Not many travel companies have the experience or the know-how to take on Australia’s and the world’s biggest productions and sports events. Highly specialised and backed by a dedicated team – Stage and Screen is where it’s at.
“The industry was very well placed for a number of reasons, including Australia’s management of the pandemic, the range of quality facilities across a number of states and ongoing government assistance,” said Adam Moon, General Manager Stage and Screen. “The important thing now is for the industry to maintain the momentum.”
So with the Australian TV and film industry in an exciting place, we looked at how the industry has been transformed over the past decade.
The decade that put down under, on top
Over the past decade, a number of factors have contributed to Australia successfully attracting an increasing number of international productions to our shores. For starters, a new posse of influential Australian actors and directors have increasingly been using their star power to attract major productions down under. This long list of home-grown talent – including Chris Hemsworth, Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman, Guy Pierce, Margot Robbie, Eric Bana, Hugh Jackman, Naomi Watts, Isla Fisher and Toni Collette – have often been keen to shoot closer to home and helped to draw international attention to our locations, crews and facilities.
Australia has also earned a well-deserved reputation for its hard working crews, highly skilled creatives, world-class studio facilities, diverse landscape, excellent pre and post-production companies, special effect specialists and good weather (2022 rain and floods excepted!). While the lower AU dollar, and an increasing number of generous Australian and State Government financial incentives, have made it possible for Australia to punch above its weight.
Facilities to take on Godzilla
“Australia provides a great experience in terms of filming – plus pre and post-production – often better than anywhere else in the world,” said Adam. “And with world-class studios and facilities in almost every state, there is so much opportunity in Australia.”
International productions are drawn to primarily Queensland (Gold Coast and Brisbane), New South Wales (Sydney and Byron Bay), and Victoria (Melbourne) to create their content. There’s also strong interest in shooting in South Australia, Western Australian and the Northern Territory. Recent productions secured for filming in Australia include Godzilla vs Kong, Thor: Love and Thunder, Three Thousand Years of Longing, The Legend of the Ten Rings, Shantaram, The Alchemyst and Ron Howard’s Thirteen Lives.
Keen to get a bigger slice of the action, the West Australian government has committed $100 million to launch a $20 million production attraction fund and to develop a $100 million studio and sound stage in Fremantle. Meanwhile Russell Crowe is backing a proposal to build a $400 million studio in Coffs Harbour. The world is now very aware that local businesses have the cutting-edge skills and technical know-how needed to produce live action, documentary and animated film productions. So it’s no surprise that Australia is benefiting from the global boom in demand for quality content.
Show me the money – the power of incentives
One of the biggest factors in determining whether a production heads down under remains the value of the Australian dollar, compared to the US dollar. This usually means that Australia is a cost-effective place to work, as production companies get more bang for their buck. But while that value changes daily, the Australian film industry offers a steady and generous number of government-led tax incentives and offsets to amp up the appeal for international productions.
In 2020 the Federal Government’s $400 million top-up to the Location Incentive program, took the total rebate to 30% helping Australia to stay competitive. This incentive is supporting the local industry to capitalise on the growing demand, attracting an estimated $3 billion in foreign expenditure. Additional incentives available to eligible productions include the Producer Offset and a 30% post, digital and VFX offset.
With Australia’s pandemic advantage dissipating, global competition to attract film and TV productions is heating up again. But the good news is, that once directors and talent have worked in Australia, they are often keen to come back. Plus the seemingly insatiable appetite for content from streaming services shows no sign of waning, so the future is looking bright for Australia as we continue to remain attractive to production companies looking to film here.