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Studios wrap up and start again

03 Sep 2019

Studios wrap up and start again Image

By Sarah Bartlett

Docklands Studios is currently at a busy cross section having wrapped up production of hit US TV show Preacher and secured upcoming series Shantaram.

Preacher is the biggest television production to come to Victoria since Steven Spielberg’s The Pacific (2007).

Co-creator and show runner Sam Catlin said he thought Preacher would be filmed in Sydney, but when he sent a pre-scout they reported that Melbourne was “the most versatile, had the best crews and facilities”.

“Working at Docklands Studios was amazing, it’s a very state-of-the-art facility,” he said.

“The stages could handle everything we were able to write.”

The executive producer David Coatsworth said the studios were the “cornerstone” of the production coming to Victoria.

“Docklands was able to provide everything we needed in terms of shop space, wardrobe, offices,” he said.

The highly anticipated 10-part television adaption of Gregory David Roberts’ international best-selling novel Shantaram will also be filmed at Docklands Studios.

The federal government will be delivering $7.4 million for the production through its Location Incentive Program, and the Victorian state government is assisting the production through Film Victoria’s Production Incentive Attraction Fund.

Shantaram ‘s 11-month production schedule is expected to bring $46 million into the Victorian economy and produce over 1000 employment opportunities, including 330 positions for local cast as well. This project will also see the use of services from over 500 local businesses.

The series will be based on Mr Roberts’ 2003 debut novel, which follows a convicted Australian bank robber and heroin addict’s journey on the run after escaping from Melbourne’s Pentridge Prison and fleeing to India.

The story parallels the author’s personal experience and the novel sold over six million copies and was published in 39 languages.

The series will be the first streaming TV series from Apple TV, a decision which came after the company’s announcement of plans to commission more original material.

Filming will begin in October at the studios. There will also be filming at the Pentridge Prison and other locations, some of which will substitute for Mumbai.

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