Thursday, November 20, 2008

Australian Guild attacks Screen Australia guidelines

The Australian Writers’ Guild has expressed alarm at Screen Australia’s draft guidelines covering development support and production financing.
One of Australia’s most successful screenwriters, Oscar nominated Jan Sardi (Shine, The Notebook, Mao’s Last Dancer) says “Far from taking the Australian film industry in a new direction, Screen Australia's proposed guidelines spell disaster for an industry already on its knees.”

In initial consultations Screen Australia acknowledged the importance of quality scripts in the creation of outstanding film and television, and expressed a commitment to supporting writers with the time and money necessary to write them. Their proposed guidelines however show an abject failure to fulfill these commitments.

If their draft guidelines are put into practice, future funding eligibility requirements for screenwriters will be so high they will exclude all but a small handful of professional writers and force others into potentially unproductive partnerships before the first draft is even written.

Funding for first-time and emerging screenwriters will also be completely abandoned and a total disregard is shown for the basic rights of writers through the proposed insistence on early transfer of copyright without any mandated protections.

“Abandoning emerging screenwriters and inflicting shotgun weddings on experienced writers, directors and producers reeks of a government bureaucracy all too eager to divest itself of responsibility and accountability for where Australian taxpayers money goes - it is not the way forward,” says Sardi.

Australian Writers’ Guild Executive Director, Jacqueline Woodman, says “In their eagerness to establish sustainable businesses and let the marketplace develop and promote projects, Screen Australia appears to have forgotten that before there can be a ‘project’ to be developed, a script must first be written.”

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.