Ethnic content: the other Australia

Our society is constantly being shaped by a constant influx of immigrants from all cultural backgrounds, and the influences they bring with them. But for a country that prides itself on its multiculturalism, there is a very limited amount of ‘ethnic’ content in the media, aimed specifically at these groups. Aravind Balasubramaniam reports.

The statistics are well known,” said audio and language content director at SBS, Dirk Anthony. “One in four Australians is either born overseas or has parents of migrant backgrounds, so it is very important that we recognise that fact and continue to be able to communicate Australian messages in the relevant languages”. Read more »

The AFR paywall numbers – not as bad as you’d think, but not as impressive as they claim

I must confess, I felt somewhat cynical when Fairfax Media sent out a press release yesterday offering for the first time clues about how the AFR’s long established pay wall is faring.

Cynical because the timing seemed designed to draw attention away from yet another decline in its print circulation.

And also because the number seemed so darned low.

But I am, I confess, beginning to come around slightly.   Read more »

Announcing Mumbrella360 – and how you can be involved

So I’ve got some news about Mumbrella.

We’re organising a conference. A big conference.

We’re calling it Mumbrella360. Its first outing will be over two days in Sydney in early June.

And this is where you – and the rest of the industry – comes in.   Read more »

Should you ever say sorry in an ad?

I don’t think I’ve seen a political party say sorry for its misbehaviour while it’s still in power before.

But NSW Labor isn’t like other parties.

However, if you treat the party as a brand then I wonder if this campaign marks the moment when the political marketers found their key insight.   Read more »

Actor-director relationship: we can work it out

The quality of the relationship that is built between the director and actor can mean the difference between a pretty good performance, and a fearless performance that takes everyone’s breath away. Actor Gina Morley explores the ways to best build that relationship.

When I think of directors that I love working with, directors that have the ability to help me fly, the feeling that comes to mind is fearlessness. But sometimes directors don’t know what actors are thinking and feeling… Read more »

Laid: death by sex

Animal Kingdom producer Liz Watts has made her TV series debut with the black comedy Laid. Aravind Balasubramaniam reports from the set in Sydney.

Set to debut on ABC1 on February 9, Laid is the brainchild of Marieke Hardy and Kirsty Fisher. Its death-related premise – about Roo, a young woman (Alison Bell) whose previous sexual partners begin to mysteriously die off, making her think she’s cursed – provides the black comedic tone to the series. Read more »

Animal wranglers: keeping the instinct alive

Animals are an important part of the human experience and therefore, they play a vital role in many screen productions. But their trainers are struggling, so are animal wranglers the next endangered species? Georgina Pearson reports.

The old show business saying “never work with children or animals” is a reminder of the power of an animal performance, which can connect with audiences in ways that humans rarely can. Read more »

Mag decline goes mainstream

You may not have needed the ABC to tell you that the magazine medium is up against it, but when the circulation decline turns into a news story for the general public, then it starts ringing a few alarm bells.   Read more »

The 20 ads that sum up Super Bowl 2011

Today marked the Super Bowl. For creative advertising, the half time break is, well, the Super Bowl of advertising.

I’ve pulled out the 20 ads that best sum up this year’s crop.   Read more »

Media mongrel Greg Hywood is the right man to lead Fairfax Media’s fight

Peter MillerIn this guest post, former colleague Peter Miller argues that new Fairfax Media boss Greg Hywood is the man for the job.

Today Fairfax Media announced that Greg Hywood has been confirmed as its new CEO.

If a large majority of Fairfax employees aren’t breathing a sigh of relief at this news, then either they don’t know what’s good for them, or they are Gen Y. Read more »

Finally, WPP gets scary

Sixteen months ago, I wrote an opinion piece asking why nobody feared WPP’s media agencies.

Fair to say that things have changed. Friday’s Unilever victory by Mindshare (worth $45m if you believe Nielsen, $80m according to B&T, $85m by the SMH’s calculations and $100m in AFR dollars) seals the deal.

It may well be the biggest single piece of media business that changes hands all year.   Read more »

Do ‘lame stereotypes’ make for bad ads?

In recent days, I’ve been spending some time browsing Ad Standards Board complaints.

And in quick succession I came across the same observation a couple of times.

BWM’s Selleys ad featuring a housewife flirting with a tradie and Lavender’s Westpac ad with a camp male duo, both attracted complaints, and were both cleared by the ASB.

But its observations were similar in both cases – the ads were undeniably stereotypes, but they were acceptable. Read more »

Mini Darth Vader versus VW Passat

Superbowl – or rather its half time ads – rarely disappoints.

It’s this Monday, Australian time.

This is the best I’ve come across so far of this year’s crop, which has been released ahead of time. Read more »

No love for the agencies

“‘The Australian film industry has a top-heavy structure and the money goes to the people at the top.”

Producer Brendan Sloane is disappointed in the Australian film industry financing system.

Read more »

Sanctum: VFX, a wet, dark challenge

David Booth, VFX supervisor on Sanctum, discusses the challenges of shooting both in caves and underwater, while doing it all in stereoscopic 3D.

I was involved from pre-production right through to final VFX delivery, which gave me latitude in how the sets were prepared and what requirements were necessary for post. With most of the shots in darkness, we had to adjust our lighting to cover exposure for the green screens and also the foreground images. This enabled better keying and gave us a better range for grade matching. Read more »

Sanctum: Developing the workflow

Encore spoke with the team from Digital Pictures, about their work on Sanctum.

How did you prepare for this project?
Rachel Knowles, head of post production: We met with Andrew Wight, line producer Brett Popplewell and post-production supervisor Marc Van Buuren back in early 2009. Our GM John Fleming had 3D on his radar for a long time and we were ready to make the investment; Sanctumwas the perfect opportunity. Read more »

Sanctum: With a little help from Hollywood friends

The name James Cameron is one that anyone would want in the credits of their film, and it will certainly shine the spotlight on what is Australia’s first live action 3D feature, Sanctum. Georgina Person reports.

Cameron is making international headlines during the worldwide promotion of Sanctum – due to his role as executive producer. However, director Alister Grierson and writer/producer Andrew Wight have little objection to the interest the project is attracting because of his involvement. Read more »

Faces to Watch – 11 out of 10

Gareth Calverley and Andrew McInally

Gareth Calverley and Andrew McInally

That’s the score that all of these screen industry professionals will get this year with their work, as their profiles rise to new heights. These are Encore’s 11 faces to watch in 2011.

Boilermaker: ANDREW McINALLY (Producer) & GARETH CALVERLEY (Producer/writer)

Getting their first major series up and running wasn’t easy, but McInally and Calverley (The Team, Spy Shop) are the driving force behind Movie Extra’s upcoming crime comedy Small Time Gangster (in partnership with Ewan Burnett), and they’re determined to keep making good television, with an interesting slate of projects. Read more »

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