Convergence Review: At a glance

The Convergence Review is 177 pages and covers a wide range of issues facing the media.

Here is a short summary of some of the report’s main recommendations:

-Recommendation for establishment of two separate regulatory bodies: one a statutory body and the other self regulated.

-The Statutory Regulator is to replace the Australian Communications and Media Authority; incorporate Classification Board and make rules on Australian content.

-The industry led body will cover TV, radio, online and print and will review news and commentary standards.  It will replace the existing Australian Press Council.

– ABC and SBS are not required to participate in the industry-led  body but must develop their own codes that take into account the new body’s standards

–  ABC and SBS Charters to be updated with a requirement that 55 per cent quota apply to Australian content on the  ABC and half that for SBS

– Rejects Finkelstein report recommendation for outlets which distributes more than 3000 copies of print per issue or a news site with a minimum of 15 000 hits per year on the grounds that it is “far too low” and very “resource-intensive”

– The licensing of broadcasting services to cease Commercial free-to-air broadcasters licence fees, calculated as a percentage of revenues, would be abolished in favour of a market-based approach to pricing broadcasting spectrum.

– Regulation of media ownership, media content standards and Australian and local content to continue

– Major media outlets to be classified ‘content service enterprises’ (CSE) and regulated based on their size and scope, rather than how they deliver their content

– A CSE is defined by: the professional content they deliver; large number of Australian users of that content; high level of revenue

– All CSEs contribute to a “uniform content scheme” for the production of Australian content.

– Review recommends threshold levels for CSE initially should be around $50 million a year of Australian-sourced content service revenue and audience/users of 500 000 per month, thus potentially excluding Google, Apple and Telstra

– Major international online and media enterprises, such as potentially YouTube, would be required to contribute to producing local content

– A ‘minimum number of owners’ rule and a ‘public interest test ‘ replace the current ‘75 per cent audience reach’ rule, the ‘2 out of 3’ rule, the ‘two-to-a-market’ rule and the ‘one-to-a-market’ rules of media ownership.

– Convergence Review findings to be implemented three stages.

 From: The Australian   April 30, 2012

 

Prelude to a hit

Forget watching trailers before a feature film – previews are now the main event.

The online video touted an epic unveiling from one of Hollywood’s most revered
filmmakers: ”In three days, Ridley Scott returns to the genre he redefined.”

For the next two days, videos ratcheted up the excitement for the new project.
Finally, it arrived: not the movie, not even the full-length trailer, but the one-minute
”teaser” for Scott’s upcoming film Prometheus.

”We teased the teaser,” says Oren Aviv, the chief marketing officer for 20th Century
Fox. ”And it was viewed 29.7 million times.”

This is the new world of trailers, in which the internet and fan culture have turned
one- to three-minute ads, once seen only in cinemas, into events promoted and
analysed as avidly as the films themselves.

Trailers are now watched more online than in theatres. Audiences streamed more
than 5.3 billion trailers worldwide last year and are on track to significantly outpace
that figure this year.

”Our work used to be looked at as pieces of advertising that quickly comes and goes,
but now it’s a key piece of content that people are going to analyse and judge,” says
Michael McIntyre, the president of a Los Angeles entertainment marketing firm
mOcean, which has made trailers for films including The Avengers, Project
X and The Grey.

Aiming to take advantage of the mania surrounding trailers, studios now market the
marketing. Movies that followed the Prometheus lead, with a ”trailer for the trailer”,
have included The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 and Total Recall, and
Sony Pictures held screenings in 13 cities around the world in February to debut a
trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man.

The likes of Yahoo and iTunes battle to be the ”exclusive” first home for a trailer
online, often trading high-profile placement on a home page in exchange for the
favour. In other cases, trailers are shared with devoted fans via Twitter or Facebook.
Sometimes studios pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to companies promising to
help turn videos viral.

”You used to put the trailer in theatres and hope for the best but now we can use
digital marketing tools to make it a destination,” says Marc Weinstock, the
worldwide marketing president for Sony.

First used nearly 100 years ago and shown after the main feature, trailers long
consisted of scenes from a film interspersed with text or narration. Eventually they
evolved to feature super-fast cuts, flashy graphics and original soundtracks.

