The making of the Dressmaker

Well dressed lady standing with mountains in background

When Stage and Screen was cast to manage travel for the production of the highly acclaimed film The Dressmaker, they followed a carefully prepared script. Long before The Dressmaker has its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2015, Stage and Screen was working behind the scenes to help bring the film to the screen.

The film which stars Kate Winslet, Liam Hemsworth, Judy Davis and Hugo Weaving is set in a small Australian town in the 1950s and explores the themes of revenge, love and creativity. With producer Sue Maslin and director Jocelyn Moorhouse behind the camera, Stage and Screen knew from the outset that The Dressmaker was going to be a special film.


While filming began in August 2014, for Stage and Screen the real work began in late 2013 and continued for many months before and after the cameras started rolling. Working with their client Film Art Media, the Stage and Screen team meticulously planned every detail in order to overcome many logistical challenges.

The shoot required the cast and crew to travel far and wide - from a small country town in the shadow of the You Yangs range near Geelong, to Horsham in Central North Victoria and the Docklands Studios in Southbank. With much of the filming taking place over an hour’s drive from Melbourne, a fleet of hire cars was required for up to four months at a time to transport over 100 cast and crew.

In additional, a stellar international cast from all corners of the globe were required in Melbourne at various stages of the filming. Flights, private house and hotel accommodation, and car hire all had to be organised for cast members including Kate Winslet (and her family).


Stage and Screen took a hands on approach to managing every detail and providing exceptional value, by working to a tight schedule planned around the availability of the actors, crew and locations.

  • Strong supplier relationships ensured excellent deals throughout the production, including specially negotiated ‘film’ car hire rates through Hertz.
  • Stage and Screen negotiations delivered a lower long-term hire rate, plus reduced excess amounts and access to a wide variety of vehicles from luxury cars to station wagons and SUV’s.
  • Knowing that film shoots can be long and arduous, the travel team worked hard to negotiate the most appropriate and cost effective accommodation for cast and crew alike.
  • Stage and Screen Business Development Manager, Jacqui Walter organised and attended private house rental inspections to ensure discretion for the various cast member’s staying in Melbourne.
  • Jacqui Walter was also on hand to personally coordinate the rental vehicle pickups (of up to 50 vehicles) from the Hertz depot, to ensure a seamless service.
  • Throughout the 11 week shoot, the Stage and Screen team were on call to deal with any last minute changes - including cast and crew fly ins and fly outs, multiple hotel check ins and outs and any car hire bumps and scrapes.
  • Knowing that most films in Australia depend on some form of funding, Stage and Screen worked alongside the production accountant to deliver detailed and timely invoices with 30 day payment terms to expedite acquittal reporting.
  • The team delivered on their 14 Day wrap guarantee for all invoicing collection and delivery.
  • Stage and Screen continued their involvement by arranging travel for the director/producer and key cast members to various international film festivals and gala premieres.


The result was a ‘film’ travel solution seamlessly and expertly delivered by Stage and Screen – and a very happy client. The icing on the cake for the Stage and Screen team was seeing the film opening in Australia in October 2015 to rave reviews and the number one position at both the Australian and New Zealand box office. The highly acclaimed film is set to be one of the most popular and highest grossing Australian films in the last 20 years.

"Stage and Screen were a highly valued partner of The Dressmaker production. From arranging international flights for A list stars to ensuring that we had a first class fleet of vehicles on a highly ambitious location shoot, Stage and Screen always understood our needs and ensured we had cast and crew when and where we needed them at all times. Stage and Screen was part of the team and meant we could get on with making the best film possible."

- Sue Maslin, Producer, The Dressmaker.

When pulling together the logistics for a brand new music festival, Novel Tours and Events knew they could rely on the performance of Stage and Screen.