Why Andrew Bolt shouldn’t be gagged (even if you don’t like him)

I would not, I suspect, vote for Andrew Bolt if he was a politician.

Indeed, I watched his new show on Sunday morning, and mainly found myself disagreeing with him.

But the launch of a Facebook campaign to persuade advertisers to pull their spend from The Bolt Report is rather depressing.   Read more »

Snowtown: Horror of the mind

SnowtownAustralia’s most tragic serial murders have been re-imagined as Snowtown, a psychological thriller that will prove its early detractors wrong. Miguel Gonzalez reports.

Few Australian films have attracted as much attention as Snowtown, and it’s easy to see why. The ‘Bodies in Barrels’ murders it’s based on shocked the nation in 1999, when eight bodies were found in barrels of acid in a disused building in the small town of Snowtown, South Australia. Four people were arrested and charged over the murder of 12 victims; John Justin Bunting was the central figure behind the killings, with the assistance of Robert Joe Wagner, Mark Ray Haydon, and James Vlassakis, the son of Bunting’s partner Elizabeth Harvey.

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Yoram Gross: A pioneer of three countries

Yoram GrossMillions of Australians grew up watching Dot and the Kangaroo and Blinky Bill, but the story of Yoram Gross, the man behind such beloved characters, is far more interesting than any piece of fiction.

Jerzy gross was born in October in 1926 in Krakow, Poland, where his family owned a couple of fine home mart stores. His father disappeared, presumably killed, when Gross was almost 13 and preparing for his Bar Mitzvah. But that coming-of-age ceremony would never take place; the German forces invaded the country in 1939.

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From storyboard to screen

In this guest post, Popcorn Creative’s Matthew Packwood discusses the production of the graphics for Tony Robinson Explores Australia.

We were commissioned by WTFN, to produce the broadcast brand, full graphics packages for the new series Tony Robinson Explores Australia which premiered on May 3 on the History Channel in Australia. It will also be distributed to the UK. The creative process used a stop animation technique and we executed a comprehensive shoot to deliver opening titles using a modern stop motion animation style of unfolding origami as a style reflecting the host’s story-telling personality supported with detailed animated in-show travel maps. We think the result is bold and entertaining, complimenting the host and appealing to the target audience. Read more »

Just one tiny thing…

The purpose of most marketing messages is to persuade the reader to take a specific piece of action.

That’s true here. I only want you to do one thing.   Read more »

Why sub-editors matter

Although this requires the caveat that if I was in Greg Hywood’s shoes I might feel obliged to do precisely the same thing, the decision by Fairfax Media to outsource its copy subbing is a thoroughly depressing one.   Read more »

Transforming Fairfax

Greg Hywood Fairfax MediaFairfax CEO Greg Hywood has today announced radical changes in how the company’s newspapers will be produced. This is his memo to staff.

During the past several months I have outlined our strategy to secure and grow our company.

There is no ambiguity about our vision and our mission. Read more »

Playing the market

Content creators heading to MIPTV, Cannes and any other international markets must plan their activities carefully if they want to stand out at these extremely competitive events. Miguel Gonzalez reports.

Every year hundreds of content creators from all over the world travel to Europe, Asia and the US to do business at the big festivals – Cannes, Berlin, Toronto and Sundance – because they feature a market component for buying, selling, screening and financing films. Television creators have MIPTV and MIPCOM; documentary filmmakers have IDFA and HotDocs. There are, of course, many more markets – old and new – taking place in different territories and filmmakers, whether they’re financing their next project or looking for a sales agent or distributor, must identify the one that is right for each film, documentary and TV program. Read more »

Mad Bastards: You'd have to be mad

A mad bastard is the person who drags the net in the deep end, where the crocodiles are… brave to the point of being mad. You could say that a mad bastard is also someone who decides to make a film starting with the actors instead of the script. That would be Brendan Fletcher, with his first feature, Mad Bastards.
The seeds of Mad Bastards can be traced back to 1996, when Fletcher first met musicians Alan and Stephen Pigram, as well as the rest of the family music band The Pigram Brothers. In return for a fishing trip in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, he directed a couple of videos for them. Read more »

Mad Bastards: You’d have to be mad

A mad bastard is the person who drags the net in the deep end, where the crocodiles are… brave to the point of being mad. You could say that a mad bastard is also someone who decides to make a film starting with the actors instead of the script. That would be Brendan Fletcher, with his first feature, Mad Bastards.
The seeds of Mad Bastards can be traced back to 1996, when Fletcher first met musicians Alan and Stephen Pigram, as well as the rest of the family music band The Pigram Brothers. In return for a fishing trip in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, he directed a couple of videos for them. Read more »

Soundtracks: Please don't stop the music

Every year, fewer and fewer Australian films and television shows are releasing soundtrack albums. Once considered a valuable promotional tool, changes in both the screen and music industries are threatening their existence. Aravind Balasubramaniam reports.