Studios spend between $US100,000 ($97,000) and $US200,000 to make each one,
though costs can hit $US1 million if the trailer includes an expensive song.

To keep fans engaged and take advantage of the web’s endless inventory, studios now
put practically every available piece of content – be it trailer, commercial, clip or
behind-the-scenes feature – online.

”We get so many more assets and they’re rolled out earlier and earlier,” says Sybil
Goldman, the vice-president of entertainment for Yahoo.

The increasing number of trailers online means increased scrutiny for the people
who make them. Bloggers and tweeters dissect every frame of a trailer for mysterious
projects, such as The Hunger Games or Prometheus, and can create instantaneous
bad buzz for films whose trailers they don’t like, as happened to the flops John
Carter and Green Lantern.

”People have access to so much marketing content in so many ways now that you
have a higher bar for what is and isn’t a good trailer,” Aviv says.

There’s also growing scrutiny of the campaigns themselves. Avid fans are aware of
the huge amounts of content being thrown at them and are becoming increasingly
cynical.

”The general consensus among people I know is that they are milking it too much
with a trailer for a trailer,” says Nick Bosworth, the editor of the trailers section on
the movie fan site JoBlo.com.

Critics also complain that trailers can give away the whole film. But testing shows
that moviegoers are less likely to buy a ticket when they don’t know what to expect.
Studios, in other words, are sticking with what works. As the hype and attention
around trailer debuts keep growing, they increasingly resemble another high-stakes
moment for the movie industry.

”In some cases,” says Mojo co-owner Michael Kahane, ”the trailer launch has become
just as big an event as the movie opening weekend.”

Ben Fritz – Los Angeles Times – April 28, 2012

Have blockbuster movies lost the plot?

As Avengers Assemble, Prometheus and The Dark Knight prepare to slug it out in
cinemas, Robbie Collin asks how Hollywood snatched defeat from the victory of
Jaws.

There are two different accounts of the origin of the word blockbuster and, as tends
to be the way with these things, the bogus one is the most appealing.The version
most often given by those who work in the film industry – the wrong one you wish
was right – claims the word has its origins in jazz-age Hollywood, where it was used
to describe films and plays that were so popular they enticed customers away from all
of the rival theatres and cinemas in the surrounding area. At the expense of one
soaraway hit, so the story runs, an entire block would go bust.

It’s a romantic image – just think of that brilliant scene in The Artist, when the
silent-movie star George Valentin sees the crowd for a talkie stretching all the way
around the block and only then realises that the age of sound has arrived – but
regrettably, it’s also an entirely fictional one. The word actually made its way into
Hollywood parlance from the munitions industry, where in Forties Britain, the term
“blockbuster” was coined to refer to the RAF bombs also known as “cookies”:
4,000lb, 8,000lb and 12,000lb monsters that were big enough to flatten an entire
Nazi neighbourhood in one go. It was seized upon by the showbiz journal Variety,
among others, and was used as a slang superlative for describing a play or film that
was enormously successful, or failing that, just enormous.

The pyrotechnic origins of the word were spookily prescient: cast an eye over
Hollywood’s offerings for the impending summer season and it becomes clear that

blockbusters are now films in which we watch things being destroyed by the noisiest,
costliest means imaginable. In a list of this summer’s most successful films, it is likely
that Avengers Assemble, Prometheus and The Dark Knight Rises will be placed very
highly, and the trailers promise extensive scenes of buildings and people being
elaborately rent asunder.

There is no reason to think the inevitable box-office success of any of these films will
be undeserved: Joss Whedon, Ridley Scott and Christopher Nolan, their respective
directors, are three rare talents able to marry intelligent storytelling with grand-scale
mayhem. But zoom out a little and the contemporary blockbuster landscape starts to
look increasingly odd. Two of the most successful multiplex franchises of the past 10
years are Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean. Although they share common
ground with older blockbusters such as the Indiana Jones films and Top Gun – in
their blending of history and fantasy and sensualisation of warfare, for a start – in
terms of quality, there is no comparison. But what the Pirates and Transformers
films lack in style, suspense, pathos, structure, characterisation, tragedy, comedy,
artistry, cineliteracy and coherence, they make up for in the size of their budget. It is
hard not to conclude that nowadays blockbuster status is bought, not earned.

