“The Australian film industry got off to a flying start, producing what was probably the world’s first full length feature film in 1906. The film was the Tait brother’s production ‘The story of the Kelly Gang’; a success in both Australian and British theatres, and it was also the beginning of a genre of bushranger stories” (Australian government, 2007).
The Australian film industry is being continuously overshadowed by stereotypes, a limited budget, bigger film industries and limited advertising and marketing knowledge.
I have probably watched only a few Australian films in my lifetime and even though I think I have watched a decent amount the ratio of Australian films I’ve watched to the ratio of American films would be 200 to 7, definitely not a balanced number. I question the reason why I have not seen as many Australian films. I feel there are a lot of Australian films out there that I just do not know about and I feel that there has not been enough promotion of these films for myself and other people to learn about them. The last Australian film I watched at the cinemas was ‘The Great Gatsby’.
So what is the Australian Film industry not getting right?
I feel many Australian films go unnoticed. The production budget for Australian films is several times lower than U.S. films creating difficulties in the advertising/marketing budget. (Filmink) With not enough promotional efforts people cannot support Australian films if they do not know about them. It has also been hypothesised that Australian audiences are not eagerly lining up to see Australian films as they feel the films have a ‘cheap knock-off’ feel or as we cannot afford the same budget as Hollywood, the quality of the film will not be the same (Filmink).
With so many hypothesises of why Australian films become a big ‘flop’ establishing the core reason for why this is happening and understanding where to begin to gain that desired appreciation for Australian films, the need for successful qualitative research is important.
The proposed qualitative research- Grounded Theory
Above: Grounded theory compared to conventional methods
Grounded theory is “an interpretive qualitative research method originally conceived by Glaser and Strauss (1967). These two distinguishing principles of Grounded Theory render it an excellent tool for analysis of social phenomena, particularly when there is little known about the situation under investigation” (Jones, Kriflik & Zanko 2005). As Australian film industry presents various issues, applying Grounded theory would be an exceptionally useful qualitative research method, as it allows researchers to engage within the intended environment (Australian film industry) without needing to have any previously developed theories and hypotheses.
What is hoped to be gained from this is the underlining issue that stands out the most within the Australian film industry: production budget, audience attitude or the advertising/marketing process. The three coding techniques; Open coding, Axial coding and Selective coding will contribute to gaining the required research. (Jones, Kriflik & Zanko 2005).
Maybe the Australian film industry just needs to work on promoting their films better in order to grab the mass audience’s attention, which is needed to get that ‘Box office hit’.
Australian government (2007), Film in Australia http://australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/film-in-australia
Filmink, So why make films in Australia, http://www.filmink.com.au/features/so-why-make-films-in-australia/
Jones M.L, Kriflik G.K & Zanko M, (2005), Grounded theory: a theoretical and practical application in the Australian film industry,