December 2, 2021

Film and TV Production in Australia

beautiful shots from films

Migration Ways Helps Many Clients Apply for the 408 Entertainment Visa

Australian Film Production Stats 

Migration Ways is a leading Australian migration agency that helps local and overseas production companies obtain 408 entertainment visas so their foreign workers can film or perform in Australia.

We want to share with you some key information about the state of the Australian film/television industry that you may soon become a part of:

The Australian Film Industry 2018

According to Screen Australia, the Australian film industry in 2018 achieved:

*A theatre box office of $1.245 billion.

*Australian films that earned $56.2million, 4.5%, of the box office.

*With 31 Australian films being released overseas, earning $514 million.

*The most popular overseas film of 2018 was the Avengers: Infinity Wars (USA), earning $61,868,117.00.

*The most popular Australian film was Peter Rabbit, $26,750,712.

Source: Screen Australia

In 2018, a record 758 films were released in Australia. Of that number, 62 were Australian, 82 were from the UK, and 219 were American.

To make a contrast, in 1986, when Australia’s most popular produced film Crocodile Dundee was released, 30 Australian films were released locally, 25 from the UK and 155 from America, of a total 239 films from all countries. In 1986, Crocodile Dundee earned an incredible 21.6% share of the total Australian box office. Source: Screen Australia

Learn more about which films topped the Australian box office the last 47 years. Between 1973 and 1992, there were six Australian films among them, but none since. Source: Screen Australia

The average Australian theatre ticket price in 2018 was $13.86. In 1986, it was $5.31. Source: Screen Australia

a woman being filmed in Australia

Do You Want to Produce Your Film, TV Show, Documentary of TVC in Australia?

Australian Film, TV Drama, Online Expenditure

The Screen Australia [financial year] 2017-2018 Drama Report notes that “The 2017/18 record local expenditure included 36 TV dramas such as Mystery Road, Playing for Keeps and the forthcoming Lambs of God, and their combined spend of $295 million was above the five-year average. Spend on Australian feature films was up 12% on last year to $321 million due to strong Official Co-production activity. 38 Australian feature films were made including box office hit Ladies in Black and the forthcoming Storm Boy. 10 children’s television programs went into production including fan favourite Bluey, with $49 million spent on Australian children’s programs, up 3% on last year’s spend but below the five-year average. 18 online drama titles went into production, with a 256% increase in expenditure, driven by content with longer episodes and a higher cost per hour.

“Overall $814 million was spent on 133 screen productions in 2017/18 compared to $1.3 billion on 166 titles in 2016/17. This drop was largely due to reduced foreign film production spend. New South Wales accounted for the largest share of total expenditure in Australia (37%), while Western Australia ($37 million) and South Australia ($82 million) set new expenditure records.”

Regarding Australian TV drama spending during 2017/18, the Drama Report adds that: “Australian TV drama production was down on last year’s record, with 423 hours of content produced with combined budgets of $301 million and Australian spend of $295 million. The decline in hours can be attributed to the production of shorter-running series and mini-series. However, the average cost per hour to make mini-series reached $1.567m, indicating a trend towards high production value content.”

TV Tonight summarized that “2018 looks set to deliver the lowest amount of Australian TV drama hours in over 45 years.

“400.5 hrs of Australian drama are estimated to screen by year’s end, which will make it the lowest on record since 1972 when 362 hours screened.

“Twenty years ago locally made drama was at an all-time high, with 1998 screening 756 hours of Australian drama.” Source: TV Tonight.

38 Australian feature films were made in Australian in 2018

Many Films Each Year are Produced in Australia

Australian Documentary Production

Screen Australia notes that by 2016-17 “Australia has produced more than 7,400 hours of documentaries since 1997/98, an average of 374 hours per year – 73 per cent by independent production companies and the rest in-house by broadcasters.”

In 2016-2017, the annual documentary spend in Australia by Production Companies for Single Titles was $50.8 million, with 74 titles produced totalling 70 hours. For Series the figures were: 75 produced for a total 298 hours with a spend of $119.6 million. Read the documentary spend by broadcasters.

Industry Employment in Australia

The 2011 census reveals that almost 46,000 people worked in Australia’s “national audiovisual workforce.” Source: Screen Australia 

What Producers Are Saying About the Entertainment Visa Services of Migration Ways

“We approached Alberta and her team at Migration Ways quite late in the process of our visa applications for James Cromwell and Dennis Waterman, the stars of “Never too Late”. They solved some complex issues for us quickly and seamlessly and were a pleasure to work with.” Antony I Ginnane – producer “Never too Late”

“I just wanted to take a moment to officially thank you for the brilliant work you did on Jackie Chan’s “Bleeding Steel”. Your ability to wrangle all of the Chinese applicants information, including the high profile cast and crew and then make the process as streamlined and predictable as possible for the large numbers of visas required, was greatly appreciated not only by me but also by the Chinese producers as well.

“You also worked on the Chinese and Australian Co Production Dogfight, which required large numbers of Chinese visas to be processed in a very short time period.  Everyone involved including the Chinese and Australian producers appreciated your ability to get this done with ease.  No matter what challenges occurred in the process, you always remained in control and comfortably achieved everything you represented you would.  In the world of visas for large-scale international productions, actually achieving what you represented on time is something you should be very proud of.

“Please know that any major production with substantial visa requirements, I will always bring to you and I will recommend others to do the same.  I look forward to a coffee and a catch up in the very near future.” Cheers, Paul Currie, Co-founder and director of Lightstream Pictures, Australia

“For our big budget co-production it was vital that our key Chinese cast and crew obtain smooth entry into the country. We worked closely with Alberta and Laura in the crucial months of pre production on navigating the complexities of visa applications. They streamlined the process for us and provided the high level consultation that our production required.

“Once the first visas started rolling in it was an organised and straightforward process, all monitored by the capable Migration Ways staff. I would highly recommend their services to any production with visa requirements and commend them on their sound, expert advice.

“I just like to thank you and your team for all the hard work you’ve done to get my sponsorship granted, it means a lot to me and I will be recommending you to all my friends.” Johnny Wang, Line Producer/Production Manager at October Pictures Company

Australian Entertainment Visa Expert Alberta Miculan

Book a consultation today with Alberta Miculan, our vastly experienced 408 visa expert and former long-term resident of Los Angeles.

Read more about Alberta Miculan.

Read more about the 408 Entertainment visa.

Sydney and Melbourne are Australia's leading film production hubs

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