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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2004  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/02/2004   
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Contents >> Culture and recreation >> Film and video

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 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 people. 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 or film laboratory services to other businesses and $505.9m in other income.

Film and video production activity is not only undertaken by businesses in the film and video production industry, but also by businesses in the television services industry and the film and video distribution industry. During 1999-2000, businesses in these three industries 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.

The Australian Government provides assistance and encouragement, 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 (ABA), for the production of high-cost feature films, television dramas and documentaries. Table 12.17 shows the number and value of Australian titles, as well as foreign titles shot in Australia, from 1996-97 to 2001-02.

12.17 FILM AND VIDEO PRODUCTION, Number and value of titles(a)

1996-97
1997-98
1998-99
1999-2000
2000-01
2001-02






Type of film
no.
$m
no.
$m
no.
$m
no.
$m
no.
$m
no.
$m

Features
36
198
41
246
45
292
34
412
34
368
39
545
Adult TV drama
Mini-series
6
69
3
12
4
62
3
23
4
41
-
-
Series and serials
20
158
20
165
20
234
20
228
24
220
28
258
Telemovies
12
26
12
41
16
59
24
76
21
144
9
24
Children's TV drama
12
72
16
109
8
52
12
86
13
88
12
70

(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.

Additional information about film and video production, can be obtained from the web sites: the AFC at <http://www.afc.gov.au>, Film Finance Corporation Australia at <http://www.ffc.gov.au>, and ScreenSound Australia at <http://www.screensound.gov.au>.

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 has remained virtually unchanged since June 1994, the number of drive-in sites has reduced from 41 sites in June 1994 to 28 sites in June 1997 to 17 sites in June 2000.

Since June 1994, the number of cinema screens has more than doubled, from 754 in June 1994 to 1,513 screens in June 2000. Paid admissions to cinemas increased by almost one-third, from 60 million paid admissions during 1993-94 to 79 million during 1999-2000.

Cinema attendance

The 2002 Survey of Attendance at Selected Cultural Venues and Events found that 69.9% of the Australian population aged 18 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 12.18). Attendance at cinemas was significantly higher than in 1999, when the attendance rate was 65.6% (9.2 million people).


12.18 ATTENDANCE(a) AT CINEMAS - 2002

Attendance rate(b)
%

Males
68.2
Females
71.6
Persons
69.9
Age group (years)
18-24
92.1
25-34
81.0
35-44
76.7
45-54
69.9
55-64
56.7
65 and over
38.6
Birthplace
Australia
71.7
Main English-speaking countries
75.9
Other countries
58.5

(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).


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