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Open Letter from Tristan Milani ACS

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To All Film/TV Production Technicians,

Some, I dare say the vast majority of you all, maybe aware of a big downturn in production since the commencement of 2018. It seems there is a lot of confusion as well amongst technicians as to why this maybe happening.

I am writing to help in someway and explain why there has been a very large downturn and how this may or may not change throughout 2018. In writing this I will try to factually explain what is happening across all production sectors from conversations I have had with industry professionals.

In conversations late last year I was made aware that NO international (American) productions were slated for 2018 in Australia. That means the studios across the east coast would remain empty for the foreseeable future. Coupled with the Commonwealth Games booking the studios out on the Gold Coast this has contributed to the downturn. In conversations yesterday 24th April I hear the FOX studios in Sydney are all booked out at present. I am not sure if its TVCs or for a film or TV show.

Regarding Australian TV production, Reality (for lack of a better description) TV is king and will remain so for the near future. A lot of Australian drama is in development and productions may commence June/July. In regards to Australian TV , Netflix have confirmed that they remain opposed to any quota system the government may impose to create local content. The giant CBS network has purchased the TEN network, this is NOT to create Australian content but have a global reach to compete with Netflix for their own content.

TVCs production continues to be slow and will for the foreseeable future. To my knowledge the US advertising market is going into “content “ production and it continues to grow. This means of course lower budgets across the board. Even the biggest corporations in the USA are looking for “digital” marketing opportunities. Given that there are no US productions, no Australian TV production this pushes everyone into making what is left of TVCs presently.

It is also important to understand that the Royal Commission into banking is a major factor in why we are not seeing any new bank commercials at present time...

Australian film production is in a very sorry state at present from the extremely buoyant year of 2015 we have not followed up at all. Distribution deals are still extremely hard to come by for theatrical release and the rise of Netflix has taken its toll on theatrical distribution. We all must understand that 90% of Australian film/Tv production is funded by state and federal governments. Take this fact as you will...

In concluding it is important to understand that at present the AFTRS has some 300 B.A students studying all forms of screen production. There are as well a number of private film schools with students obtaining Advanced Diplomas in screen studies over two years at a cost of roughly $48,000. Thinking in terms of supply and demand there are more professionals entering the industry every year.
I hope this helps some of you going forward in what will prove to be a very difficult year financially, professionally in this country for all...


Tristan Milani

Mr Tristan Milani ACS
25 April 2018


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