Digital figures captured amidst resurgent production levels

By Rachael Turk

The Australian Film Commission (AFC) CEO has for the first time released figures assessing the Australia’s post-production, digital production and visual effects (PDV) activity in what Chris Fitchett is deeming the results of the AFC’s annual Drama Production Survey ‘a resurgence’ after last year’s below-average result.

In what is a fast-evolving industry, and one not necessarily tied to production, the AFC has surveyed companies providing PDV services in Australia. Income from PDV work in 2005/06 totaled $142m and 2006/07 $129m. The sector revealed 16 foreign PDV-only projects (for example, Harry Potter), amounting to $9m.

Whilst no previous data exists in this form for comparison, the anecdotal evidence is, says Fitchett, that the PDV sector is increasing every year, and this is expected to continue with the new tax incentives.
‘I predict that that’s going to continue to increase,’ he says. ‘You only need one or two projects using the 15 percent offset for PDV over $5m to increase the sector enormously’.

The survey report also revealed an increase in both feature film production and TV drama. The 2006/07 production slate (defined as projects which started shooting during the year) comprised 33 features and 645 hours of TV drama. The value of production activity, as measured by the portion of budgets spent in Australia, totaled $625m, 68 percent up on last year.