Goalpost Pictures: Creating opportunity out of crisis

Rosemary Blight, Kylie du Fresne and Ben Grant.

Goalpost Pictures partners Rosemary Blight, Ben Grant and Kylie du Fresne are busily progressing projects in development with local and international partners and are confident the cinema business will rebound after the pandemic.

Here are their joint responses:

Q: While it was disappointing to have Leigh Whannell’s The Invisible Man’s cinema run curtailed while it was earning hefty sums here and in the US and the UK, the early release on digital platforms at least meant it is reaching a sizable number of eyeballs?

A: Absolutely! Universal were very quick to respond to the worldwide pandemic scenario and, while obviously we would all have wanted cinemas to remain open and it was thrilling to see Leigh’s movie sitting so high in the box office charts, we are heartened to know that the film is widely available to everyone in isolation. For those who missed out at the cinema, it’s a great and tense thriller to experience at home. And there will be lots of cinemagoers who want to watch it again.

Q: What are Aqute Media’s release plans for I Am Woman in the US? Will they wait till cinemas re-open or opt for EST/VOD?

A: Aqute are very engaged in the release and enthusiastic about the film’s prospects. They are waiting for cinemas to re-open and will release once Transmission release here.

Q: As I’ve reported, Aussie exhibitors are bullish that cinemas will rebound, given the pent-up demand and the plethora of commercial/quality films that will be available, although some think older folks, in particular, may be reluctant to congregate in public places like cinemas. Any thoughts on that?

A: We are optimistic that cinemas will bounce back quickly with so many great films waiting to release and that audiences will be keen to get out and about and have a communal experience. We think Australian audiences are a resilient bunch and they love their films.

Q: What is the status of New Gold Mountain, the miniseries for SBS set during the 1850s gold rush from the perspective of desperate Chinese miners? Were you in pre before the shutdown?

A: The series is fully contracted and we were just about to go into pre-production before the shutdown occurred; we will be ready to go into production the moment restrictions are lifted. There’s still a lot of prep work that can take place in the meantime.

Q: One benefit of the shutdown is being able to devote more time to development. I assume you welcome the injection of more funds for development from Screen Australia and state agencies?

A: Yes, we do welcome these development funds. We are in regular contact with Screen Australia and the state agencies about our development plans. This forced pause is an opportunity to push ahead with development across our slate and we are busy setting up virtual writing Zoom rooms.

Q: Any updates on the development of Dark Victory and the TV series with Jocelyn Moorhouse about a woman who suffers from amnesia, forcing her to rebuild her relationships with her husband, family and friends?

A: Matthew Saville is continuing writing on Dark Victory and we are keeping in close contact with our international partners. Jocelyn is deep into the writing of Empty.

Q: On a personal note, how are you doing? Still in the office or working remotely? How are you filling in the downtime?

A: What downtime – we haven’t had any yet! This is week four for Goalpost working remotely and it’s interesting just how busy we continue to be. As well as our development slate, conversations are ongoing with partners here and internationally about projects we can do together.

These conversations are also giving us an understanding of how others have been impacted by this crisis. The Invisible Man model is one that is of great interest – i.e. global stories produced here in Australia.

We’re also very engaged with both practical and policy issues that the screen industry is facing at this difficult time and are finding the industry very collegiate as we contribute ideas and expertise, alongside with many of our colleagues.

Like many of other companies in our industry, we’ve had to make some hard decisions and economies to weather the months ahead.