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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Hooray For Money!

Although I have crowed about it to my pals I would like to crow a little more.
I've had one of my Boxhead and Roundhead cartoons accepted into The Annecy Animated Film Festival.
Special thanks in particular to the good looking and talented Mr Matthew Saxton, who furnished me with 100% legal and original music for nothing.

I'll prattle on briefly about making a short film for a moment.
In this age of technology and computers I genuinely believe that it is a relatively easy process to make some kind of short production.
I do not hesitate to add that it is not so easy to make a GOOD short film, but with a little ingenuity there are good results to be had.
I have never applied for production funding in the UK, although I am sure there must be some out there.
And I never really applied for film funding back home, because every single conversation I had with the little Hitlers in charge of dishing out funds ended in me losing my temper and saying things like, "You must be fucking kidding me?", and "Fuck off - you must be joking?".
I've learned through impatience that the best way to get anything done is to do it yourself.
But have a think about the following:

An investment of $41,880 to Troy Melville and Janine Wright for the project Returning Gilbert. The film will focus on a Tasmanian ‘horse whisperer’ who has been asked to travel to Africa to practise her craft on a rather unusual subject. The subject in question is Gilbert, a zebra raised in captivity for so long that he now needs to be ‘reverse engineered’ before he can be returned to the wild. Funding from Screen Tasmania will enable Troy and Janine to travel to Africa to capture what promises to be unique footage.

Fourty one thousand, eight hundred and eighty dollars for TWO people to AFRICA and film "unique footage".
You must be fucking kidding me?
Fuck off - you must be joking.
And what do you get for your money?
Perhaps it's something like THIS.
Fact is, these guys have the right idea.
Apply for the money.
Get as much as you can squeeze out of them.
You can go make a movie with a handcam and a laptop these days with a little effort and some heart.
Then go spend the money on beer and barbeques for your friends.

UPDATE: Give THIS article a read...

Here are some other gems funded by Screen Tasmania.
It's worth mentioning that this is DEVELOPMENT money.
No cash for anyone with plan!


A grant of $10,060 to Robyn Brake to assist in the organization of the annual Tropfest screenings at Hobart's Salamanca Square.
Just to clear this up.
Tropfest is a film festival originating in Queensland.
Every year a package of the films tours the nation.
$10,060 it would seem goes towards a projectionist pressing the play button in Hobart town.

A grant of $53,129 to Matthew Van Rooijen and Mauricio Milne Jones for production of the animated short film The Long Beach. A mystery girl releases a man with patterns and fishes.
What the feck does this mean?
She releases a man with patterns and fishes???
I don't even know what to say.

And here's our friend Troy again...
An investment of $70,000 for the production of an animation project called Worry Doll. Worry Doll tells the tale of three dolls that discover a horrific murder leading to a road-movie adventure. The film's creative team is led by writer/director Matt Coyle whose graphic novel of the same name inspired the film. Matt will be working with producer Troy Melville and animator Adam Walker.

I did a quick google for Troy and it reveals another $15,000 (take note of this figure) from another government department for "a mentor, office space, support for career and business plan development, and assistance to attend relevant training courses". His friend Janine Wright will be accompanying him.

I also found this terrific chunklet:

A Victorian film-maker who threatened to cut off an associate's toes and fingers has avoided a jail sentence.

"Anthony William Pritchard, 39, was convicted in the Hobart Criminal Court of using a telephone to menace Troy Melville in May last year.
Chief Justice Peter Underwood said Pritchard had spent three-and-a-half weeks in custody while on remand and that was enough.
The court heard both men had been involved in making a French documentary in Tasmania about abalone poaching.
Pritchard became worried Mr Melville was going to implicate him in criminal activity and rang him to demand $15,000 (cough, ahem, cough) to pay possible legal bills.
No hard feelings towards Troy - he's just doing his job," Pritchard said.
He betrayed me in the sense that he didn't give me full information.
From that, dare to say I got paranoid and didn't know what was going on and took matters into my own hands."

