Q&A with Gary Hamilton – Managing director of Arclight Films

Gary HamiltonIn a Q&A that first appeared in Encore, Gary Hamilton the managing director of Arclight Films explains why he can’t live without cinema.

Who is the most powerful person in Australian media and why?

The most powerful person in Australian media could very well be the receptionist at Screen Australia. In order to be successful in this industry one has to achieve financing and reach the right people at the right time. If the assistants and receptionists don’t put your call through, the buck could stop there.

What one medium could you not live without?

Cinema. For me, cinema is everything and is the most overwhelmingly powerful art form of modern times. No other medium can capture so many moments that connect, affect, transform, comfort and entertain people so thoroughly, on any place on the planet, from virtually any walk of life.

Your one guilty media pleasure?

Gold Class Cinema.

The next big industry trend is…

China. At the current rate, China will overtake the US box office in about five years. China is at the forefront of technology and is becoming a global trendsetter in a very short period of time. In the last part of 2012, Bait in 3D, a film that I produced and also handled international sales for, made US$40m (A$38.9m) worldwide with approximately US$28m (A$27.2m) coming from China. We’re seeing more and more examples of China’s impressive box office numbers and the amount of productions being filmed and/or funded there steadily rising. At the moment, I have more than US$200m (A$194m) in co-produced films in development that feature A-list celebrities and tremendous production value. And that’s just me. I’m only one example.

If you weren’t doing this for a living what would you be doing?

I would most likely be dead.

Your best piece of career advice…

Don’t get into the film business.

If you could poach any one person, who would it be?

Marlon Brando. He was a consummate actor who gave every ounce of his being to his performance, the study of his art and the continual tuning of his talent. It’s rare that we experience energy like that nowadays.

Would you recommend working in this industry to your kids?

No, but they already are.

What is your favourite Aussie ad?

Movie ads.

Gary Hamilton is the managing director of Arclight Films.

Encore issue 5

This story first appeared in the weekly edition of Encore available for iPad and Android tablets. Visit encore.com.au for a preview of the app or click below to download.



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