With emerging audiences in Russia, India, the United Arab Emirates and China keen
to spend big on spectacle, it often proves to be a shrewd investment. Disney’s risible
science-fiction romp John Carter was branded a flop by the trade press on release
and broadly ignored by Western audiences, but has quietly made back its vast £160
million budget, and more, in places like Russia, Brazil and south-east Asia. The most
recent Pirates of the Caribbean film, which was almost as bad, took three quarters of
its £630 million gross overseas. When James Cameron’s Titanic was re-released for
the Easter bank holiday weekend, Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corporation,
which owns Titanic studio Twentieth Century Fox, triumphantly announced on
Twitter that the film took almost twice as much on its first night in China as it did in
America. “New markets fast expanding for US films,” he tweeted, his ability to use
the present continuous tense temporarily stymied by the thought of all that money.

In fact, the international blockbuster market is in such rude health that previously
recession-cowed studios are upping the annihilation levels in what might otherwise
be run-of-the-mill action films in the hope of cashing in. Battleship, a dim-witted
alien-invasion romp released in Britain last week, found itself “upgraded” to
blockbuster status by Universal Pictures with a reported £22 million budget hike
midway through production, and has been rolled out internationally a month before
its American release – in other words, to the audiences most likely to appreciate it,
which, depressingly, include Britain.

Every cent of additional funding was earmarked for either improving the existing
special effects or adding more computer-generated destruction, not in the original
script. Accordingly, the film’s running time was stretched beyond two hours and the
volume of the explosions increased. “It was one of the craziest meetings I’ve ever
had,” the director, Peter Berg, has recalled. “They said, ‘We want to go bigger.’” Over

its debut weekend, Battleship was the most popular film in 20 countries, including
the UK and Germany, and set new box office records for Universal in South Korea,
Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. The film took £35 million in three days, notably,
without the help of either Russia or China (it opened in both countries yesterday). In
the current market, bigger is always better.

It wasn’t always thus. Arguably the first modern blockbuster was Steven Spielberg’s
1975 film Jaws: compared with this summer’s offerings in terms of both budget and
on-screen carnage, a small fish indeed. But the way Spielberg’s shark tale
transcended its creature-feature roots to become an international pop-culture
phenomenon set out the template by which almost all future blockbusters would be
marketed.

Previously, films had been launched with a glossy Hollywood premiere, followed by
the first tranche of reviews and then a gradual spreading of prints across the US and,
eventually, the UK. Jaws opened simultaneously on 464 screens, many in seaside
towns not unlike the one depicted in the movie. It was advertised in prime-time slots
on all three American television channels for three days beforehand. Universal’s
advertising campaign included “public service shark facts” posters as well as more
conventional bills. Discussion of the movie filtered beyond entertainment journalism
and into the hard news agenda. Like the great white itself, there was no escaping it.

This saturation approach to marketing was designed to weaken the effects of bad
reviews and negative word of mouth (not that Jaws had much to worry about on
either front) and also to turn the film’s release into an international – here’s that
word again – “event”. It worked. Jaws took more than £300 million worldwide and
single-handedly doubled the share price of Universal’s parent company, MCA.

The decade that followed yielded Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, ET: The Extra
Terrestrial, Ghostbusters and Back to the Future; an unprecedented purple patch in
blockbuster history. These films – thrilling adventure sagas with a fantastical bent
and a broad, almost universal appeal – collectively make up what I would describe
as, without a flicker of irony, the classical era of blockbuster film-making.

The philosopher Hegel believed ancient Greek sculpture represented the apex of fine
art because the sculptors’ creative spirit was embodied by the very substance of those
sculptures: simply put, marble was the ideal medium through which to communicate
the gods’ unearthly beauty. Similarly in the late Seventies and early Eighties, the
emergent special effects industry allowed the likes of Steven Spielberg, George Lucas,
Ivan Reitman and Robert Zemeckis to fully articulate their ideas on screen for the
first time, and the blockbusters’ form and content existed in a kind of perfect
Hegelian balance.

