM AND VIDEO PRODUCTION, Number and value of titles(a)
|Type of film|
|Adult TV drama|
|Series and serials|
|Children's TV drama|
|(a) Includes production budgets of Australian, co-produced and foreign features and TV dramas shot in Australia, and in-house production by television stations.|
Source: Australian Film Commission.
12.17 ATTENDANCE(a) AT CINEMAS - 1999
|Age group (years)|
|65 and over|
|Main English-speaking countries|
|(a) Attendance at least once in the 12 months prior to interview in April 1999.|
(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, Australia, April 1999 (4114.0).
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