29 comments:

Patricia said...

Great news! Hearty congratulations!

G3T Films said...

Elliot, Congrats on Annecy. That's awesome!

Smook said...

Congratulations Elliot! "The Infernal Machine" deserves to be there.

Best.

Charmaine said...

I'd forgotten just how dangerous the world of independant film production actually was,hehe.

I think the life of Troy Melville is just crying out for a biopic...hmm now, where to get some funding for it..........

Rebekit said...

Congrats Elliot!!!!

donnachada said...

Hooray. the more people that see your films, the better. Great news.

Jampix said...

Great news Elliot!

I love your illustration pages as well they have charm, and I'm sure if you keep pushing it you will find a publisher. I think its a matter of how much you want it..anyway see you soon.

JP;)

max said...

The world should know about Boxhead and Roundhead. Go tell them.

Matt J said...

Hope we're sober enough at Annecy to remember to go to your screening.

A. Riabovitchev said...

Great news!Congratulations!!!!! :o)

Boris Hiestand said...

now surely you WILL come with us! we'll have a hoot and a holler. We won't be going to the back patting festival activities however- we'll be on the lake all week.

greetings from bang-cock (get it? cock!)

Elliot said...

Thank you everyone.
Especially Charmaine who read the important part.

Jason Kotey said...

congratulations you crazy bastard!

See you in Annecy, mo fo.

Oedipus Rex said...

I finally managed read all this ranting and I thought to meeself: WHO FUCKING CARES?

Elliot said...

I'm glad you took the time to read it then, you dumb cunt.

limbolo said...

Always heartwarming to hear you rant.
Congratulations on the Annecy thing.

Anonymous said...

Annecy is lovely. Shame you will be too drunk to notice.
p.s Le Boxtete et roundtete est magnifique. Bon chance!.
p.p.s bring me back swiss chocolate

rach

Peyote said...

Jesus effin christ, Sounds like Troy Melville should run for public office.
Love your work and congrats on Annecy!

Matt said...

Elliot,
the funding for most of these projects is funding for full production, not just development.

Considering our private conversation, it would be nice for you to edit your rant a little to remind people that you know nothing about the productions in question, and as you said it wasn't your intent to get stuck in to film makers who worked hard and were lucky and persistent enough to receive funding just because you don't like the system itself.

Matt vR (Director - 'The Long Beach')

Bok Choi said...

Elliot my old friend!

As usual your comments amuse the hell out of me.

I think I released a few patterns and fishes myself the other night after a session at the pub if ya know what I mean...

Elliot said...

Bok Choi - who's that then? Is that Juan?

Bok of the Choi said...

Erm no, not Juan

And how exactly do you 'menace' someone with a phone anyway?

Elliot said...

Who the heck are you then?

And phone menacement is commonplace.

Bok ala Choi said...

Well, I am from tasmania.

Anonymous said...

$300,000 is currently available from SBS to do a documentary on the 'refugee
experience' for one Tasmanian filmmaker. Applications are due in January
2008. Eligible directors have to have two screen credits.

I was thinking of putting an application in, until recently when I filmed
the Migrant Resource Centre's Float in the Christmas Pageant and got talking
to a guy from Relationships Australia, who let slip that T--- M------e of
mo-----ia was filming a project for SBS on refugees. I said, 'That's
interesting, as the funding decision isnt made until January 2008!'

I then happened to meet ---y at the Pulp Mill Rally. He informed me that
supposedly only two people in Tasmania were eligible for the SBS funding. He
was very tight lipped as to whether he was one of these people, but did say
he was looking at putting in an application.

So out of the whole State of Tasmania, there are supposedly only TWO
filmmakers capable of making a one hour documentary for SBS!

Is this the type of situation that develops a film culture? Is this the type
of situation that encourages young filmmakers, or established filmmakers,
like myself, to actually spend a couple of weeks developing an application,
when in the end you know you are wasting your time, as the decision as to
who gets the funding has already been decided.

