Victoria puts out casting call for Docklands Media Precinct development

Victoria puts out casting call for Docklands Media Precinct development

A screen industry that contributed $2.2 billion to the Victorian economy annually pre-pandemic will soon receive a shot in the arm, thanks to a state government-backed push to develop the Docklands Media Precinct in Melbourne.

Expressions of Interest (EOI) are now open for local and international film, digital, technology, screen and media organisations to bring the media precinct vision to life, building on the Victorian Government's current $46 million project to create a sixth sound stage at Docklands Studios Melbourne (DSM).

Complete with a 900,000-litre water tank that will give it the flexibility to attract a greater range of productions, the 40,000-square-foot stage is set to expand the capacity of the Docklands studios by 60 per cent.

EOIs will close in June for the development which will be based around the existing studios, with authorities hoping to have the Docklands Media Precinct project breaking ground on the 6.4-hectare site in 2022.

The local industry is buzzing again following the global COVID-19 hiatus, with work on COVIDSafe films, television series and commercials now underway in Melbourne and regional Victoria.

The international film Blacklight, starring Liam Neeson and Guy Pearce, is one screen project that started filming in Melbourne late last year, while more recently the state attracted Princess Bento Studio - a new partnership between Emmy Award-winning US animation studio Bento Box Entertainment and Victorian production powerhouse Princess Pictures.

Dick Cook Studios, named after its founder and former chairman of Walt Disney, has committed to have its its Asia-Pacific production base at DSM for at least four years.

"We know Victoria is a global destination for screen, technology, innovation and creative industries," says Minister for Business Precincts Martin Pakula.

"This project will further build Melbourne's profile in these industries and attract more world class organisations and guests to our city."

"This is an excellent opportunity to build on the strengths of Docklands Studios and we look forward to submissions that will help to bring the precinct vision to life and strengthen our screen industry, creating more jobs for the sector," adds Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson.

Productions that have been delivered at DSM include Where the Wild Things Are from Warner Bros, Miramax's Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, the HBO series The Leftovers and The Pacific, the Netflix series Clickbait, and the ABC's Jack Irish.

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