Melbourne stars as a global centre of screen excellence at Dockland Studios Melbourne

Published: 20 Oct 2021

The spotlight shines on Victoria's screen industry with the completion of Sound Stage 6 at Docklands Studios Melbourne set for early 2022.

Victoria’s screen industry is undergoing a period of transformation and growth, with the release of the state’s first screen strategy in more than a decade. Victoria’s Screen Industry Strategy 2021-2025 will guide the Victorian Government’s record $191.5 million investment to put Victoria at the forefront of the global screen entertainment boom.

The centrepiece of film and television production in Victoria, Docklands Studios Melbourne is a state-of-the-art facility for local and international film and television production and one of only three major studios complexes in Australia.

The addition of the new 3,700 square metre Sound Stage 6 will increase its capacity by 60 per cent and help attract more large-scale international productions, while complementing the existing five stages.

Investing in the future of Victoria’s film and television industry

A partnership between Docklands Studios Melbourne, Development Victoria, Creative Victoria and Film Victoria, the Sound Stage 6 project has received $46 million in funding from the Victorian Government. The project will also deliver a three-storey annex building to provide production support services, studio administration and production offices, a refurbished mess hall area and the extension and realignment of the studio’s boundary.

An additional $1.3 million was allocated in 2020 to create a trade and technical hub – the Melbourne Screen Hub - which is a new depot and work hub for screen businesses such as lighting companies, prop makers and special effects companies, located close to the studios in neighbouring Yarraville.

Sound Stage 6 will be one of the largest sound stages in the Southern Hemisphere. It will enable the studios to cater to even larger local and international productions, while still having space at the complex for smaller film and television projects.

Designed by Grimshaw and built by Kane Constructions, the stage will feature an expansive 17 metres of usable space below the lighting grid, total soundproofing and a floor loading capacity of 20 kilopascals, as well as back-of-house support facilities. A massive 900,000-litre sub-floor tank for filming underwater scenes will give it extra flexibility for a greater range of productions.

“The stage will bring large international film and television projects to the state, providing skills development and a long pipeline of work for cast and crew,” commented Docklands Studios Melbourne CEO, Rod Allan.

“Together with the various incentives offered by Film Victoria, the new stage positions Docklands Studios as a key part of the long-term growth vision for the state’s screen sector,” he added.

Creating jobs, fostering talent and generating significant economic returns

The new sound stage is a big win, not only for the Victorian film and television industry, but for myriad other sectors that reap the benefits when productions are filmed here, including accommodation, hospitality, transport, security and retail.

Melbourne is already an accomplished and globally competitive screen city. In 2018-19 the Victorian screen industry experienced record levels of activity, contributing $2.2 billion to Victoria’s economy and employing 17,100 people. In 2020-21 screen projects supported by the Victorian Government generated over $391.4 million for the Victorian economy and supported more than 9,558 local employment opportunities, equivalent to 2,788 FTE jobs.

The studios have operated throughout the construction project with the site currently hosting the Paramount series Shantaram and a range of local productions.

With global appetite for screen content continuing to grow, global demand for studio space and talented production crew is at an all-time high. Sound Stage 6 will not only add to Victoria’s reputation as a screen powerhouse, it is destined to set the stage for significant creative and economic recovery.

Page last updated 24 Jun 2022
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