Hollywood is no longer the king of international television. Or perhaps we should say that the king is losing touch with what the world wants. As movies and television start finding ways to produce content more cheaply in other countries and International Media Capitals. These worldwide hubs of communication and infrastructure, business and finance are all willing to throw their hats in the ring of making and producing television for an increasingly global audience. As the article by Micheal Curtin pointed out so well, monopolies need to be worried, the internationalisation of film and T.V means that production is no longer just stuck in Hollywood.
“Indeed, one of the most visually elaborate science fiction films of recent years, The Matrix, was filmed at a studio in Australia with at producer from Hollywood, directors from Chicago, a stunt Coordinator from Hong Kong and a digital effects specialist from the San Francisco Bay area.”
– Micheal Curtin, Media Capital: Toward the Study of Spatial Flow, pg. 212.
Both the Indian Bollywood and the Nigerian Nollywood produce more films annually than Hollywood. Granted more people are still watching Hollywood films but production is now far more fluid, as we saw with The Matrix. Television is criss crossing the world and content is making it’s way from City to City across country borders. A good local example is that of Neighbours, an Australian soap about the trials and tribulations of the people living in a suburban Melbourne street that has been popular in England for decades. We need to stop thinking of television as merely a national product.
Reality television is another medium that has translated well across the world. Shows like Masterchef, which originated in England and is now produced in over 35 separate countries. These formats are then exported further and watched in many more places, in a complex cycle of media flows. I remember sitting on the lounge in Cambridge, England, ironically watching the Australian version of the show. Another hugely successful export show has been The Voice, which originated in Holland is now being produced in 65 different countries from places as diverse as Vietnam, Lithuania and China to name a few. These programmes are picked up by stations in Media capitals and beamed across countries to millions of viewers worldwide.
I’ll leave you with a clip of English chef sensation Gordon Ramsay appearing on the US version of Masterchef.