Australian web series punch above their weight in international festivals. The market is growing exponentially. And funding opportunities are growing too. Here are the key facts:
5 of the top 20 series…
in the 2017 Web Series World Cup are Australian:
- 1st place: High Life
A comic drama about an unexpected teenage crisis.
- 3rd place: Bruce
A gritty black comedy, set in an ordinary Aussie share-house that just happens to be a prison tent in Sydney Cove, 1788.
- 14th place: Shakespeare Republic
Is Shakespeare still relevant? Does he still speak to us? Is he REALLY for everyone?
- 15th place: The Wizards of Aus
Fed up with the Magical Realm’s obsession with large-scale fantasy warfare, Jack the Wizard migrates to Melbourne’s Western suburbs.
- 20th place: Restoration
Scifi: After a routine backup, Oliver Klein wakes to find his memories restored into a body that is not his own.
The market is growing
There’s been ‘exponential production growth’ from online creators. Non-TV production costs are up 17% in just 4 years:
- 2012: $5.5 million
- 2016: $93.6 million
(Source: ABS via Screen Australia)
The funding is there
In the early days, web series were often funded from the creator’s own pocket. Now there are funding initiatives for Development and Pitching as well as Production. Some funding grants focus solely on web series and online content. Others are broader in scope. Look for grants from:
- ABC iview
- Film Victoria
- Film and Television Institute
- Screen Australia
- Screen NSW
- South Australian Film Corporation
- Wide Angle Tasmania
(More details at Melbourne Webfest)
We even have our own festival
Melbourne WebFest is Australia’s international web series festival. MWF was the fourth festival of its kind in the world, and remains the biggest celebration of web series in the Southern Hemisphere. (Preferred Media are proud sponsors and we recently interviewed Director Steinar Ellingsen.) In 2018, the festival will be held over 4 days. With 24 awards, 230 submissions and 1500 attendees. Dates:
- Submissions close 27 March
- Festival runs 28 June to 1 July
The Horizon was an early success story
The Horizon is based on the fictionalised ‘lives and loves of Sydney’s gay/queer & alternative community’. An early success story, the web series began in 2009 and is still going strong. It’s Australia’s most watched web series with 62 million views.
And there’s many more to watch
- Fighting Isis: Four stubble-wielding Aussie blokes make their way to the middle east to take down the world’s most notorious terrorist organisation.
- Girt By Fear: The strange and supernatural terrors lurking in the suburbs of Sydney.
- Goober: An optimistic Uber driver with autism causes confusion, chaos and comedy.
- The Katering Show: The journey of a food intolerant and an intolerable foodie.
- Black As: Off-beat, off track and on-line. Adventures in remote Arnhem Land.
- Mashed Up: They say being an intern can be hard but being a Melbourne WebFest intern might just be deadly.
(See more at The Guardian)
Preferred Media is a proud sponsor of Melbourne WebFest, continuing its ongoing commitment to service and support established and emerging media.