Coffs Harbour is already home to the Big Banana and some pretty spectacular beaches, but soon it will also be able to boast of being the location of a new film studio backed by none other than Russell Crowe.
The Gladiator star is getting behind the production venue at the Pacific Bay Resort, which would be used to shoot film and television productions in the region as more projects choose Australia as their home.
The new development at the resort is said to be a ‘family-friendly film studio’ to provide long-term accommodation for cast and crew.
The move is a timely one as the country experiences a boom in its entertainment industry thanks to its handle on the COVID-19 pandemic and attractive incentives offered by both federal and local governments. While the influx of productions signals great news for the economy, it also means added pressure on existing locations.
For example, Sydney’s Fox Studios are fully committed for the next year or so, thanks to Marvel projects such as Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Thor: Love and Thunder. With those state of the art facilities booked, productions have been forced to find solutions by way of using converted warehouses and industrial buildings.
In early 2022, filming of George Miller’s Furiosa — the prequel to Mad Max: Fury Road — will also commence, adding to the already jam-packed Australian production slate.
The promise of a new studio in Coffs Harbour, which sits conveniently between Sydney and the Gold Coast (where there are additional soundstages and studios) would provide a welcomed supplement to the east coast’s existing production capacity.
The northeast region of Australia is proving to be a veritable hotspot — the good kind that is — with several productions taking place in the area over the past year.
Amazon Prime’s Nine Perfect Strangers, which debuts on the streamer on August 20, 2021, is an adaptation of Big Little Lies author Liane Moriarty’s best-selling book and stars Nicole Kidman, Melissa McCarthy, Luke Evans, Asher Keddie, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Shannon, Regina Hall, Manny Jacinto, Grace Van Patten and Samara Weaving.
After wrapping production on the eight-part drama series, McCarthy remained in Australia in order to shoot the Netflix workplace comedy God’s Favourite Idiot with her husband and fellow actor, Ben Falcone.