The Loved Ones: Psycho in Pink

It all started with the vision of a kid in a bloody tuxedo, tied to a chair. Who is this kid? How did he get here? Who’s done this to him? And most importantly, how is he going to get out? Miguel Gonzalez talked to the creators of The Loved Ones to find the answers.

Knowing horror is a popular genre, Tasmanian writer/director Sean Byrne saw an opportunity to create his first feature– if only he could find a point of difference that would make him stand out from the pack; from the countless generic horror films saturating the market. Read more »

The need for an enormous cheque

It’s a guilty pleasure, but I like Entourage.

Which is what makes me feel sad about this ad for computer game The Need For Speed: Read more »

Cluck you McDonald’s

I’m sure McDonald’s has a PR plan for most eventualities. But dancing dwarves dressed as chickens?   Read more »

The Cup: the movie that will stop a nation?

Encore visited the Geelong set of Simon Wincer’s new project The Cup which, although shot on a tight schedule, he hopes will be ‘the movie that stops a nation’ when it’s released in 2011.

The Cup tells the story of Damien Oliver (played by Stephen Curry), winner of the 2002 Melbourne Cup with the horse Media Puzzle and the support of Irish trainer Dermot Weld (Brendan Gleeson). Oliver’s brother (Daniel MacPherson) was killed one week before the event in a horse racing accident in Perth – which also reflects the way their father died 27 years ago. Read more »

On Location: X marks the spot

On Location: XIn the streets of Kings Cross, Encore found that Jon Hewitt is not afraid of a little frontal nudity and graphic violence, especially not when making his erotic thriller X.

It took a while for Jon Hewitt (Acolytes, Darklovestory) and his wife and co-writer Belinda McClory to make the film X. Almost 10 years in fact, although Hewitt says the germ of the idea was born even earlier. “I wrote a script for a 30-minute short film in the late 80s, early 90s. It was about a couple of prostitutes having an encounter with a serial killer, and it was pretty raunchy. As soon as Film Victoria read the script, they said ‘No fucking way on Earth are we going to finance this’.

Read more »

On Location: Rake

Encore visited the set of the new Australian legal drama Rake. Producer Ian Collie and director Peter Duncan spoke to Aravind Balasubramaniam about the public fascination behind the legal profession and how their show aims to de-mystify the trade.

Lawyers are popular on television, and the court room has been so glamourised that audiences have a certain fascination for legal stories. According to Collie, of Essential Viewing Group, “Sometimes it is good to prick that fantasy.” Read more »

Pepsi Max calls in Snoop Dogg for the Coke display war

It’s a brave brand that heavily features a rival, although Coke and Pepsi have something of a history.

The oneupmanship may now have reached its zenith with this effort featuring Snoop Dogg though. Read more »

James Packer’s secret weapon for Ten – Harold and The Big Banana

In the excited coverage of James Packer’s move on Network Ten, there’s been a slight air of puzzlement.

What is it that makes it so attractive to Packer?

The answer, I submit, is the Big Banana factor. Read more »

Burning indeed

Being sold at AFM by Filmbox, the picture is billed as a reckless, sexy, provocative and ultimately tear-jerking father and son tale.

The Hollywood Reporter thinks Jonathan Teplitzky’s Burning Man will be hot at this year’s American Film Market. Read more »

So many hits

Ausfilm’s Tracey Vieira reports from Ausfilm Week – perhaps the agency’s hardest week ever.

Attracting offshore production has never been harder. The once booming industry that attracted large budget feature films, movies of the week and television series from the USA has taken so many hits that Australia is no longer one of the standard locations studios do budget comparisons for when looking at potential filming locations. Read more »

Will SBS survive the rise of the multichannels?

Sunday saw SBS celebrate its 30th anniversary with an audience share of 4.2%.

As is often the case these days, SBS1 was beaten by a digital channel, in this case, Nine’s Go.

It’s a situation that’s only going to get worse Read more »

My business model for a social media agency

We report today on the launch of yet another social media agency – The Social PR Consultancy.

And while it’s easy to make the argument that the last thing the media and marketing industry needs is another social media guru, I’m beginning to think that the emerging model is the right one.   Read more »

Are international ‘gurus’ doing their homework?

When questioned about the local market, visiting ‘gurus’ are often vague in their response. Why? Most of them haven’t done their homework; they’re here to talk about themselves and their places of origin, but should they do a Google search before boarding their LAX-Sydney flight? Read more »

If the international PR agencies are so good, why didn’t they win anything at the Golden Targets?

These a noticeable absence from the winners list of last night’s Golden Target PR awards.

Not a single one of the Australian offices of the big international PR agencies won anything.

No Burson Marsteller, no Edelman, no Fleishman-Hillard, no Hill & Knowlton, no Ogilvy, no Porter Novelli, no Weber Shandwick.    Read more »

A short film first, then the world

Luke Doolan and Drew Bailey are the director/producer team behind the Oscar-nominated short Miracle Fish. They are currently in post-production for Cryo, a science fiction short that will complement the story – and hopefully help finance – their first feature, Cargo.

LUKE: Miracle Fish opened up a lot of doors, especially with the funding bodies in Australia and generating interest from agents and studios overseas. It thrust us into a world we knew in theory, and suddenly we were taking pretty significant meetings. I’ve got several things happening at once and they’re not all going to happen at the same time, so I’m keeping my finger in quite a few pies. Read more »

Short films: A five-year life

Clear your rights or you’ll limit your potential, says Bronwyn Kidd, executive director of Academy Award and BAFTA-accredited festival Flickerfest – which now includes a national tour and the television series Flickerfest on Extra.

Sometimes people become enthusiastic about the creative part and they don’t think about the fact that their short might have a life of five years, and they need to figure out how to gain the most out of their film – both financially and in terms of press that’s going to boost their careers and perhaps even attract investors for a feature film. That’s how short filmmakers should always think.
They should have a strategy from the beginning and think about where they hope their film will be seen. They must realise that there’s a market – commercially and on a cultural level – out there for shorts apart from screening at festivals; there are distributors of shorts as well. Read more »

Make the most out of your shorts

Short films can be the beginning of a successful career for those who can identify how to make the most out of them. That’s why Linda Micsko, producer of the Crystal Bear-winning short Franswa Sharl, shared her secrets with Encore.

There are plenty of rewarding moments in short filmmaking, from casting the perfect lead to watching your first day of rushes. The most satisfying period for me is having it all come to realisation, watching the finished film in the final mix session – where we drink peppermint tea and sing along with our sound designer and composer to our freshly composed songs. Many would think this concludes the process, but the road ahead is long and can prove to be a hard slog if your marketing and festival strategy isn’t planned and considered from early on. Read more »

Tontine date stamped pillows: While you were sleeping, a brand category was being redefined

Fair to say, I wouldn’t have predicted that the most interesting marketing strategy I’ve come across this week would be for pillows.   Read more »

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