July 18, 2007

Australian Screen

Today was quite a marvellous day for the Australian film industry with the Australian Film Commission's launch of Australian Screen Online, a database for Australian film and television, much like the Internet Movie Database but, obviously, focusing only on Australian product. At the current moment it features 564 titles, amongst them films, television programs, television films, documentaries, newsreel footage and shorts from over the past 100 years of Australian filmmaking with more being added at a regular basis.

Recent titles such as Clubland and Romulus My Father sit next to titles like Lantana (2001), Romper Stomper (1994), The Adventures of Barry McKenzie (1972), Northern Safari (1956) and The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906). The earliest title is, amazingly, a 6 minute short film documenting the 1896 Melbourne Cup horse race! This Clip shows men at the races posing for a photograph, not realising that they are being filmed, not photographed.

I could even direct you to the page for Ten Canoes and let you view clips from that! There are even episodes of David and Margaret At The Movies! Crazy.

Alongside the regular features such as cast and crew lists, plot descriptions and rating information each title will have three clips that can be viewed in the imbedded video program. Some even feature study guides. It's all pretty nifty. Here is what they said at the launch.

The website contains more than 500 moving image clips gathered from the collections of the AFC's partners in australianscreenonline, including the National Film and Sound Archive, The National Archives of Australia, the ABC, SBS and AITSIS (Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies) and from the country's independent production sector.

That figure is expected to grow to more than 2,500 clips by July 2008 and will continue to expand.

Clips from recent Australian films Romulus, My Father and Clubland feature alongside a collection of historical footage that has previously never been freely available to the public.

Works by acclaimed directors Gillian Armstrong, Jane Campion and Phillip Noyce are sampled along with footage of the Snowy Mountain Scheme and film of the first nuclear explosion in Australia.

The aim is that by the time the site is completed it will be a complete resource for Australian films. Of course there are features on the IMDb that aren't on here such as awards, soundtracks and images. But, in the end, the website will prove to be incredibly resourceful. It's definitely a bookmark to keep!

1 comment:

RC said...

man...i bet you are excited...that sounds like a site you will love!