It has become a vicious cycle, the audience for Australian films has lessened, therefore the films being produced and made in Australia lessened, which has now seen again to a lessening audience.
The issue that Australia’s film industry is facing is that Australian’s just aren’t buying into Australian films (Aveyard 2011 p. 42). Our nation loves a good film, whether it comes form the US or Brittan, but the question is why has Australian field got such a small Audience?
The last Australian movie that I can recall watching was Red Dog. I really enjoyed the film however I’m not sure if it was because of anything else other then I loved the dog. I can’t really recall anything else, the actors, the filming techniques, nothing.
Had the story been set in the same location with the same actors but wasn’t about a dog chances are I probably wouldn’t have watched it, but why?
One of the biggest criticisms about Australian films seems to be the fact the producers feel the need to make it appealing for audiences outside of Australia, rather then to appeal to us. They do this by often creating characters that are fit right into that Australian stereotype that other countries perceive us to be. Rough rugged with ridiculously strong Australian accents.
The portrayal of Australia in this stereotyped light is cringe inducing for Australian audiences (Buckmaster 2014) and I suspect we often think if we are going to pay to see ourselves be stereotyped, we would prefer it to be done from elsewhere because it’s simply less embarrassing.
It can be seen that Australian produced films that don’t try to depict very Australian content, like The Great Gatsby and Happy Feet, are received well in Australia and internationally (Swift 2013). So maybe this is the key for the Australian Film industry for the moment?
To rebuild the industry by focusing on productions that doesn’t portray Australia and Australians in such a stereotyped light, if at all. Perhaps then, with more money and the ability to produce better and grander productions, the Australian film industry my not only be back on track but may at this stage have a stronger and loyal Australian fan base.
Aveyard, K 2011, ‘Australian films at the cinema: rethinking the role of distribution and exhibition’, Media International Australia, vol. 1, no. 138, pp. 36-45.
Buckmaster, L 2014, Australian Cinema Is Still Big, It’s The Audience That Got Small, Daily Review, 28 September 2014, <http://dailyreview.crikey.com.au/australian-cinema-is-still-big-its-the-audience-that-got-small/11426>.
Swift, B 2013, Why don’t we watch more Australian films?, The Guardian, viewed 28 September 2014, <http://www.theguardian.com/culture/australia-culture-blog/2013/jul/18/australian-film-bigger-audiences>.