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I’ve been in a seminar this week with film and television producers from New Zealand, Australia and Denmark, lawyers and finance people from New Zealand, Australia and Sweden, and a major sales agent from the UK. At this point in time, the future is not looking rosy for filmmakers.
It’s tough out there in television drama, too, as many of them attest.
Financing is difficult, budgets are ever tighter, it’s hard to bank fees and make margins, and with business models in upheaval as people struggle to survive in the upended paradigm of exhibition, distribution and production, keeping a smile on the dial is difficult. But people are. Even in the midst of the maelstrom, there are ways through for the astute and the lucky.
Bringing it all back to earth, what does it mean for the working director and editor?
Well there are opportunities and obstacles.
We are fortunate that the incentives are working overtime. Variety confirmed this week the rumour that Ash vs. Evil Dead has been renewed for another season. Power Rangers and Shannara are likely to be back. And there are other international drama productions confirmed and in the offing. These will bring jobs and not just for techos.
NZ On Air still has funds, although they are being fragmented by what’s happening with digital.
We are happy to announce the next DEGNZ TV Drama Director Attachment that comes wit NZ On Air support will be on Filthy Productions’ Dirty Laundry. A call is now underway.
On the other side of the coin, NZFC is under pressure to cut costs while maintaining production output. But with the tightening of the market internationally and the proliferation of product, Kiwi producers are likely going to find it more of a challenge to finance films.
Amidst all of this, the guild remains concerned about the well being of directors and editors.
It’s crucially important for us to assess pay rates, working conditions and the general environment for those working as directors and editors in the New Zealand screen industry. Detailed information informs our dealings with funding bodies and the government as we advocate on your behalf.
We will be launching shortly a comprehensive survey of our membership to better understand what it’s like for you in your work and career right now. We need to get a clearer fix on what is going on within the screen industry for directors and editors. So tell us your story. It will be anonymous.
We have some critical discussions and negotiations coming up at DEGNZ and we need statistics and facts to back up our arguments. They will also help us in shaping pay rate recommendations and contracts. Please take the time to respond to the survey. It will help us all.