And really, wouldn't it be great if an actual refugee told their own story,
instead of the usual 'WASP' interpretation!

I'm not going to fight this anymore, I have already had words with Screen
Tasmania, I've asked the Greens to investigate it, but in the end I suppose
I'm just seen as a bitter filmmaker upset that he hasn't got funding
himself.

In the end, for this type of corruption to be uncovered, it takes more than
just one voice, it takes action on several fronts, people have to join
together to put heat on the gatekeepers.

Trevor Graham works for SBS and is the gatekeeper for this current round of
funding trevorg@sbs.com.au

Karena Slaninka is the gatekeeper for Screen Tasmania
Karena.Slaninka@development.tas.gov.au

These are the people who need to be informed Government funding should be
available for all filmmakers, not just a select few who tow the line.

If you give a shit about corruption, if you marched to stop the pulp mill,
think about the story tellers, think about the filmmakers. If the doors to
funding are not open for all, what history do you expect to see on our
screens?

I will not be applying for this funding, and I will not be raising this
issue with Screen Tas or SBS myself, I'm sick of sticking my neck out

PLEASE EMAIL THIS TO ANYONE YOU KNOW WHO APPRECIATES GOOD FILMS and inform
Karena and Trevor that enough is enough. That if government funding IS to be
available to help develop a screen culture, it should be open for all
practitioners.

---- ---- ----

names removed, by author

troy smellvile said...

I read a comment by one of the filmmakers who got funding. He mentioned that his funding is not for development, but production.

Great! But what about this recent funding:

Solace

An investment of $9 000 to Lucien Simon to develop a treatment for the feature film Solace. Jonathon Kline is in a very modern crisis, the crisis of living a life based on compromise. Married to his mortgage, his relationship with his wife, Italian political activist Isabella, and daughter Phaedra, has collapsed.

Jonathon gets the opportunity to relocate to Solace, a logging town on the Tasmanian East Coast. In Solace people are dying. Jonathon must find out why and then work with Council and logging giant WMD to cover it up.

I wonder if anything will happen to this script after it has been developed. Will Screen Tas ensure this money isnt a waste, or just throw more money at it?

$9,000 could make a damn good short film or doco!!

Elliot Cowan said...

Hey there Anonymous.
Glad to see someone getting cranky.
I've been living in London and New York where there is NO government funded film production.
I'm not sure which is worse...

Anonymous said...

And despite film funding, or maybe because of it, very few decent films come out of Australia.

Good to hear someone else voice my own concerns about film funding corruption in Tasmania.

The Australian film industry is a cliquey, cultural elitist affair where the main industry players are more concerned with their government funded pay cheques while they reject and ignore the blood, sweat and tears of the independent filmmaker. They want to fuck the corpse of virtually non-existent industry, feathering their own little nests while thay are at it. Now in theory these bureaucrats always have to exist in some form. The main problem we have with this 'cabal' is that they only fund, exhibit, distribute and promote essentially government supporting polite, safe, slice of life, coming of age dramas and comedies. Some films like this are fine sure, but 9 out of every 10?!

Just because these old hat filmmakers know how to schmooze, invite industry staff to dinner, employ the right lawyers etc. doesn't mean their projects are good. The funding bodies need to hunt out new talent like avid scouts and help them through the imposing bureaucracy that deters a lot of creative individuals from entering the hallowed halls of government funding. Unusual, new, creative voices are ready now to speak.

Richard Wolstencroft

redrum said...

The great Tasmanian Taxpayer funded film swindle

Now the interesting thing, is to see how many of these films...or scripts have actually been made!!

