Business Envoy February 2022
Screentime - filmmakers flock to Australia
As worldwide production increases, driven by the proliferation of internet streaming services and an increased demand on more conventional platforms, Australia has become a leading destination for large-budget film and television production, including post-production and VFX activity from global content makers like Marvel Studios, Warner Bros., Sony Television, HBO, Netflix, Amazon Studios, NBC Universal, and Paramount Pictures.
In 2020-21, the total volume of international film and television projects filmed in Australia increased by 114 per cent to an all-time high of $1.04 billion. The previous five-year average of foreign location filming was $273 million.
Since 2001 the Australian Government has offered incentives to attract screen production activity, competing with more than 100 other locations that also offer similar inducements. In July 2020, it increased the Location Incentive Fund from $140 million to $540 million, extending the program an additional three years to 2026-27. When combined with the Federal Government's Location Offset and state government incentives, Australia provides a very competitive option for international filmmakers.
Australia has the winning combination of award-winning talent, world-class studio facilities; incredibly talented and creative post-production, music, sound, animation and VFX studios; and locations which can double for almost anywhere in the world. International production employs thousands of Australians, providing work for production and post-production services companies as well as flowing out into the wider economy to non-screen businesses such as hospitality, timber for set construction, specialised ropes and cranes for rigging, accommodation and transport to name a few.
With the current support mechanisms from the Federal Government, Australia is well placed to secure an ongoing pipeline of international production activity into the future.
Attracting this activity to Australia generates significant benefits for the screen industry and for the Australian economy, enabling skills retention, training and growth along with investment in new technology, equipment and infrastructure.
Kate Marks, CEO of Ausfilm