Kennedy Miller Mitchell

Kennedy/Miller/Mitchell (known before 2009 as Kennedy/Miller)[1] is an Australian film, television and video game production house in Potts Point, Sydney, that has been producing television and film since 1978. It is responsible for some of Australia's best-known and most successful films, including the four Mad Max films, the two Babe films, and the two Happy Feet films.

Kennedy/Miller/Mitchell
Founded1978
FounderByron Kennedy
George Miller
HeadquartersAustralia
ProductsMotion pictures, television, video games
ServicesFilm production, television production, video game production

Kennedy Miller Mitchell is one of Australia's oldest existing film production companies, and the most successful internationally.

Many of the films are directed by the co-founder, George Miller, though he sometimes takes an organisational role and prefers to use someone else to direct, as with Babe, which was directed by Chris Noonan.[2]

The company's most recent project was the fourth Mad Max film, titled Mad Max: Fury Road. After being "in development hell for 25 years", the film was released to critical acclaim on 15 May 2015.[3][4]

History

Byron Kennedy, who was a film school lecturer at the time, and George Miller first met at a summer film school in Australia in 1971. They began making short features and experimental work, including Violence in the Cinema, Part 1, which Byron produced, photographed and edited, and which won two Australian Film Institute (AFI) awards.[5]

In 1978, Kennedy and Miller formed the production company Kennedy Miller Productions, which produced their first feature film, Mad Max. The success of the film allowed them to establish Hollywood contacts, and work in the US as well as in Australia.[6]

In July 1983, Byron Kennedy was killed when the helicopter he was piloting crashed. Miller's first reaction was to back away from film making without Kennedy's input, but he decided to continue, and created a sizeable body of TV productions during the 1980s and 1990s,[6] among them the six-part series The Dismissal (1983), the seven-part series Bodyline (1984), the six-part series The Cowra Breakout (1984), the ten-part series Vietnam (1987) with Nicole Kidman, the three-part series Bangkok Hilton (1989), and the five-part series The Dirtwater Dynasty (1989).[7]

In 1994, the company took court action against Australian television broadcaster Nine Network over a contracted creative rights dispute. Kennedy Miller received a payout of $8.1 million.[8]

In 1995, the company had a major success with the film Babe, the story of a pig who thinks it is a sheepdog. The film used cutting-edge animal animatronic and visual effects created by Jim Henson's Creature Shop, John Cox's Creature Workshop and Rhythm and Hues. Along with visual effects supervisor Scott E. Anderson they were awarded the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. Babe was the second largest grossing film at the Australian box office after "Crocodile" Dundee.[9]

In 2006 the company had another big success with Happy Feet, which topped the US box office.[2]

In 2007, the company formed a partnership with Australian production and media services outfit the Omnilab Media Group, to launch a digital production company.[10]

In 2009, the company was renamed Kennedy Miller Mitchell, thus recognising the role played by longtime staff member Doug Mitchell.[1]

In 2011, the company made a strategic move towards video game creation, and plans to make games for its own films. The company has taken on staff from two Australian game developers that have collapsed, Krome Studios and Team Bondi.[1]

In early 2013, the company closed down their video game studio, KMM Interactive Entertainment, and ceased production on Whore of the Orient, which was going to be the next title from the devs behind L.A. Noire. After the studio closed down, the remaining devs formed an indie studio called Intuitive Game Studios, which would act as a successor to both Team Bondi and the KMM studio.

Filmography

See also

References

  1. "George Miller's new script". The Australian Financial Review. 25 November 2011. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
  2. Australian Broadcasting Corporation Transcript: "Miller unhappy with local film industry despite 'Happy Feet' – Kerry OBrien speaks with George Miller" broadcast 29 November 2006.
  3. "Mad Max 4 Fury Road – Current Status". Madmaxmovies.com. 24 October 2009. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  4. "'Mad Max: Fury Road' to storm theaters Summer 2015". Entertainment Weekly. 24 October 2009. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  5. "Mad Max Trilogy Cast & Crew – Byron Kennedy (Producer)". Madmaxmovies.com. 17 July 1983. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  6. "Mad Max Trilogy Cast & Crew – Dr George Miller / Director". Madmaxmovies.com. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  7. Emker, Debi (November 1989). "Kennedy-Miller: Cross Over and Collaboration". Cinema Papers: 14–22.
  8. "Nine loses $8.1M damages appeal". The Australian Financial Review. 9 June 1994.
  9. "Oink, oink, Babe is back". Straits Times. 29 November 1996.
  10. "Miller eyes Aussie digital". Hollywood Reporter. 19 November 2007.
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