The winners in the Tasmanian film funding goldrush, or why Tassie films are crap:

Blue Rocket Films $1,178,571 or $168,367.28 per yr for the last 7 yrs ( all taxpayers money)

Stephen Thomas/Roar Films - $998,034 or $142,576.28 pr yr for the last 7 yrs

Troy Melville/movemedia : $270,980 or $38,711.28 pr yr ( taxpayers money)

Roger Scholes/ Edward Street Films - $218,000

Varcha Sidwell $95,000

Lucien Simons (to write scripts!!) $19,000 (a nice supplement to his music endevours)



Tasmanian Electronic Commerce Centre (TECC) funding 2005

The Tasmanian Electronic Commerce Centre (TECC) collaborated with both national bodies to support two innovative Tasmanian projects through its Business Development Fund which it administers on behalf of the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts (DCITA)

Roar Film and Blue Rocket Productions both received $500K to develop the two projects both of which are enjoying strong market interest.

Blue Rocket Productions featured with “The Dog & Cat News”; a compelling broadband site featuring interactive games and real-time interaction with children’s favourite television cartoon characters with Roar Films “Dust on My Shoes” also featuring; a project retracing the journey of young Australian pioneer, Peter Pinney through some of the most remarkable countries in the world and records changes since that time by two young Australian travellers over the course of six months.

Screen Tas funding

2007
Portraits of a Distant Land

An investment of $53 766 to ROAR Film for the production of two half-hour documentary series Portraits of A Distant Land. The series follows internationally acclaimed Indigenous photographer Ricky Maynard on a journey across Tasmania as he seeks to document through his photographs, his people’s ‘true’ story for the first time.

Solace

An investment of $9 000 to Lucien Simon to develop a treatment for the feature film Solace. Jonathon Kline is in a very modern crisis, the crisis of living a life based on compromise. Married to his mortgage, his relationship with his wife, Italian political activist Isabella, and daughter Phaedra, has collapsed.

Jonathon gets the opportunity to relocate to Solace, a logging town on the Tasmanian East Coast. In Solace people are dying. Jonathon must find out why and then work with Council and logging giant WMD to cover it up.

2006
An investment of $62,400 to Troy Melville to assist with production of his project Whale Rescue. 80% of Australian whale strandings occur on Tasmania’s rugged coasts. Committed volunteers and professionals work to rescue the whales. This will be an insider’s account of this challenging and emotional work.

An investment of $14,550 to Steve Thomas and Kath Symmons to assist with development of their project Real Life Heroes. Building on the success of Real Life Water Rats, a twelve part series about real life fire-fighters, wilderness rangers and paramedics working in Tasmania.

An investment of $25,000 to Steve Thomas to assist with development of his project Someone’s Daughter. A film about the hidden victims of murder.

An investment of $15,000 to Varcha Sidwell to assist with development of her project Negotiators. A series about the life and death work of Tasmania’s Police negotiators.

An investment of $80,000 to Varcha Sidwell to assist with production of her project The Abbey. Reality style show where 5 women enter the world of the Abbey for 40 days.



2005

An investment of $70,000 for the production of an animation project called Worry Doll. Worry Doll tells the tale of three dolls that discover a horrific murder leading to a road-movie adventure. The film's creative team is led by writer/director Matt Coyle whose graphic novel of the same name inspired the film. Matt will be working with producer Troy Melville and animator Adam Walker.

A grant of $70,000 to production company, Move Media to produce a short film called Promising, to be directed by Mark Joseph. The film will tell the story of 10-year-old Eddie who finds a way to deal with the insecurity in his life brought about by the breakdown of his parents' relationship.

An investment of $41,880 to Troy Melville and Janine Wright for the project Returning Gilbert. The film will focus on a Tasmanian ‘horse whisperer’ who has been asked to travel to Africa to practise her craft on a rather unusual subject. The subject in question is Gilbert, a zebra raised in captivity for so long that he now needs to be ‘reverse engineered’ before he can be returned to the wild. Funding from Screen Tasmania will enable Troy and Janine to travel to Africa to capture what promises to be unique footage.

A grant of $4,000 to Troy Melville to assist with travel to the Sunnyside of the Doc Documentary Market and Festival in Marseilles. Troy travelled to France to finalise deals on two French co-productions for French marine television series Thalassa, and to continue to seek partners for his documentary The French Garden.

