It’s on the grapevine, Baz Lurhrman’s Set to Screen podcasts have hit the iTunes store offering young filmmakers an insight into the process behind the making of new feature film Australia. Critic Lynden Barber mentions it in his blog Eyes Wired Open and credits Luhrmann and Fox for a genuine effort to reach out to new filmmakers. There’s definitely something in this and, from someone who teaches at a film school, I know you can’t get better educational resources than this kind of on-the-spot, behind-the-scenes coverage.
It’s interesting to watch the evolution of what were standard DVD extras features only a few short years ago. Hasn’t the landscape changed when the studio marketing machine needs to release the extras ahead of the feature film, all noble intentions aside. The only thing is they’re not doing as good a job as Peter Jackson did on King Kong in 2005 with his on-set video diaries being posted on the web every week of the shoot. The site is still up here and it’s maintained by King Kong fans but includes all those original production diaries which are such a mine of information for film students everywhere. And they’re distributed by Bit Torrent as opposed to Baz Luhrmann’s material going through the Apple iTunes walled garden. Common guys, get with the program – and I mean Apple, Fox and Luhrmann – make this stuff freely available everywhere and it will actually have a much bigger pay off in terms of generating pre-release buzz. And it won’t harm your street cred with an internet savvy audience.