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Space_ on 11. A review

By johnboy - 26 August 2012 11

By complete accident I came across Space_ tonight on 11.

It is always a delight to see spaces and places you know portrayed on broadcast TV. I used to live in London and if it’s a thrill there then in Canberra it goes double.

TV Tonight has the lowdown on this low budget one off exploration of Canberra.

There’s a lot to like here, particularly an attractive cast.

Claudia Vannithone is playing herself (or at least as much of herself as she shares with the public) and as someone who knows her at first I thought, yep that’s Claudia being beautiful to get what she wants. But then it occurred to me that I’ve actually met her in social situations where she had nothing to gain and was still absolutely charming.

So Claudia is well worth knowing even if vicariously in something like Space_

The bigger problem is the way the show doesn’t know if it’s drama, reality, or a reality takeoff a’la The Office.

They cut to interview scenes in which the protagonists detail foreknowledge which any rational narrative would preclude.

As a proud inner northican any portrayal of our world which runs between a smart rebuild, Uni Pub, and Bellabar (wot used to be that bar under the old Lakeside) and, (gosh aren’t we yokels excited by an elevator) a penthouse party in the Space apartments on Northbourne is at best glib.

The acting was porn grade and odd moments of lightness in the script were lumpishly delivered.

I understand the guys who made it are only 23, and if it was just a youtube release I’d have gushed about it. But broadcast TV?

Looking forward to something more substantial, but I admire they got it off the ground and onto the air.

screenshot

What’s Your opinion?


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11 Responses to
Space_ on 11. A review
Johnny_Moe 9:27 am 03 Sep 12

Mysteryman said :

johnboy said :

There seems to be a consensus on twitter that I’ve been too kind…

I think you have been. I saw it by chance and laughed throughout the airing. And it wasn’t a comedy.

The scripting was not good, and the delivery by the actors was even worse. It also seemed to jump back and forth between a docu-drama and a scripted drama. I couldn’t tell which is was supposed to be.

I’m impressed that they got in on free to air TV, and I was actually somewhat excited to see that it was a Canberran production, but I really hope they pick up their game. It would be great to see some quality Canberra content on the box.

Its easy to get something on TV when you work in the Programming Department at Southern Cross Austereo.

c_c 4:55 pm 02 Sep 12

Mysteryman said :

Have you ever tried getting content on free to air TV? It’s not as easy as you are making out. A program like this may count towards their local content, but advertisers aren’t likely to pay to advertise during something so lame. So while they save money airing it, they’re likely to lose money airing it too.

The licensee wasn’t going to sell any meaningful advertising anyway on a secondary channel at 1am on a Sunday morning, not to mention this program was only in regional licence areas and wasn’t shown in metro markets.

There’s a reason late night infomercials and music programs are the norm, they can’t sell ads that late so they make the entire programs ads. Indeed, surely people noticed the dozen or so ads built into Space_ – it was an infomercial itself. (Which was quite clever of the producers to their credit).

Mysteryman said :

I’m pretty sure the only requirement for “local content” is that it’s made in Australia.

Nope. ACMA regulations on local content mean that it must be local, relating to the specific licence area, not just Australian made (though there are separate rules on that too which has caused some controversy re: NZ content, which is why cheap NZ content is on the box late at night too).

WillowJim said :

c_c said :

So The Castle was shot back in 97 on a sub $20,000 budget …

I was about to quote and ridicule this claim, but then I discovered it was true. Wow.

I know. It’s hard to believe. And they used The Castle to bankroll the fantastic film The Dish, which remains in my opinion one of the greatest examples of what Australia’s film industry is capable of.

Original, beautifully produced and scored, melding story elements and characters that can appeal to international audiences with history and culture that is quintessentially Australian.

Same people of course did The Hollowmen more recently, which you could see was cheaply produced, but again, great characters (and actors), great script development and it showed Canberra heaps too.

