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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Tuesday September 15, 2020 

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February 22, 2007: The internet will drive changes in filmmaking, says Peter Jackson, opening the whole world to emerging filmmakers to take over from those in the business now, who are “getting a bit stale”. The Oscar winning Jackson, in a recorded message for Urban Cinefile’s 10th anniversary forum on the Future of Movies held on Monday this week at Sydney’s Chauvel, said that he, as a film consumer, was looking forward to the explosion of story telling that is being encouraged by the internet, and expected internet-delivered films to be shorter than the current standard 90 – 120 minutes. Andrew L. Urban, who moderated the forum, reports.

Jackson said there would be many more films made by eager new filmmakers (“not all of them very good”) but the internet, which is currently “a bit messy and chaotic” would enable emerging talent to find an audience much more easily than in the past.

"a diverse range of thoughts"

The panel on stage provided a diverse range of thoughts on the future of movies, but all agreed with George Miller - and Bruce Beresford - that good, strong stories will still have to be told and directed. Addressing the question of what kind of stories we will be told in the future, Miller said this was the key issue and the biggest challenge for filmmakers today – and tomorrow.

Speaking of new story sources, Peter Giles spoke of the fast growing well of filmmaking business being developed with the fusion of games and movies. Also in the audience were the producers of Jack Kain, the world’s first murder mystery movie game, launched this week in Sydney. Customers can buy the DVD or download it online and try to solve it – and the chance to win the $100,000 first prize.

On this topic, Kim Williams said Foxtel was about to unveil a product that offered audiences that kind of interaction.

And speaking of the opportunities of the internet, Simon van Wyk said that if the pricing was right and the problems of micro-payments were solved, the internet would be a boom resource for film.

The panel discussed the fact that while the cost of production might be reduced by new technology, the cost of traditional distribution and advertising was increasing. Andrew L. Urban suggested that perhaps in the near future, the event movie would get even bigger, while smaller movies would be made for internet and other smaller screens. Urban imagined stadium screenings of massive movies, prefaced perhaps by live entertainment, much like a major sporting event.

Greg Smith gave an example of the first such event in Melbourne recently, when a stadium was the venue for an Elvis event, combining Elvis impersonators with clips from old Elvis movies. The stadium – with tickets at $180 – was sold out.

Our sincere thanks to the Panel (l-r):
* Chris Fitchett - Acting CEO, AFC
* Peter Giles - Head of New Media at AFTRS
* George Miller – BAFTA winner & Oscar nominee
* Greg Smith – director, Animal Logic
* Kim Williams – CEO, Foxtel
* Simon van Wyk - Managing Director, HotHouse Interactive

Also contributing to the forum, four acclaimed directors who couldn’t be there in person (see clips in broadband):

Bruce Beresford Martin Campbell

Peter Jackson Phillip Noyce

The forum, from 6.30 until 8.15, was followed by drinks in the Chauvel foyer, where the themes and ideas were further discussed. Guests included readers of Urban Cinefile, and all sections of the film industry were represented, including actors like David Wenham, Peter Phelps and Gosia Dobrowolska, singer Maria Venuti, Oscar winning cinematographer John Seale, and Oscar nominated Don McAlpine, multi-award winning composers Guy Gross, Nerida Tyson-Chew and Art Phillips, film director turned writer Steph Elliott, filmmakers Yahoo Serious and Rebel Penfold-Russell, animation pioneers Yoram and Sandra Gross, ABC TV film critic Margaret Pomeranz, SMH film reviewer Sandra Hall, CEO of TV Sydney, Laurie Patton, director Paul Goldman, and producer David Hannay, with his wife Mary Moody, a panellist on Channel 9’s new show, Catch Up.

Published February 22, 2007

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Urban Cinefile celebrated its 10th Anniversary with a party & a forum discussing The Future of Movies, at the Chauvel Cinema, Sydney, on February 19, 2007.



We gratefully acknowledge the generous support of ReelTime BroadbandTV- The easy online way to watch movies and TV.

Special thanks to the Australian Film Commission – supporting the future of Australian screen culture.

Thank you Stella Artois Screen for a decent beer with which to celebrate ...

Thanks also to the film students from Metro Screen who volunteered to help on the night. And thank you Chauvel.

Special thanks to Greg Kay of G Kay Productions for helping to produce the audio visual materials for our celebrations.

Also contributing to the forum, four acclaimed directors who couldn’t be there in person (see clips in broadband):
Bruce Beresford
Martin Campbell
Peter Jackson
Phillip Noyce

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