2004

An investment of $50,000 to Blue Rocket Productions Pty Ltd to support the development of a range of animation projects.

An investment of $20,000 to Pro-Digital Productions (Troy Melville and Abi Binning) to develop a one-hour documentary The French Garden. It tells the story of a French voyage to Tasmania and unravels the mystery of a small garden plot in an unknown world.

2003

A fully recoupable cash-flow loan of $20,000 to local production company Edward Street Films to facilitate production of their short feature Cable. When disgraced son Paul returns to his home town, old conflicts with his father erupt.

A grant of $4,000 to Blue Rocket Productions to assist with travel to MIP TV 2003.

A grant of $1,200 to Troy Melville to attend Australian International Documentary Conference.

A grant of $1500 to Troy Melville of Pro Digital Productions to attend the 2004 Australian International Documentary Course.


2002

A loan of $13,500 to enable Roar Film Pty Ltd to develop and implement strategies to achieve sales of the Tragedy and Myth of the Tasmanian Tiger CD ROM .

A grant of $4,000 to Blue Rocket Productions to assist with travel to MIPCOM 2002.

A grant of $1500 to Blue Rocket Productions to attend to the Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA) conference.

An investment of $160,000 in Roar Film's production The Fishers, a series of four half-hour documentaries that explore the lives and work of professional fishermen operating in the wild and beautiful ocean surrounding Tasmania.

An investment of $153,000 to Edward Street Films in their production of episodes three and four of the four-part documentary series The Shack. Episode three, Driftwood Kingdom, tells the story of the extraordinary Gaudiesque village that Swedish-born Arne Eriksson is building, with the help of other islanders and travellers, out of drifters and roadside gleanings on Flinders Island . Episode four, Future Shack, explores the place of the shack in the 21st century, with new ecological controls and financial pressures making it harder for people to have a weekend getaway. The series will be screened on ABC TV.

An investment in Blue Rocket Productions' next feature to achieve full financing from the following options:

* Dog and Cat News Series 2 $189,550
* Lunar Tix $252,801
* Hoota and Snoz Series 3 $177,270



2001
$10,000 to Lucien Simon to employ a script editor and write a third draft of feature screenplay I mind X mind, a psychological study/thriller that explores the effects of trauma. April is a wealthy teenage girl who goes to a private school, but her life contains the ultimate betrayal.

* $15,000 to Roger and Katherine Scholes to shoot pilot footage for a film Driftwood Kingdom and seek a presale from a broadcaster. A documentary set on a remote stretch of coast on Flinders Island, Driftwood Kingdom is the story of an extraordinary Gaudi-esque village that Swedish born Arne Eriksson - with the help of other islanders and travellers - is building out of driftwood and roadside bric-a-brac.

A producer’s loan package of $50,000 to Stephen Thomas and Kath Symmons from Roar Film to further develop a slate of projects across documentaries, multimedia, short films and features.

# The Shack Episode 1 Shack Days & Episode 2 Shack Dreams (documentary series).
An investment of $171,994.00 in Kathryn Symmons’ (Roar Film Pty Ltd) production of two documentaries that explore the peculiarly Tasmanian social and cultural phenomenon of ‘the shack’. There is a whole local mythology and obsession with the shack and these films explore it first through historians, architects, builders and archaeologists — Shack Days — and then through the eyes of artists and writers — Shack Dreams. Roar have already secured a substantial pre-sale from ABC TV for national broadcast and this Screen Tasmania investment will enable the production of a two part documentary to be made in Tasmania, using Tasmanian subjects and crew.

The Shack Cinematography Traineeship: A $9,224 grant to facilitate the attachment of Matthew Newton to the Roar Film episodes of the documentary The Shack, as a cinematography trainee.

2000

Producer Development Loan - Roger & Katherine Scholes, Loan, $30,000

 
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