Quite what Hegel would make of the likes of Battleship and the pornographically
cynical Transformers movies is another matter. Since the Eighties, setting aside very
occasional special cases such as Christopher Nolan’s Inception, the Wachowski

brothers’ The Matrix and James Cameron’s Avatar, special-effects technology has
hopelessly outpaced and outclassed film-makers’ ideas, and that crucial equilibrium
has been lost.

Yet the lack of worthwhile ideas does not seem to have demoralised cinemagoers,
who continue to turn out in their hordes. Michael Bay has said, with perhaps a trace
of sarcasm, “I make movies for teenage boys – oh dear, what a crime,” but his three
Transformers films have made in excess of £1.6 billion for Paramount, Hasbro,
various cinema chains, and Bay himself. If Bay’s films, the seemingly endless run of
superhero flicks, Battleship et al really are aimed squarely at teenage boys, why are
people who are neither teenage nor boyish going to see them?

For the answer, we need only look to Jaws – or rather to its marketing model, which
is now being pushed to increasingly solipsistic extremes. Trailers are now trailed with
teaser trailers – and in the case of Prometheus, teasers for teaser trailers. Behind-
the-scenes shoots are released before we get the chance to actually see the scenes
behind which they’ve been shot. Positive buzz from preview screenings laps the
planet in seconds thanks to Twitter, while the grumbles remain embargoed. When we
go to the cinema to watch a blockbuster, it doesn’t mark the commencement of our
experience of the film, but the culmination.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Inspired by the ideals of the slow-food movement, I’d
like to see a return from today’s junk cinema to slow blockbusters: handcrafted,
artisanally produced summer entertainments made by directors who actually give a
fig about what they are pumping out. Encouragingly, there are stirrings that suggest
such a move may already be in the offing, thanks to another emerging market:
teenage girls. Gary Ross’s The Hunger Games, a terrifically intelligent science-fiction
film based on the book by Suzanne Collins, is aimed foremost at that demographic.
And Tarsem Singh’s Mirror Mirror, the first of the 14 fairy-tale adaptations on
Hollywood’s release slate, had all the wit and dash of the old blockbusters and none
of the barefaced stupidity of the new.

Naturally, it’s still about the money: last weekend, The Hunger Games broke the
£300 million barrier and is now on track to gross more in the US than any of the
Twilight or Harry Potter films. But with any luck, this influential young audience
could give us more blockbusters worth queuing around the block for. In a battle
between the teenage girls and the Russians, I know whose side I’m on.

CLASH OF THE TITANS: Your guide to this summer’s biggest films

Avengers Assemble – Comic book legends Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and the
Incredible Hulk, along with a host of supporting players from their respective solo
movies, join forces to save Earth from an other-worldly menace in this winningly
glossy superhero spectacular. Pop culture maven Joss Whedon directs.

Release date: 26 April

Prometheus – Ridley Scott returns to the Alien universe with a sprawling space
exploration epic in which a crew of scientists travels to a distant planet in the hope of
finding mankind’s origins. Instead, they find something considerably nastier. The
red-hot cast includes Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender.

Release date: June 1 – Snow White and the Huntsman

In her first blockbuster role outside of the wildly successful Twilight saga, Kristen
Stewart stars as a sword-wielding Snow White in this expensive-looking, Tolkien-
inflected spin on the evergreen fairy tale. Ian McShane, Ray Winstone and Bob
Hoskins number among the dwarfs.

Release date: June 1 – The Amazing Spider-Man

Columbia Pictures takes Marvel’s web-slinger back to his roots, again, in this moody
reboot of the superhero franchise starring Surrey-raised 28-year-old Andrew
Garfield alongside Emma Stone and Martin Sheen. Not only is director Marc Webb
ideally named for the project, his previous film, (500) Days of Summer, suggests he
can handle the swirling twentysomething angst.

Release date: July 4

The Dark Knight Rises – The third and final instalment in British director
Christopher Nolan’s broodingly solemn Batman trilogy pits Christian Bale’s Caped
Crusader against the drawling terrorist kingpin Bane, played by Tom Hardy, and
Anne Hathaway’s light-fingered Catwoman. Breathtaking set pieces and a relevant
social subtext are both promised.

