Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Sometimes, you are lucky enough to be spoilt for choice. 

Sometimes choices get taken away from you.

This week, I have two gems for you, to the point where I couldn't really split them. So, I am giving you both.


Ripped off.

That's how I feel.

So do a lot of other filmmakers.

The self-touted 'people's choice awards' of the Australian film industry, the 'Inside Film Awards' have cancelled their 2012 awards run.


With their decision, everyone who had a chance of being nominated for the 2012 awards was given the shaft.

I understand economics are involved.

The Australian Academy Awards (the AACTAs) were a bigger success than anyone imagined.

Sponsors for film awards in Sydney are therefore thin on the ground. They put all their money into the AACTAs. Geoffrey Rush was there after all!

I get it.

But Inside Film doesn't.

If you take on the important task of recognising an industry with awards that have become 'accredited' via esteem, then you actually have a responsibility to them.

The awards are not your plaything to make money out of.

If you needed to scale back the awards, then you should have done it.

You should have taken a financial hit.

But instead, you chose to breach a trust that came with being a recognised accolade.

Now, I'm afraid, I actually hope you don't recover.

You don't deserve it anymore.


She won!!

Lee Storey, the filmmaker I wrote about in March...


...has won her case against the IRS and had her documentary film declared a 'for-profit enterprise'.

This avoids any chance of her work being declared a 'hobby', which would have made the expenses associated with the film not tax deductible.



Mrs Storey, inadvertently, has done more for filmmakers by being taken to court by the IRS than many government film agencies. Her case sets a much needed precedent for the long process of film development and production to still be considered a for-profit exercise. This precedent was needed, given the length of time it takes for many films to be completed, let alone profitable.

Interestingly, the case also touched on another important subject, the reality of filmmakers having 'day jobs' whilst they complete a film. In Mrs Storey's case, she is a water rights attorney for a law firm named Ballard Spahr in the USA. Apparently, this day job is quite lucrative for Mrs Storey, and the IRS was suggesting that this showed her filmmaking was an 'expensive hobby'.

Did you hear that sound?

That was the filmmakers who are reading this spitting out whatever they were drinking.

The practice of having a 'day job', while getting a film production moving, is common practice. If this suddenly became the standard by which a film was determined a hobby, a lot of filmmakers would be, quite frankly, starved to death.

But thankfully, Mrs Storey and her team won a victory for herself, for filmmakers and for good sense. Judge Kroupa, to her credit, fully admitted that she now understood that documentary filmmaking was definitely a for profit exercise, and not just to 'educate', as she had previously asserted.

It is slightly concerning that a victory in today's film industry is simply being recognised as a profession at all.

But every little bit helps, I guess.

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