There are a lot of common misconceptions, stereotypes and bad information when it comes to the film industry around the world and in Australia. Some of the more commonplace ones in Australia are about the size of the industry the limited opportunities. Many believe that in order to gain employment and make a living in this industry, you must head overseas to the US where most of today’s big budget movies and games are coming from. In this post we will be looking at this in a bit more depth with particular focus on motion graphic and animation roles and seeing how much truth there is behind this sentiment.
It is widely recognised that the Australian media/film industry is smaller and arguably less significant than the industry in, say the US. This is partially due to the migration of Australian talent to the US for bigger budgets, particularly during the 80’s (for more information on this topic go here). This is ironic seeing as the reason many people make the decision to move is the lure of a larger industry in other counties. It is a somewhat irritating cycle in which the film industry in Australia (as a stand alone) has suffered, if Australians talented in these areas had stayed and instead worked on establishing the film industry here, it would be much larger and prevalent then it is today, if you want to learn more about Australians overseas check out this article. This article does however talk about the fact the Australians making a name for themselves overseas (more about Australians overseas and that impact go here) and coming back to work on projects could be a good thing as it draws attention to the country. This then has the potential to see the industry here in Australia expand over the coming years.
But what about right now? In Australia what types of careers or opportunities are there, in its current state, in terms of size in comparison to the international media/film industry. Admittedly there are limited opportunities, however there are opportunities when it comes to people who have skills in motion graphics. Advertising, while not the most glamorous part of the industry, is a potentially vital first step into the industry and might I add quite lucrative (see here for info about the monetary possibilities in advertising). Online advertising is growing, in coming years companies will need people skilled in motion graphics and animation to make their advertising visions into reality creating employment opportunities. While this is a solid option when it comes to future outlook, most would probably say it’s not the most interesting.
The film and games development industries are generally where most of the excitement is and as mentioned earlier Australian students may think they need to move away or study abroad for a greater chance of becoming a part of these industries, however this is not necessarily true. With the internet comes greater opportunities for people all around the world to gain employment and become engaged in projects together. The type of work can vary online, from helping to create an exciting new intro for a YouTube channel or being employed to work on a number of smaller private projects.
Despite all this the unfortunate truth is that larger Australian media industries as a whole are unfortunately showing a trend of decline, this has on multiple occasions actually been attributed to the growth of the online community in Australia (you can see this here and here). The games development industry is an example of this, it has in recent years slowed down and prospects working on animation or motion graphics aren’t as good as they were, though there are still some smaller companies that work on developing things such as mobile apps in Australia. For information on the gaming industry in Australian take at look at this article. Regardless of these trends there is still a strong film and television community in Australia. The census showed that 28,498 people were employed in film, television or radio related jobs in Australia, here is a link if you would like to see a more detailed breakdown of the areas people in Australia are employed.