Release date: July 20

By Robbie Collin, Film Critic – 27 Apr 2012 – UK Telegraph

How to Make a Hollywood Hit

Charting the new globe-trotting science of moviemaking

Today, movies generate 70 percent of their revenue abroad. This has Hollywood
studios playing to the tastes of viewers from São Paulo to South Korea—and
employing all sorts of savvy new rules to build global box-office sensations.

SCREENPLAY

Set the Movie in a Growing Market—or Nowhere.

Two of last year’s highest-grossing movies, Fast Five and Rio, were set in Brazil, a
rapidly expanding market. Three of the most successful Hollywood ventures of all
time—Harry Potter, Avatar, and Lord of the Rings—take place in fantasy worlds that
are home to more than one nationality.

Riff on an Established Enterprise.

In an effort to revive its tired action-figure brand, the toy giant Hasbro joined forces
with Paramount and DreamWorks to make Transformers. Result: box-office and toy
sales both soared, especially overseas.

Don’t Offend Billions of Would-Be Viewers.

MGM’s yet-to-be-released update of the Cold War thriller Red Dawn was originally
shot with Chinese villains instead of Soviets. In deference to China’s growing clout,
MGM turned the bad guys into North Koreans during editing.

CASTING

You Always Want Will Smith.

Long known as the only remaining golden ticket in Hollywood, Smith appears in
relatively few roles—the better to maintain his global winning streak.

Except When You Don’t.

For fantasy and superhero franchises, a fresh face is ideal—especially if accompanied
by a British or Australian accent, which can feel more universal than an American
one.

But the Right Co-Star Can Make Anyone Bankable.

Adam Sandler has a solid global track record largely because of his co-stars—Salma
Hayek in 2010’s Grown Ups and Eugenio Derbez, a popular Mexican comic, in last
year’s Jack and Jill ensured large audiences in Latin America.

Dub Animated Movies With Local Actors—or Hire Bilingual Superstars
From the Start.

When DreamWorks Animation added Antonio Banderes’s Puss in Boots character to
the second Shrek movie, box-office sales tripled in Spain and doubled in Mexico and
Brazil. Banderas’s Puss in Boots spin-off has so far earned 72 percent of its $500-
million-plus box-office haul abroad.

PRODUCTION

Film in 3-D and IMAX.

Less than 20 percent of 2011 U.S. box-office sales came from 3-D movies, but in
booming markets like Russia, Brazil, and China—where 40 percent of 2011 box-office
sales were from 3-D films—novelty cannot be overvalued or underdone.

Shoot in as Many Cities as Possible.

After Cars, Pixar’s 2006 paean to American auto culture, underperformed abroad,
the studio set the sequel in Paris, London, and Tokyo and on the Italian Riviera.

Take Advantage of Foreign Labor.

Since Peter Jackson launched the Lord of the Rings trilogy from New Zealand,
fantasy directors have been lured there by CGI expertise and tax breaks. At one point,
Jackson, Steven Spielberg, and James Cameron were simultaneously making global
blockbusters in the 200,000-person city of Wellington.

PRODUCT PLACEMENT & LICENSING

Pepper the Film With International Brands.

When a character gulped a Shuhua low-lactose milk in the latest Transformers
movie, DreamWorks and the Chinese dairy company Yili Group both benefited—the
latter from pitching its product to Chinese viewers, who spent an astounding $146
million on tickets, and the former from charging Yili big bucks for the privilege.

The Toys Can Make the Movie.

Cars performed less well than Pixar’s other films and received middling reviews, but
it sold more than $10 billion worth of merchandise—thus guaranteeing a sequel. To
maximize licensing opportunities, Cars 2 introduced a fleet of foreign characters,
including a Citroën, a Honda, a Ferrari, and an Aston Martin.

MARKETING & RELEASE

Choose Politically Benign Titles.

When releasing Captain America: The First Avenger, Marvel worried about an anti-
American reflex in Russia, Ukraine, and South Korea—so the movie was simply
called The First Avenger in those markets.

