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The AWG / ScreenWest "Pre-VIZ" Australian Feature Film Marketing and Distribution meetings

Behind the beautiful Australian Writers' Guild (WA location)

Some interesting facts:
  • The average Australian film needs to take $1m at the box office in order to cover a distributor's Promotion and Advertising (P&A) expenses.
  • Most Australian films (about 16) released over the last year or so took around $200,000 at the box office. Only Kenny, 10 Canoes and Happy Feet recouped these expenses and made money.
  • An additional 10 or so credit card films that were made did not see the light of day or attract distribution partners (probably due to poor screenplays).
  • When a distributor invests in an Australian film, they are taking a huge risk. A risk which is as much about passion and commitment to an idea as it is for the production team (writer, director, producer).
Phil (w), Carmelo (p) and I (d) are in the middle of the AWG / ScreenWest's (weirdly titled) pre-VIZ consultation program with Beware the Stingray.

The current screenplay has already been blasted by Victoria Treole (ex AFC and Miramax) and Sue Murray (ex Fineline and Miramax, EP on 10 Canoes and Tom White) for a straight three hours.

Thank God we're not too precious.

Today we have another 3 hour script-bash with Mathew Dabner (ex Icon, current FFC assessor, writ/prod The Square, The Best Things, Freshwater).

And then at the end of this week - we have to re-pitch our project to these nice people.

It can be soul destroying having someone rip your idea into shreds, but Phil and I are used to it and it seems to be leading somewhere. We have approached David Caesar - another tough cookie (with a string of feature film credits) - to help us rework our current draft and then we will (probably) be heading off to the SPAA Conference.

I'll let you know how the afternoon goes...


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