Bloody battle scenes, vampires, torture and wit. What more could you want from a TV series? This dark combination of horror and action has proven irresistible for hundreds of thousands of fans around the world. Now fans of TV series Preacher are turning their gaze to Australia for the next instalment of this series based on DC Comics’ supernatural comic book series.
Entering the fray for the Australian production was Stage and Screen, arguably Australia’s most experienced film and TV production travel management specialists. Charged was seeing the production through from its announcement in November 2018 to when production wrapped at the end of June 2019, was veteran travel manager – Anita Ngyuen.
Working full-time with the U.S. production company, Sony Pictures Television and Playmaker Studio, Anita was the ‘strength behind the scenes.’ The $50 million dollar production is one of the largest Stage and Screen has handled and involved managing international and domestic flights, transfers, accommodation and vehicles for a cast and crew of between 120 and 150 people at any one time.
The production schedule for the 10-part series spanned seven months, and was the perfect opportunity for Stage and Screen to showcase their capability to manage a large-scale production - to other production companies looking to film in Australia.
Long before the cast, studio heads and crew where flown in from London, New York and Los Angeles, long-term accommodation was sourced for their six month say. Specially negotiated long-stay rates at Quest Apartments, opposite Melbourne’s Dockland Studios, were secured for up to 40 essential crew. While Anita spent a month personally inspecting private rental house accommodation for the stars of the series.
Apart from iconic Melbourne city locations, the shoot also took the cast and crew to three different regional Victorian locations - Broken Hill, Daylesford and the Great Ocean Road. To move 120 people into a small regional town for up to five days at a time, Anita worked closely with local accommodation providers - while also securing a large fleet of cars and specific trucks to transport the crew, sets and camera gear.
However Mother Nature can cause havoc with even the best laid plans. But after six years with Stage and Screen it was nothing that Anita couldn’t handle. When a weather dependent shoot needed to be moved to another location with virtually no notice, Anita hit the phones at 4pm to secure 30 hotel rooms needed for that night. No easy task in a small country town!
For Anita, who was on call 24/7 throughout the entire seven month production, it was all part of Stage and Screen’s commitment to go above and beyond the call of duty. One unusual request was to source ten very specific cars to be used in the actual shoot. Plus the cars needed to be delivered ready for filming at 4am! Though it wasn’t technically a ‘travel request’, Stage and Screen made it happen.
“Because we understand the nature of the production business, we’re always ready to adapt to changes,” said Anita. “And with a production of this size there are a lot of unknowns – that you can’t predict or prepare for. The key is to build a good rapport with the production’s travel coordinators and to have great contacts and industry knowledge to solve anything that comes up!”
When the credits roll on the new Preacher series, which has a potential reach of more than 100 million viewers in the US alone, Stage and Screen will feel proud knowing they seamlessly kept the production’s travel on track.
Commissioned by the AMC network in the USA, the Preacher series streams on Stan from 4 August 2019.
This article was oringally published by Ausfilm.