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The Silly Season

Docklands – the creative jewel of Victoria

29 Oct 2019

Docklands – the creative jewel of Victoria Image

Docklands became the home of a new Hollywood project and to the final piece in Victoria’s creative capital with a $46 million investment announced on October 19.

A new soundstage a quarter of the size of the MCG will be built at Docklands Studios Melbourne, which which will become the regional base of Dick Cook Studios (DCS) for two new film projects.

Docklands Chamber of Commerce president Joh Maxwell said the community looked forward to working with the project.

“The investment in new infrastructure with construction starting in mid-2020 is a further confirmation that Docklands is growing and continuing to develop,” she said.

“It’s a touch of Hollywood for Docklands and the ability to showcase our precinct to the world.”

Federal Arts and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said the investment would create 4500 jobs and Premier Daniel Andrews said it completed Victoria’s profile as the creative capital of the nation.

“In order to deliver the Asia-Pacific headquarters of DCS, these two movies and potentially many more after that, the Victorian Government will invest $46 million to build a super soundstage adding to the already impressive facilities here at Docklands,” the Premier said.

“We’ve got the skills, the talents, the abilities and now we’ve got the physical infrastructure.”

“This will be one of the biggest soundstages in the Southern Hemisphere – 3700 sqm, 40,000 square feet – the sort of infrastructure that is critically important to attracting the biggest and best screen productions and all the jobs that flow from that.”

The Premier said there were 100 jobs expected in construction of the soundstage and at least 1500 per movie.

Hollywood veteran Dick Cook (former chairman of Disney) joined the Premier, Paul Fletcher, Film Victoria CEO Caroline Pitcher and Docklands Studios CEO Rod Allan to make the announcement.

DCS announced two initial films to be produced at the studios – The Alchemyst and The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel.

Both films will be based on parts of a series of novels by Irish author Michael Scott that DCS may turn into movie franchises to be created out of Docklands for years to come.

“This is an exciting and a bit of a historic day for us to be able to announce the establishment of our creative and production home here in Melbourne,” Mr Cook said.

“While we’re only announcing two movies it Is clearly our desire to make this our home.”

“We plan to be here for frankly as long as you’ll have us.”

Docklands Studios beat several other options in Europe and around the world that were also considered by DCS.

Although the stage will not be completed for two years, Mr Cook said DCS would begin utilising the existing facilities at the studios immediately.

Docklands Studios CEO Rod Allan contextualised the announcement within the rising success of the studios since they were purpose-built 2004.

“It’s safe to say that in 15 years the studios have become a cornerstone of the screen industry ecosystem,” he said.

“We’re here today to mark another milestone in the evolution of the studios and the screen industry.”

“Our stages are in high demand, and Stage 6 will give us the flexibility to cater for more high-end productions than ever before. The studios will aim to retain space for domestic projects, including low-budget productions and will continue to welcome projects of any size.”

The news also comes as another major boost to the NewQuay precinct, which along with the ongoing development of The District, new Docklands Primary School and Ron Barassi Snr Park, continues to grow.

Head of sales and marketing at Melbourne Star Observation Wheel and Docklands Chamber of Commerce executive member Nicole Hill said the news was “gladly received” by businesses in NewQuay.

“Since opening five years ago, visitation to Melbourne Star Observation Wheel has increased significantly year on year, alongside the expansion of Docklands with the arrival of other high-calibre offerings and experiences,” she said.

“In 2020, we look forward to celebrating our two millionth passenger with our many neighbours and partners within the precinct.”


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