HOLLYWOOD heavyweight Steven Spielberg will bring his next sci-fi/adventure series to the Gold Coast and generate an estimated $54 million in economic activity.
The Terra Nova series will shoot 13 one-hour episodes using locations around South East Queensland including Warner Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast.
It will be produced by Twentieth Century Fox Television, the American studio behind the international sensations 24 and Glee.
Premier and Minister for the Arts Anna Bligh, says the series will provide thousands of jobs and will bring confidence to the state’s flailing film industry.
"Fox Broadcasting has today confirmed Queensland as the location of choice for Terra Nova, which comes from the brilliant minds of Steven Spielberg and Peter Chernin and once again shows Queensland's ability to attract first rate productions to the state," says Bligh.
"As well as showcasing Queensland locations the series will also reflect the talent of practitioners in the state with 80 per cent of the crew, cast and extras to be Queenslanders.”
Terra Nova is set in a future when the world is dying from overdevelopment and overcrowding. As a last resort scientists find a way to go back to prehistoric earth to try and undo the damage that has been caused.
Executive vice president of production Jim Sharp, says he was looking for something different in terms of location.
"We wanted this ambitious series to look like no other on television and Queensland provided the best of all possible worlds," he says.
"Queensland had the right look, climate and terrain, a vibrant production community and attractive economic incentives. We are very excited to be shooting our first production there."
Terra Nova will be the second Steven Spielberg series to use Queensland as a location, with The Pacific, which recently received 24 Emmy Award nominations, filming in North Queensland in 2007. Local special effects and movie makeup company JMB FX Studio received world-wide recognition after it was nominated for an award in the category for Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Miniseries.
Screen Queensland CEO Maureen Barron says her team worked tirelessly to secure the latest Spielberg production.
"Screen Queensland hosted a number of scouts with the producers, and worked hard to promote Queensland as the location of choice for the series," she says.
"It is fantastic to see all of our hard work come to fruition and the benefits the series will bring to Queensland become a reality."
"There is the possibility the series may go into a second season which would hopefully bring additional production to Queensland."
Steven Spielberg and Peter Chernin are executive producers, with Alex Graves (The West Wing, The Fringe and Ally McBeal) and Jon Cassar (24) directing the pilot and the series.
Shooting will start in October.
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