What characterises the Australian film industry and film making culture in the period 1989-2005 and has the global film industry in Australia had an impact on it?
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This study is intended to examine Australian filmmaking culture and the state of the Australian film industry in the years 1989- 2005 and to investigate the impact of increased foreign film production in Australia on it. I have taken my research data from answers to questionnaires, interviews and surveys conducted during 2005/2006 with members of the Australian film industry: producers, directors, cast and crewmembers, working across both local and foreign films in Australia. These surveys serve as the basis of an evaluation of the differences between both film industries operating in Australia, the Local Australian and the global. Having produced an Australian feature film Last Train to Freo in 2005, I drew upon that experience and those of the cast and crew in a case study further examining the process of Australian feature film production and Australian filmmaking culture. The research concludes that the proximity of the global film industry to the local Australian one is having a negative effect on the attitudes, expectations and working practices of Australian cast and crewmembers. Whilst on the increase however, foreign film production levels in Australia have not been consistent enough to offer cast and crews long-term sustainable employment. With the production of a greater number of higher budget Australian films and the necessity for them to attract international investment in order to be made, comes pressure on filmmakers to make more internationally appealing films and less film culturally specific to the Australian experience and Australian audiences. It cannot be surmised from this however that our own Australian cultural film product or "national cinema" no longer has a place. Support for local Australian film remains strong amongst cast and crews and the Australian Government continues to protect it through its policy and funding. Despite this support however, no growth in local production in Australia has been seen for three decades, with local production in NSW at an all-time low in 2006.
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