Mysteryman 3:59 pm 02 Sep 12

c_c said :

Mysteryman said :

I’m impressed that they got in on free to air TV,

This is the line that keeps bugging me, that they got it on free to air TV.

I’ve not read anywhere that SC Ten paid for the show, and even if they did I would suspect it was a tiny sum. They would not have had to beg, nor would it have been difficult.

SC Ten has a very strong motive for airing this (repeatedly), it counts towards their local content quota while costing very little if anything.

The danger, is that if indie and sub-indie producers offer up their content like this, it undermines other producers and local content investment.

Have you ever tried getting content on free to air TV? It’s not as easy as you are making out. A program like this may count towards their local content, but advertisers aren’t likely to pay to advertise during something so lame. So while they save money airing it, they’re likely to lose money airing it too.

c_c said :

Wow, they’re repeating this every Saturday now on regional Eleven – no doubt each repeat is worth a certain number of points for the local content quota.

Rumour has it there may be a series in the works, but they’ll change the title to ‘Banality_’

I’m pretty sure the only requirement for “local content” is that it’s made in Australia. Doesn’t matter if it comes from Canberra or Tasmania – which is why we have news broadcasts at 4pm, 5pm, 6pm, 10pm, etc. News is cheap to produce and it’s Australian.

WillowJim 3:42 pm 02 Sep 12

c_c said :

So The Castle was shot back in 97 on a sub $20,000 budget …

I was about to quote and ridicule this claim, but then I discovered it was true. Wow.

Truthiness 2:37 pm 02 Sep 12

Glad to see the hard hitting issues of the day being addressed in such a groundbreaking way.

I’ve seen more sophisticated drama in my compost.

c_c 1:57 pm 02 Sep 12

Mysteryman said :

I’m impressed that they got in on free to air TV,

This is the line that keeps bugging me, that they got it on free to air TV.

I’ve not read anywhere that SC Ten paid for the show, and even if they did I would suspect it was a tiny sum. They would not have had to beg, nor would it have been difficult.

SC Ten has a very strong motive for airing this (repeatedly), it counts towards their local content quota while costing very little if anything.

The danger, is that if indie and sub-indie producers offer up their content like this, it undermines other producers and local content investment.

Mysteryman 10:12 am 02 Sep 12

johnboy said :

There seems to be a consensus on twitter that I’ve been too kind…

I think you have been. I saw it by chance and laughed throughout the airing. And it wasn’t a comedy.

The scripting was not good, and the delivery by the actors was even worse. It also seemed to jump back and forth between a docu-drama and a scripted drama. I couldn’t tell which is was supposed to be.

I’m impressed that they got in on free to air TV, and I was actually somewhat excited to see that it was a Canberran production, but I really hope they pick up their game. It would be great to see some quality Canberra content on the box.

c_c 1:56 am 02 Sep 12

Wow, they’re repeating this every Saturday now on regional Eleven – no doubt each repeat is worth a certain number of points for the local content quota.

Rumour has it there may be a series in the works, but they’ll change the title to ‘Banality_’

c_c 6:45 pm 27 Aug 12

So The Castle was shot back in 97 on a sub $20,000 budget, using rudimentary equipment on cheap 16mm stock. Story had substance, humour and even some scenes in Canberra.

How is it that so much time has passed, the quality we can shoot now has improved, but the substance has gotten worse?

The reviews I’ve read of this have made a big deal about how it was done on a dSLR and it’s actually being broadcast – so what?

The Castle is a classic because of the story and the characters, no one notices the visuals looks like hell.

I’m not going to praise this. It’s never been easier to film something good. Make something better.

johnboy 6:08 pm 27 Aug 12

There seems to be a consensus on twitter that I’ve been too kind…

pirate_taco 11:44 pm 26 Aug 12

Well done to Billy Betts and Mark Alexander for managing to get this off the ground. We need more Canberrans with the pluck to give something a go.
I’m amazed they got it on air.

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