MOTION PICTURE CONTROL (To the Editor) Sir,--Your sub-leader was brought under my notice, and I wish to thank you for your remarks generally, regard ing the position of my company. The view of your paper is always very much appreciated by me and read in Sydney in common with other outstanding newspapers of Australia. In fairness to-us I think a few facts might be of interest to you and your' eaders, re garding the action which our compiany has taken in fostering British and Aus tralian pictures. So far as British pictures are con cerned, we are the only organisation operating theatres in Australia which have had for the last fifteen years a fully equipped independent office in London in charge of a responsible man ager whose instructions are to purchase every suitable British picture that comes on the market. The result has been that there is no British picture of any merit whatever that has beeni pro duced and could be secured by us that has not been seen on our screens throughout Australia. As part of the contract recently entered into by my company we have secured every IBritish picture of merit that is capable of being purchased, and they will be seen during the fortheoming year, as it is our sin cere desire as all all-Australian organi sation to foster British productions to the greatest possible extent. So far as Australian pictures are concerned, it may be news to your readers to know that my organisation is the only one in Australia that has really seriously attempted to produce pictures on a big scale. In the last two and a half years we have spent £120,000 on Australian picture pro ductions, and besides moderate pictures have produced "For The Term of His Natural Life", which cost us over
£50,000, and "The Adorable Outcast," which cost us over £35,000. We pro duced these pictures not only for the Australian market, but for the British and foreign markets. Our studio at Bondi is as well equipped as any studio in the United Kingdom, and is capable of turning out very good productions, as we have every conceivable mech anical aid to good film manufacture. It is quite true that we are not pro ducing pictures at the present time, but are holding our hand, endeavouring to secure some of our capital expenditure back in foreign markets. So far we must admit that our efforts have been futile, notwithstanding the fact that for "The Adorable Outcast," and "For The Term of His Natural Life," both of which have been phenomenal successes in Australia, we sent to London one of our highest executives for the purpose of negotiating a sale of either the Eng lish rights. or the world rights, and al though he spent some three months there negotiating with all the various companies, we were informed bluntly that Australian pictures were not wanted in England, and failed to get any offer whatever for our productions. That this is discouraging, to say the least of' it, is apparent, and is some what at variance with tihe patriotic flapdoodle we occasionally hear from people who have no knowledge of the internal workings of the industry. In America we received more encour agement, as two of the American com panies-Paramount and Universal have voluntarily set to work to re-cut our pictures on a basis that would make them suitable for the American market, and we are hopeful that we may get in America some measure of compensation, but in England, where we looked at least for some assistance, we have been dumbfounded by an absolute refusal to do any business with us. The only prospects we have of dealing with these pictures is to start our own film exchange in England, and take them round and sell them to the individual showmen throughout the United King dom, a process we are not anxious to undertake, so far away from our control in Australia. Notwithstanding that these two pictures have been a phenomenal suc cess, it has been quite impossible for us to get anything like their cost out of the Australian market, and unless we can find markets abroad, both pro ductions, though phenomenally success ful will be a big financial loss. That our studio at Bondi will not remain idle is a foregone conclusion, but no one will blame us for calling a halt, pend ing a knowledge of what our future foreign markets are going to be. From the foregointg, I think you will see that we have sufficiently the inter est of Australia at heart, to not only encourage British and Australian pro ductions, but to see that the screens of our theatres show only the best pictures. The judgment of the recent Film Commission proved in an undeniable manner that our company throughout its history had always encouraged Aus tralian productions whether our own pictures or others, and that in addition we had invariably paid considerlably more money for Australian pictures than for foreign ones in an endeavour to encourage the industry.-Yours, etc., STUART F. DOYLE, Man. Director, Union Theatres Ltd.