The Lego Movie was a hit for Warner Bros studios and also for Animal Logic, the Australian company that created the animation for movie. This was not Animal Logic’s first success with a major studio but it lifted the company to the top of the list for animation companies. Having hundreds of Australians working on the movie for over two years is the sort of success that any state or federal government export development organization in Australia would love to be a part of.
Similar to Animal Logic, Rising Sun Pictures has used its Adelaide office to produce digital content for the Harry Potter and X-men franchises, as well as for movies including Gravity, The Great Gatsby, and the Hunger Games. When a company is picked to produce a pivotal scene in a blockbuster that stars George Clooney or Leonardo DiCaprio it demonstrates a business model in Australia that is in sync with the US market. Staying in Adelaide requires Rising Sun to attract talented staff that can compete at a global level so it works closely with Flinders University in Adelaide on a visual effects training program that produces graduates who raise the overall skill level of the industry in Australia as a whole.
In January 2014 news broke that the Australian production company Hoodlum had secured a contract to produce Tidelands (a crime drama) for Amazon’s new online video business. Amazon is joining the ranks of HBO and Netflix who have grown from being just entertainment providers to being entertainment producers. This strategic move by Amazon puts Hoodlum in the right place at the right time. Part of the credit for this success also goes to Screen Australia which provided financial support to Hoodlum as part of its "High-End Television Development" strategy. In cases like this the Australian government's seed funding acts as a multiplier for already successful companies that need access to funds to get a foot in the door of the competitive US market.
1. Build on each success you achieve in the US.
Animal Logic previously worked with Universal Studios on the movie Happy Feet. After working for a big name studio it would have been much easier to get Warner Bros to consider Animal Logic as a valuable contributor to The Lego Movie.
2. Understand the new business models in America.
Four years ago Amazon was not in the streaming movies business and only recently did it begin producing its own content. Hoodlum has entered Amazon’s content production business when it is in a growth phase. This new area will have some teething problems for Amazon but if Hoodlum is flexible it will be able to grow with Amazon as it creates its own version of Netflix or HBO online.
3. Technology can overcome the tyranny of distance.
Rising Sun Pictures and Animal Logic created movie animation in Australia for an American movie because its digital product could be easily shared with its partners in the US. Successful companies use technology to produce content and for communicating with their customer to provide the highest level of customer satisfaction.
These are just some of the Australian companies participating in entertainment industry in the US. If you want to provide input on other successful Australian companies then comment on this blog or send me a message on Twitter (@simonboylen) or via email (email@example.com) .