Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Money. Fame. Respect.

The power trifecta.

Plenty of people opt into entertainment to achieve one, or all, of these milestones. You only have to watch a musical talent show like 'Idol' or 'X Factor' to see the crash and burn parade.

Some of these people have talent. Most don't.

The bad news for a lot of newcomers is that the barriers to the 'in-demand' careers in the arts are very high. That's not a new idea, but in the world of the internet it is harder for people to accept.

Yes, just like it was in the many years past, the overwhelming consensus is that your artistic work has to be 'good', whatever that means, to achieve any semblance of real success. The power trifecta demands quality!

But what if you are good at your artistic profession and accolades still elude you? Is that even possible?

Australian films in 2011 had their most critically successful years ever. 'Australian films featured in all six premiere international film festivals with the standout achievement of Sleeping Beauty screening in Competition at the Cannes Film Festival'.


How much did these Australian films gross at the $1.09 Billion Australian Box Office in 2011?

$42.9 Million. Or, put simply, a paltry 3.9%

One film, 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2' exceeded that on its own, with $52.6 Million at the Australian Box Office in 2011.


So, critical success equated to what, exactly?

The same trend can be seen in the latest announcement of Nominees to join the American Academy. Two notable nominees for this year are actor Andy Serkis and director Terrence Malick.


The role that transformed Serkis' career, and indeed how we view 'acting', was his motion capture performance as Golumn in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Serkis' star turn impressed audiences and critics alike, and led to further critically acclaimed performances in King Kong and Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

So, Serkis' most acclaimed role was in 2003. The Academy recognised him with a nomination in 2012. That is almost a decade of difference, for the mathematically challenged.

For Terrence Malick, his Oscar nominated (yes, by the very same Academy) film The Thin Red Line, was released in 1999. 13 years ago.

If you are good at your artistic profession can accolades still elude you?

Yes, yes they can.

Martin Scorsese was first nominated for the Best Director Oscar in 1980 for Raging Bull. It took another 5 nominations and 27 years for him to actually win the Award for The Departed.

What does this mean to you?

It means, if you want to be an artist, you can't do it for accolades that can be denied or taken away from you.

It has to be about something simpler than money, fame and respect.

Quite simply, like air, you just have to need it.

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