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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Save QLD TV... for the future.

What I am about to say may stun Brisbane viewers.


In the eyes of Sydney executives, Brisbane TV production is a commodity, that can be bought and sold at a whim. Cheap to produce, cheap to run, all while our industry is dying, not by the fist of viewers, but by bean counters, and those who favour centralisation of production back to Sydney/Melbourne.


What are we going to do, when there is no pathway, for which tomorrow's Kerri-Anne or Jackie McDonald to tread in our home town, let alone our great state but instead being repeatedly told by a guy at a desk, that the best way to get a foot in the door in TV, is to live in Sydney or even live in Melbourne and be where the action is. This also runs rings around our film industry, which has to compete with Sydney and Melbourne for shoots, and film and TV studio space, which Brisbane lacks, general studios for television production (i.e not controlled by 7, 9 or 10), but has a abundance for film production just sixty minutes down the highway.




But there is a way. How many of us here in Brisbane remember:
-Going up to Ch 7 for a game show taping?
-Being in the audience for the original Gladiators?
-Going to 7 to see Agro being taped...
-Any of the great local products of the past?


These events, are some of the things the current generation growing up will miss out on, if the production decline is not addressed. Simply, we have to save our industry, before we have three commercial relay stations, and the memories of a once proud industry. To save Queensland television, we must go back and think where we went wrong. To save our industry, we must make more television for ourselves, and for the nation in high quality production facilities equal or better than Sydney or Melbourne.


Simply, saveQLDtv: Save it, before we lose it.


What is there to gain? Lots, from jobs in production to actors and actresses even accounting, and presenters to high standard facilities (even there are jobs in building these new facilities), that allow companies to be based in separate premises, than piggybacked on commercial stations. Ad agencies would also benefit, as Queensland still is a great destination for commercial production, and would be able to make the upgrade to high-definition production (along with many film crews), of television commercials something which currently is probably a pipe dream for most QLD based ad agencies. Same with local programming, which could be easily produced in high definition and accessible to all (possibly 1080p) yet we lack the facilities, or the equipment. Regional QLD switches to digital-only broadcasts in less than 18 months (the biggest change in that area since aggregation in 1991), but local news needs to be produced in HD, not in 2011, but now. Regional QLD needs to be treated as equals in the HD stakes, with investment in a move for local news to HD, and guaranteeing timeslots for HD news bulletins.


Quite simply, there are benefits if local production was not just increased, but the various facilities that would support national production were available in the south-east corner. I am urging the state government, to send the message to the commercial television sector: saveQLDtv, not just for me and you, but for the future. There is a jobs goldmine, in reviving local television, and reviving Brisbane's place in the Australian television puzzle: that being the breeding ground, where some of our greatest stars were made, and where the future is bred.


The Facebook group's link is below:
saveQLDtv Facebook Group

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