Parade Your Stars Around the World.

In 2005, long before Brazil became the box-office behemouth it is today, Will Smith
flew to Rio to promote Hitch during Carnival. Today, promotional stops in Rio—and
in Mexico and Russia—are nearly mandatory for actors.

Use Release Schedules and Premieres to Send a Message.

The U.S. release of Steven Spielberg’s Tintin, based on a comic beloved in Europe but
largely unknown in the States, was almost an afterthought, scheduled two months
after the movie’s European premiere.

Studios now choose premiere locales by box-office power: Fast Five and Rio opened
in (of course) Rio; Mission Impossible—Ghost Protocol in Dubai; and Transformers:
Dark of the Moon in Moscow.

Nicole Allan is an Atlantic senior editor – 25 April 2012.

INPUT SYDNEY presents: Is the Web the Future of Documentaries?

Input Sydney –  May 7 – 11 at Hoyts Cinemas, The Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park.

What does it take to make a successful web documentary and how can online
technologies contribute to the art of storytelling? As Internet connectivity and speeds
improve, audiences are spending more time online and patterns and behaviours of
narrative consumption are evolving.

Documentaries are evolving as well with more and more documentaries being
commissioned exclusively for the online platform – tapping the traditional power of
narrative video but augmenting this with audio, photos, textual content, data
visualisation, user generated content and other interactivity.

In this session (Thursday May 10 from 2pm to 5pm)we hear from some of the world’s
leaders in this space about successful projects and what might happen next.

Projects to be presented and discussed are:

Afghanistan (France – Broadcaster: ARTE)
Letting Afghanis have their say and intersecting points of view: these are the two
underlying principles of the web-documentary Afghanistan, devoted to Afghanistan
a decade after the outbreak of the war following the attack on the world Trade Centre
towers in New York.
www.arte.tv/afghanistan

In Situ (France – Broadcaster: ARTE)
In Situ is a poetic essay and interactive documentary about the urban space in
Europe seen through very diverse artistic experiences and inventions. Antoine
Viviani (Author, filmmaker, producer) will be at INPUT to present In Situ.
www.arte.tv/insitu

The arab world in revolution(s) (France – Broadcaster: ARTE)
With the Arab world is undergoing unpredictable, revolutionary change. ARTE
followed the issue from different perspectives, not only on television, but also online,
staying close to the people and events, especially when they were no longer topical or
eventful enough for other media to cover.
ww.arte.tv/arabworld

The Block (Australia – Broadcaster: SBS)
A sneak preview of this major SBS production, to be launched in July 2012, which is
described as a time capsule about the indigenous-owned neighbourhood in Redfern,
NSW, told by residents past and present. (URL not available)

Bear 71 (Canada – Broadcaster: National Film Board of Canada)
Bear 71 is about a grizzly bear in Banff National Park, who was collared at the age of
three and was watched her whole life via trail cameras in the park. Following Bear 71,
the web documentary explores the connections between the human and animal
world, and the far-ranging effects that human settlements, roads and railways have
on wildlife. The documentary features a map of Banff National Park that allows
users to follow Bear 71’s movements by scrolling over the cameras, and look at other
users by activating the computer’s webcam. Bear 71 went live on the NFB website on
January 19, 2012. It was also the subject of an installation at the 2012 Sundance Film
Festival’s New Frontier program beginning January 20, followed by the Utah
Museum of Contemporary Art. One of two producers, Jeremy Von Mendes, will be at
INPUT.
(http://bear71.nfb.ca)

“This session brings together high calibre digital pioneers – program makers and
broadcasters at the forefront of on-line documentary from around the world to
present these ground-breaking web documentaries,” says session moderator
Marshall Heald, Director of Online & Emerging Platforms at SBS.

“These projects provide an exciting peak into the future evolution of digital content
in a post NBN world and how content makers can exploit technology to tell engaging
stories in new and interesting ways whether through explorations of form, function,
interactivity or method of audience engagement”

Participants in this session are:

Marshall Heald, SBS
Sabine Lange, ARTE
Jeremy Von Mendes, NFB
Antonie Viviani, Filmmaker

INPUT SYDNEY will feature a multi-platform/on-line session each afternoon of the
conference.
Marshall Heald will also moderate Comedy Rules the World – How to make a Hit
Comedy Series on the Internet (Tuesday May 8). Unconditional Love and Touch
Screens, on Wednesday May 9, will interrogate the world cross media for children.
The session on Friday May 11 is 10 Ways to involve your Audience and use Social
Media.

INPUT is based on the principal of television in the public interest – a meeting place
where broadcasters, commissioners, programmers, producers and directors from 50
countries and five continents come together to share programs, ideas and
aspirations.

The Conference runs in a different country each year, screening and debating around
70 hours of international programming. It is a unique ‘whole of television’ event,
encompassing Drama, Documentary and Factual, TV Specific programming and
Transmedia. Discussions follow all screenings in which delegates talk directly with
the commissioner, producer or director of the program about the craft, the politics,
and the broadcast issues. The discussions are frank, open, often challenging, and
very refreshing.

Register NOW! Full registration is just 100 Euros. Program runs May 7 – 11 at
Hoyts Cinemas, The Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park. Full program is available
at: www.inputsydney.com

Media enquiries
Tracey Mair, TM Publicity
For INPUT SYDNEY
Ph: + 61 (0) 419 221 493

Netflix Rewrites Rules of TV

How the Return of Netflix’s Arrested Development Will
Rewrite the New Rules of TV Watching

The landscape of television is changing, and for proof, you have to look no further
than the revival of Arrested Development on Netflix, where creator Mitch Hurwitz
has reunited the original cast to produce a parcel of new episodes coming next year.

Suddenly, a show that was incredibly low-rated on Fox is being touted as a game-
changer for an upstart streaming-video company. It’s a move that will surely have a
ripple effect on TV development, but the audience at home is going to find their
viewing habits tested, too, since Netflix head Ted Sarandos announced yesterday that
the ten new episodes of Arrested Development will all premiere on a single day. How

will recap culture cope? Here are four of the open questions raised by the
announcement.

Should you watch all the episodes in one sitting?

Arrested Development’s most avid superfans have been waiting for this day since the
show was canceled in 2006, but now they’ll be consuming an entire new season of
Arrested Development the way a johnny-come-lately would: all at once, like a person
stumbling upon the DVDs years after the show went off the air. Still, while a newbie
might take his time with Arrested Development, many longtime fans of the series will
feel pressure to rip through all the episodes in a single day, and is the show best
served by watching it that way? And what if the new Arrested episodes bow on a
weekday, God forbid? Would an entire demographic leave work for lunch and never
return?

How do you talk about it on Twitter?

The rise in DVRs and time-shifting have changed the way people watch TV, but savvy
fans know to avoid Twitter if they haven’t yet caught, say, the new episode of Mad
Men: The social-networking service explodes every Sunday night with viewers live-
tweeting, quoting, and discussing Don Draper or Fat Betty in depth. (Pity viewers on
the West Coast and abroad, who are in constant danger of being spoiled until they
can catch up.) If the new episodes of Arrested Development were debuting in weekly
installments on a network, Twitter users could assume some base level of communal
viewing and tweet freely, but with the new episodes bowing at the same time, how
can you be sure who’s watched what? Can you already start discussing episode ten
when your friends may be on episode seven, or even episode one?

Will this nip buzz in the bud?

We won’t shed many tears over Twitter users unable to spoil their favorite shows in
real time, but it’s worth noting that the plugged-in Twitter audience comprises
Arrested Development’s main demographic. To be sure, those fans will be hyping the
new AD episodes for weeks and months before the premiere (in fact, they already
are), but we wonder whether the thwarted tweeting may take a toll when the episodes
all debut at once. Which would Netflix prefer: ten weeks of fans obsessively
dissecting each episode and speculating about the next, or a jumbled few days when

the most ardent viewers speed-watch the whole season, then quickly move on to
discussing the week’s shocking new episode of Breaking Bad?

How will it affect the recapping craze?

