Current State and Future Vision
The creative industries can bring a range of additional benefits to the area beyond mere film and art income. An additional benefit of having a creative cluster in the community is that they can share their creativity, innovation and imagination with the overall business community. The creative spark and an ability to think laterally will become an ever increasing asset in the global digital economy.
An example of this innovation and creativity in the area is Jason King, owner of Bells milk bar. A visit to his milk bar is like stepping back into the late 1950’s and his shop has become a favourite destination for visitors to Broken Hill. He has successfully leveraged the internet to sell souvenirs and other fifties memorabilia. Creative and innovative people, like Jason, are essential to the creation of a vibrant community. For example, as well as running his own business, Jason is developing an annual film festival in Broken Hill, and is on a committee that is looking to reinvigorate a local shopping precinct. Central to both ideas is the use of the internet. Providing people like Jason with access to high speed broadband is essential. It enables them to unleash their creativity and to connect with like-minded people around the world.
As Tom Friedman, the author of “The World is Flat” noted in the NY Times:
“Today, just about everything is becoming a commodity, except imagination, except the ability to spark new ideas. If I just have the spark of an idea now, I can get a designer in Taiwan to design it. I can get a factory in China to produce a prototype. I can get a factory in Vietnam to mass manufacture it. I can use Amazon.com to handle fulfilment. I can use freelancer.com to find someone to do my logo and manage my backroom. And I can do all this at incredibly low prices. The one thing that is not a commodity and never will be is that spark of an idea.”
With the creation of the film industry precinct area, there is an opportunity to create a “working hub /future workplace” in the film studio or surrounding precinct. This workplace would embrace hot-desking and an open environment that lends itself to collaboration, co-creation and innovation. These new workplaces are currently available in some of the major cities. An example is Hub Melbourne, which describes itself as “a professional member community that enables innovation through collaboration. We host co-working spaces, curate experiences and catalyse connections for diverse individuals and organisations.” The film studio project provides an excellent opportunity to set up a similar workplace that would fit well with the needs of the creative services industry. Hub Melbourne can be approached to help bring the hub concept to Broken Hill as the owners are interested in expanding the franchise to regional areas.