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With many local economies depressed in the wake of COVID-19 lockdowns and border closures, the benefits that film and television production can bring to a region have never been more profound.
Australia is also a popular filming destination for Hollywood; one that also happens to boast diverse locations, world class crew, an A-list roster of actors and a low dollar. Last year, the Federal Government launched a $400 million incentive program to attract projects to our shores, while state governments also have their own generous incentives.
In Victoria, the adaptation of the Jan Harper novel The Dry, starring Eric Bana, filmed across 17 country towns, spending $11 million in the region and employing 350 locals.
Council strikes screen gold
The City of Gold Coast has long been the only local government in Australia to offer a financial screen incentive, but the council is making a keen bid to attract further production to region. The council estimates the screen sector provides around $590 million annually to the local economy.
“The City of Gold Coast has supported more than 50 productions in the past 12 years. These productions generate around 8,000 jobs annually,” said Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate.
Right now, George Clooney and Julia Roberts are in Queensland shooting the feature Ticket to Paradise, which sees The Whitsundays double for Bali. The film is anticipated to inject $47 million into the local economy and create more than 270 jobs for cast and crew.
Many other large-scale productions have shot in Australia in the last 12 months. Among them is Marvel’s Thor: Love and Thunder, which drove an estimated $178 million into the economy, created 2,500 jobs and utilised the support of 1,650 businesses.
More than just traditional film and television
INSIDE FILM publisher, Mark Kuban said, “The sector had broadened to include more than just traditional film and television. Streaming services are also ramping up productions and have invested almost $270 million in Australian content and Australian-related productions in the previous fiscal year. I think we can expect to see this figure increase significantly.”
Other projects include Ron Howard’s upcoming film Thirteen Lives, BBC/HBO Max and Stan production The Tourist, two series of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s Young Rock, NBCUniversal series Joe Exotic, season two of Amazon’s The Wilds and upcoming Netflix titles Escape from Spiderhead, Pieces of Her, Irreverent and God’s Favourite Idiot.
Early next year, 10-part Disney+ series Nautilus will start filming at Village Roadshow Studios and on location around Queensland, expected to generate $172 million for the local economy, create 290 cast and crew roles, 2,200 extra roles, and use 200 service businesses.
Already about 250,000 tourists visit or extend their stay in Australia each year as a result of viewing Australian-made content and it drives around $725 million in international tourism spend.
Local productions like Picnic at Hanging Rock and Mad Max were filmed decades ago but are still bringing benefits to Victoria’s Hepburn Shire, while Home and Away has turned Sydney’s exclusive Palm Beach into a top tourist drawcard.
New locations guide launched
To help connect local authorities with the domestic and international screen sector, Government News’ sister publication INSIDE FILM is launching the 2022 IF Locations Guide.
The guide will showcase to producers and executives Australia’s diverse locations and highlight businesses and councils keen to collaborate.
Forty per cent of IF’s traffic originates from overseas markets. IF’s location guide will be distributed to this extensive international database, helping connect your region to international productions.
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