The Wire creator David Simon recently groused about the explosive trend of online
episode recapping, suggesting that critics should evaluate the series as a whole and
not in weekly installments. Looks like he got his wish! It’s not going to be easy to
provide overnight reviews of each new Arrested Development episode when all ten
premiere on the same day, and TV viewers who’ve gotten used to watching an
episode and then reading a variety of online reactions to it will have to adjust: They’ll
now be able to burn through an entire season without weekly consultations of an
online echo chamber. When Fox canceled Arrested Development, they gave it what
was considered an ignominious end: burning through the last four episodes on a
single night (opposite the Olympics, no less) instead of letting fans savor the last few
weeks. Years later, that all-at-once strategy will be the show’s new normal. As GOB
might ponder: Are they making a huge mistake?

By Kyle Buchanan – 18 April 2012 – nymag.com

Virtual buccaneers escape to plunder another day

The pirates themselves are too hard to catch individually, and suing customers is
not a good look for film studios.

THE High Court has decided that an internet service provider (ISP) is not liable for
any copyright piracy by its customers.

Even though the Hollywood movie studios and television networks had notified the
ISP of the bad conduct of several customers, that was not sufficient to make the ISP
liable. The decision is not a surprise. Australia Post is not liable for copyright
infringement if it delivers a pirated DVD. The court has confirmed that the same
rules apply to ISPs.

Copyright owners prefer to bring legal actions against intermediates, rather than end
users. It is not a good look to sue customers, even if they are engaged in infringing
activities. Also, it is harder work to find and sue each person who downloads a
pirated movie. Bringing legal proceedings against ISPs, which are the gatekeepers to
the internet, seemed like a more efficient approach to stopping infringement. But the
High Court has taken away that weapon for copyright owners in this instance.

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10terrorists to screen at the LA Comedy Festival

The shock & awe(some) parody on reality television and terrorism has successfully
shot a missile directly into the heart of the movie capital. The small Melbourne
movie, 10TERRORISTS!, that launched at the Greater Union as part of the
Melbourne International Comedy Festival on the 29th of March is getting its West
Coast Premiere in Los Feliz in late April. As an official selection of the 11th Los
Angeles Comedy Festival (the largest comedy festival in the United States), it has two
screening and is one of only six feature films chosen.

“Making the decision to go with the Comedy Festivals seems a good fit”. says
producer, Andrea Buck. “Although the film is screening as part of the Buffalo Niagara
Film Festival on the 18th April. There is also one final screening here in Melbourne
on the 20th April at The Greater Union at 9.00pm”

In this high-octane comedy, a Los Angeles producer steals from popular Reality TV
formats, hiring three ex-military judges to seek out the ultimate “amateur master-
terrorist. “We are parodying the producers and the very city of Los Angeles – with
footage having being shot there” says producer/ director Dee McLachlan. “But I’m
sure Hollywood can laugh at itself”.

This film is a big departure from their previous feature, THE JAMMED, the
acclaimed 2007 sex trafficking thriller, that burst onto the Australian film scene in
2007. Mclachlan used some of the cast (Veronica Sywak, Masa Yamaguchi) and crew
from THE JAMMED (Cinematographer Peter Falk, Costume designer Jill Johanson,
Sound recordist Rob Hornbuckle) to shoot principal photography in only 8 days. “We
could only do this because we had a great crew and very talented actors” says
McLachlan.

10terrorists media release – Friday 20 April 2012

Hulu Announces New Shows

The video website reports $420 million in revenue last year, but it is spending even
more to develop new shows, including series from Adrian Grenier and Michael
Wendschuh.

At a presentation to ad buyers Thursday, Hulu touted its growth, saying its more
than 2 million paid subscribers have made its $8-per-month video subscription
service the fastest growing in U.S. history. The company also reported $420 million
in revenue last year and expressed a commitment to original programming with new
series including The Awesomes, fromSaturday Night Live star Seth Meyers.

Hulu was the first of many online giants scheduled to roll out their content and meet
with advertisers in TV industry style upfront presentations during the next two
weeks. In a room that included Meyers,Smash star Megan Hilty, Morgan Spurlock
and Adrian Grenier, the company touted that Americans watched 2.5 billion videos
on Hulu in February — about 1,000 videos a second. Hulu also said it held 20 percent
of the online video market and 40 percent of the premium video market.

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