It is a sign of the times when the #1 Australian film of the year, aimed at a young demographic, chooses not to release a soundtrack album. Ten years ago, it would have been seen as an excellent opportunity to  promote both the film and a record company’s selection of up and coming bands, but in 2010 Omnilab Media’s Tomorrow, When the War Began was only released a single on iTunes. Read more »

Soundtracks: Please don’t stop the music

Every year, fewer and fewer Australian films and television shows are releasing soundtrack albums. Once considered a valuable promotional tool, changes in both the screen and music industries are threatening their existence. Aravind Balasubramaniam reports.

It is a sign of the times when the #1 Australian film of the year, aimed at a young demographic, chooses not to release a soundtrack album. Ten years ago, it would have been seen as an excellent opportunity to  promote both the film and a record company’s selection of up and coming bands, but in 2010 Omnilab Media’s Tomorrow, When the War Began was only released a single on iTunes. Read more »

Small Time Gangster: Aiming high

Boilermaker’s new series for Movie Extra Small Time Gangster tries to find a new spin on crime dramedies, for a fraction of the cost of its US counterparts.

Boilermaker co-founders and producers Andrew McInally and Gareth Calverley know that  Small Time Gangster – their first ever full-length television series – will inevitably be compared to other projects about the criminal underworld. Read more »

Give toadies and hacks a chance

Advertising is a young business populated by young people. Since most advertisers want to recruit the next generation of consumers, it stands to reason that they hire youthful agencies.

So Ogilvy’s Young Turks program, announced today, makes sense. And Ogilvy has always had a good reputation for training, and wants to continue to attract and retain the best young talent. Fair enough. But a recruiter recently pointed out that one of the biggest problems with our industry is that it is too youth focused.

Read more »

Mumbrella’s top 30 creative agencies: the final cut

Tomorrow, we’ll begin the formal process of asking an expert panel of clients, former clients, pitch doctors and recruiters their views on what we think are Australia’s 30 best advertising agencies.

And next week, we will be asking you, Mumbrella readers, the same thing about our final cut of 30.

It’s time now though, to reveal the potentially controversial list of who made it.   Read more »

Improvisation: Fearless Factor

actor director relationshipsGina Morley continues to explore the actor/director relationship, looking at improvisation tools that can produce fearless performances on screen.

BE BORING. This is the direction given to me in an improvisation class last year. Yes, be boring!

In my many years as an actor I have loved experimenting with improvisation, but had never actually learnt the formal mechanical skills of the craft , or the directional gems such as be boring. Over the past 12 months I have been learning and experimenting with the base skills of improvisation and applying them to my own personal acting process. It has changed the way I work and unlocked a playful fearlessness in my film performances. So I have been inspired to write about to give directors insight into how to use this exciting and simple craft.

Read more »

Travel: Keep your budget under control

Just like film and television, travel is an industry in which change is the one constant. Hitting the road during 2011 will have its challenges, but as Stage and Screen Travel Services’ general manager Sue Garrett explains, you can stay ahead of rising costs and changing dynamics with some smart management under your belt.

There’s no denying that those golden days preceding the turbulence of the Global Financial Crisis were good for film and good for travel. Production levels were high, budgets were healthy, and distance was no barrier. Then along came the GFC, which saw projects shelved and the clamps put on travel and entertainment activity. Read more »

VFX: Thor

Just like other drama directors before him, Kenneth Branagh faced the challenge of being an industry veteran, yet a novice in the ultra high budget, VFX intensive level of filmmaking. Miguel Gonzalez reports.

Better known for his Shakespearean work on film and on the stage, Kenneth Branagh was an inspired yet unusual choice to direct the film adaptation of the Marvel Comics superhero and god of Thunder, Thor… and he didn’t hesitate when he was approached to helm this project. Read more »

 
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