Storm Boy producer Matt Carroll oral history excerpt

Storm Boy producer Matt Carroll oral history excerpt
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Storm Boy producer Matt Carroll talks about how the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC) worked with the distributors and education departments around Australia to turn Storm Boy into a massive box office success in this edited extract from an oral history interview in 1981.

This clip is an important record of the original approach the SAFC took with marketing the film directly to schools. The SAFC in conjunction with other organisations created additional educational resources to build on the potential the film had for being part of the primary school curriculum.

As well as the more standard film posters and lobby cards, additional educational materials were produced to coincide with the film’s release:

  • A special edition of the book featuring stills from the film by Rigby Limited.

  • A twenty-minute documentary called The Crew, filmed on the set of Storm Boy, and explained the different roles of the principal crew members was produced by The Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) in conjunction with SAFC.

  • Pic-a-pak teaching aids were produced by the Educational Technology Centre and the Film Study Centre. Each pack included colour prints, a study guide, audio cassette, map and colour slides.

The SAFC staggered Storm Boy’s release across Australia so they could concentrate their efforts promoting the film through state education departments and direct mail campaigns to schools. The film was released in South Australia first and it ran for over a year at the My Fair Lady Theatre in Adelaide.

The film was a run-away success. It sold to 100 countries and grossed $2,645,000 in Australia alone (which is equivalent to over $14 million today).

Notes by Beth Taylor