On Friday 17 July, Prime Minster Scott Morrison, Senator The Hon Michaelia Cash and local MP Angie Bell, Member For Moncrieff, held a press conference in Molendinar, Queensland, announcing $400 million in funding to attract screen and film production to Australia. With the Gold Coast a major film production centre, the advance team needed a location, and after deciding against Movie World, the PM’s press secretary found Creative Productions through their network of contacts.
“The PM’s office contacted me on Thursday night to see if I could provide some gear for a press conference at Movie World,” said Creative Productions’ owner Dave Jackson. “I suggested they just come to our warehouse; we already have a studio set up and the warehouse looks great. The advance team came Friday morning and said it was perfect.”
After a press conference in which the Minister and Prime Minister announced the new funding, there was a 20 minute press Q&A. After they’d questioned the pollies, they descended on Dave. “All the press wanted to know my real thoughts on the funding announcement,” Dave related. “Screen and film is not a huge market for us – most of their gear supply comes out of Sydney or overseas. But what this did mean for me was an opportunity to bringing attention to my industry; the live production industry. There’s a lot of people and companies like us suffering and we’re not recognised. If there’s any public awareness of us at all, it’s what you read on social media, and most of the general public think that we are a bunch of dirty roadies who sit around doing nothing and smoke weed; that industry is long gone.”
Expressing the same frustration as the rest of us in an industry frozen out of state government grants, federal funding, and rescue packages because we don’t officially exist, Dave decided to speak for all of us. “We’ve all sent letters to our MPs with little result, and I got 10 minutes with the PM, alone, without the press. I had to tell him how it is. He sat and listened.”
“I said, Mr Prime Minister, look at all of the gear in this warehouse; this is what $10 million going broke looks like. We need to hear more for this sector that’s got nothing to do with artists. I haven’t heard anyone talk about production companies and all the companies around Australia that spend millions of dollars on infrastructure like us. What do business like ours do after 30 years of work and millions of dollars invested? We’re responsible for 30 full timers and 100 casuals; that’s what I go home and think about at night – how to keep feeding them. All my staff are either young and starting out, or family people who are raising children and have bought houses. What are we going to do when things pick up a little, and the banks, landlords, leasing companies, and ATO all want their money? We certainly aren’t going to be doing million dollar months.”
“He listened, he took it all in. I hope something comes out of it.”
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