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SPAA 2008 – CHRIS ADAMS

YOUR WRITING SUCKS!
Chris Adams is a major player – and he’s coming to Australia to make movies. And they’ll be better written than our recent rash, he tells Andrew L. Urban during a break in the 2008 screen industry conference on the Gold Coast.


“Australian writing for feature films is absolutely shocking,” says Chris Adams, noting that he was aware he was talking to a journalist and confirming that his comments are for publication. He was basking in the Australian sun on the Gold Coast, sitting at a Sheraton Mirage poolside table for our interview during the 2008 Screen Producers Association annual conference last week (November 12-14).

Adams is about to move to Brisbane, to be closer to his Aussie in-laws and to have his 3 year old son educated in Australia – but he will commute to Los Angeles. His disdain for Australian feature writing is well intentioned: he wants to “celebrate Australian creativity,” and he’s about to raise the money so he can put it where his mouth is.

“I’m raising money to put into development, not equity,” he says. “We’ve optioned the rights to several projects.” He has four movies in the queue, the first ready to start production – and contrary to expectations, Adams is not eyeing the new producer offset scheme. “We’ll finance it just as we always do.”

“We” is Chris Adams and Steve Kearney, the Australian better known until now as a Los Trios Ringbarkus; Chris is the deal maker, Steve is the creative & writing honcho.

"I’m not selling an Australian movie – I’m selling a movie"

“Our intention is to produce films BY Australians, not necessarily FOR or ABOUT Australians …There is nothing noble about it but Australia needs someone like me. The aim is to hire writers to write scripts that sell anywhere; that’s the aim. Australia needs someone like me,” he says without a hint of vanity. “I’m not selling an Australian movie – I’m selling a movie.”

Adams said Australia has “not a film industry but a creative community that is the equal of any in the world [except perhaps in writing? Ed] and Government support is great to promote cultural identity.”

Adams’ favourite Australian film of recent times is The Oyster Farmer; “it’s the quintessential Australian film – and [writer/director] Anna Reeves has had to go to Europe to find more work.”

If it was anyone else speaking, his comments might be dismissed as biased, fanciful and even arrogant. But Chris Adams has an enviable track record as an internationally recognised new media pioneer, entertainment industry executive and social entrepreneur with nearly 20 years experience in creating partnerships. He has worked at senior levels for Amazon and Lycos and Pop.com, and as a director of Participant Media – a film financing company with a desire to ‘leverage the power of the media to inspire social change’ with a slate that includes Syriana, Good Night and Good Luck, Charlie Wilson’s War and An Inconvenient Truth.

Their first feature film is based on the romance of Australian teenage video blogger Daniel Meadows and Shannon Jones, the American teen who, via YouTube videos, fall in love. Their story attracted huge traffic on YouTube, especially as their love grew. But when Daniel journeyed to the US to see Shannon – on a multiple country discount ticket and all the while innocently videoing his entire trip, from airport security to Passport control – he was seized by Homeland Security who, upon seeing his footage and circuitous route, accused him of Terrorism and deported him, all before he could reach Shannon and meet her in person for the first time.

Meanwhile, Chris Adams’s online community site View2gether.com is launching a partnership with Adikted.tv (www.adikted.tv), a Sydney-based video content and broadcasting site with local and global content partners. View2gether is different in that content is played at a synchronised time (like a TV show) while the community chats online about it in a chat ‘lounge’ adjacent to the online player.

"the next evolution"

“As people are participating in more conversations online and with continued growth in social engagement, the next evolution in online communities will be social video viewing,” said Scott-Bradley Pearce, Executive Producer from Adikted.tv “Adikted.tv is an ideal choice to pilot the new platform due to the support it has from leading young Australian content producers combined with local mainstream Internet content.”

View2gether has offices in Los Angeles, California and Toronto and is funded by View2gether Pacific, an Australian-based private investor group headed by Media Investors Bruno Charlesworth and Steve Casten.

Published November 20, 2008
 

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