Thursday, March 30, 2006

Podcasting Road to Salvation for Australian Film Industry?

See the notes from my seminar Podcasting Policy and Terrorism at the College of Engineering and Computer Science, The Australian National University, Canberra, 29 March 2006. It covered:
  • What is Podcasting?
  • Preparing Content
  • Podcasting Feeds
  • Podcasting Popularity
  • Podcasting and Advertising
  • Regulation of Podcasting
  • Podcasting and Terrorism
The audience asked a lot of tricky questions. This did help me clarify what sort of policy the ACS (and Australia) might have. The essential points might be:

  1. Podcasting is a "good thing" of value for education, culture and entertainment as well as commerce. It should be encouraged, or at least not banned or blocked with excessive regulation,
  2. Podcasting is a form of web content. It has some potential negatives, such as inappropriate material for children. These can best be dealt with by treating Podcasting as a form of web content carried over the Internet on a telecommunications service and using the existing laws which cover that, amending them where needed. The alternative would be to treat it as a form of broadcasting. This would need many changes to a lot of broadcasting legislation and creation of new laws, creating new anomalies in existing laws.
  3. Government should encourage local content. Regulation cannot block overseas podcast content. So incentive schemes for encouraging local TV and movie content should be extended to cover podcasting content.
Another thought which occurred to me afterwards is that there may be synergy between podcast content creation and computer games. Perhaps that is an area for the government to encourage industry development. Australia could have an integrated e-book, computer game, podcast and movie industry.

As an example author John Birmingham's "The Axis of Time" book trilogy would make the material of a series of movies (my namesake is to command a ship in the last book of the series). However, the several hundred million dollars needed to produce the movies could not be raised in Australia.

What might be done instead is to first produce a graphic novel (book length comic) similar in format to Max Allan Collins' Road to Perdition, then a computer game, an animated movie and only then a live movie series. Each format requires increased amounts of finance to produce, but could use the computer based models and promotion generated by the previous format. The graphic novel, animated movie and movies could be produced in special podcast formats as well as full resolution full length versions.

No comments: