Monday, October 24, 2011

Encore Magazine online censorship

I am new to this blogging business. If this actually appears in cyberspace it will be a miracle. I have no idea what I am doing - just following the prompts.

Only decided to start a blog when Encore magazine censored one of my comments - not just a sentence or two, or a few words, but the whole comment. It was my own contribution to an online debate about the contempt in which screenwriters are held by too many producers and by film funding bodies in particular:

"The problems Australian film (both culture and industry) confront have been well articulated here @ Encore on many occasions, by many contributors – including the responses to this excellent piece. Solutions to our problems, however, have been thin on the ground. There is one that I suspect most in the industry would agree on if we were capable of speaking with one voice. To quote Doug’s politely put question: “Dr Harley could you please quit now?”
The rumour floating around the industry at the time Harley got the job was that Garrett wanted a non-Australian CEO who would get rid of the dead wood within the AFC and bring to an end the nepotistic networks that were rife at the time. The reverse has occurred. These networks now have virtual tenure and its members will retain their powerful positions for as long as she is CEO. Ruth Harley is, to the film industry, what Jonathan Shier was to the ABC – a disaster. The sooner we have a new CEO at Screen Australia the better.
With a new CEO who believes in transparency and accountability in practice and not merely in theory, a new CEO with no interest in perpetuating nepotistic networks, Australian film could get a new lease of life without there being the need to ‘tear it all down and start again’ – to paraphrase Doug.
A new CEO would assess the track records of those in senior management and senior creative decision-making positions within Screen Australia and simply not renew the contracts of those who have demonstrated year in, year out, their inability to either develop screenplays or invest in films that audiences want to see. If need be a new CEO could encourage some of the dead wood (decades old antiques, in some cases!) to leave Screen Australia with golden handshakes.  This would be much more cost effective than allowing the same clique of failed film Mandarins to continue to waste more tax-payer dollars investing in mediocre films produced from underdeveloped screenplays.  
Getting rid of Ruth Harley necessitates that the industry, speaking with one voice, says to Simon Crean, “Please, Minister, look at the mountain of letters of complaint you have about Ruth Harley, take the film industry’s complaints seriously, take Screen Australia spin with a huge grain of salt and provide the organization with a new CEO as soon as possible.” "