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Supercharging the Victorian screen industry

Film & TV  18 Oct 2019

This morning, Premier Daniel Andrews announced the construction of a new sound stage – one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere – at Docklands Studios Melbourne, increasing its capacity by an enormous 60 per cent. 

In more good news for the local industry, it was announced that Dick Cook Studios will set up its Asia-Pacific headquarters in Melbourne with two major films already slated for production in Melbourne.

Jointly announced by Premier Andrews, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Federal Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and Arts, and The Hon Simon Birmingham MP, Federal Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, the first two projects are Ranger’s Apprentice, based on the best-selling book series by Australian author John Flanagan and The Alchemyst, the first book in the six novel series The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by famed Irish author Michael Scott. These two productions will inject over $200 million into Victoria’s economy and generate 800 employment opportunities.

These announcements are game changing for the Victorian screen industry. They will create thousands of job opportunities for our world-class crew and also provide incredible opportunities for our sector’s creative talent.

Dick Cook Studios is committed to working with Victorian creatives and has plans for a writers’ room and other initiatives that will benefit the local industry, so stay tuned for those.

Both Film Victoria and Docklands Studios Melbourne are committed to supporting the local screen industry, and the studios will ensure there is adequate space for domestic projects, including low budget productions and the studios will continue to welcome productions of varying sizes.

Construction of the new stage is expected to start in mid-2020 and be completed by late 2021. Throughout the construction phase it will be business as usual in the five existing stages with two major television series filming in 2020. These are the 10-part Apple TV+ series Shantaram and the eight-part Victorian Netflix Original series Clickbait.

It’s a really exciting time for the screen industry. The investment the Victorian government is making now will stand our industry in good stead both for the immediate and long-term future.