New animation studio in Docklands

New animation studio in Docklands

By Micaela Togher

Docklands Studios Melbourne will soon be home to a major globally focused animation studio.

Princess Bento Studio is the result of a part- nership between US animation studio Bento Box Entertainment and Victorian production company Princess Pictures.

The studio will focus solely on animation projects, designed for both local and interna- tional consumption.

It will be the first international outpost for Emmy Award-winning Bento Box Entertainment, best known for producing the Fox Network’s animation series Bob’s Burgers.

Princess Pictures is no stranger to the anima- tion sector, producing the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards (AACTA)-nominated Koala Man series by US streaming giant Hulu.

Bento Box co-founder Scott Greenberg said the company was proud to be embarking on this new venture with Princess Pictures.

“We are excited to start working with the many talented animators, production and sup- port staff in the region on a slate of exciting animation projects,” Mr Greenberg said.

This is the latest development in the expan- sion of Docklands Studios Melbourne, first announced in 2019.

Backed by a $46 million investment from the state government, the stage six will make Docklands Studios one of the largest film pre- cincts in the southern hemisphere.

Intended to attract international producers, stage six will boast an area of 40,000 square feet, seeing a 60 per cent expansion of the cur- rent capacity.

Opening in 2004, Docklands Studios Melbourne is one of three major studios in Australia originally designed to compete with Sydney’s Fox Studios and the Gold Coast’s Village Roadshow Studios.

Crippled by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is ❝ hoped the development will help revive the

sector’s economy by generating work for local

screen industry professionals and hosting large scale international projects.

Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson said the animation studio was the next step in helping the industry recover from the impact of the global pandemic.

“We’re proud to welcome Princess Bento Studio to out state and screen community, and the 150 new jobs it creates,” he said.

“We look forward to seeing more Victorian- made animation projects hitting the screen.”

New stage reaches milestone

The expansion of Docklands Studios Melbourne has reached a key milestone with structural work underway on a world-class su- per stage to cater for large screen productions.

Kane Constructions has nearly completed foundations on the 3700 sqm (40,000 sqft) stage and is now erecting steelwork for the main structure.

It will feature a 900,000 litre sub-floor tank (more than one third the capacity of an Olympic pool) for filming of underwater scenes.

Construction of the stage six expansion at Docklands Studios Melbourne is scheduled for completion by the end of 2021.

Docklands Studios Melbourne CEO Rod Allan said, “The stage will bring large interna- tional film and TV projects to the state, provid- ing skills development and a long pipeline of work for cast and crew.” •

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