Announcing a long held dream to marry what he loves doing with where he loves living Hollywood Oscar winning actor Russell Crowe today announced the launch of a new film studio to be based at Pacific Bay Resort in Coffs Harbour.
By Grant Cairncross, Editor CCO
The launch this morning highlighted the culmination of a long held dream to not only do what he loves doing but also to state that another key aim was to boost the creative industry sector on the Coffs Coast region that would provide jobs for sound and camera professionals, makeup artists, hairdressers, sound technicians, camera operators, producers, gaffers, editors, digital special affects staff, caterers, set carpenters and artists and many more besides. Additionally the supply chain flow on to hospitality, tourism and proveedores would be significant.
The studios are designed so stars and crew and their families can stay at the resort during film production.
Stating that film shoots require a “small village” of crew in addition to the stars the actor said one other key driving motivation was “all about keeping our best and brightest kids here.”
Accordingly, the bespoke studios, to be built on the current golf course to the west of the main restaurant and administration area at Pacific Bay, will also include a film school.
Stating that the studios will be a “world class facility for both international and national productions” Russell stated they would also appeal to “Hollywood, Bollywood and kids from the valley”. The overall cost of the facility is estimated to be $438.5 million.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro, referencing some of the famous roles played by Russell Crowe, spoke about the studios as being an initiative that would help diversify the regional economy but which “could not have been done without the tenacity of a Gladiator, the drive and vision of a Beautiful Mind and the captaincy of a Master and Commander”.
Mr Barilaro also announced that the State Government would throw its weight behind ensuring the studios would become a Regional Jobs Precinct in addition to those already existing in Albury, the Richmond Valley, South Jerrobomberra and the Naomi Region.
Full information about Regional Jobs Precincts can be found here; https://www.nsw.gov.au/snowy-hydro-legacy-fund/special-activation-precincts/regional-job-precincts
Local MP Gurmesh Singh spoke about the new studio “putting Coffs Harbour on the world stage” and having flow on effects throughout mid-north and northern NSW.
He also announced that the facility would also include an Indigenous Museum, a Film Museum and an Olympic Museum. The latter of which would feature some of the sporting memorabilia collection of Pacific Bay’s owner Peter Montgomery.
Mayor Denise Knight spoke how the new studios would not have happened without Mr Montgomery’s vision and the hard work of Keith Rodger, Producer of the Water Diviner and also Russell Crowe’s Personal Assistant.
The Mayor described the announcement as “incredibly huge for Coffs Harbour” and a much needed boost for the creative industries in the region.
And here, courtesy of Moffee at TripleM Coffs Coast, is Russell’s full speech today; https://omny.fm/shows/triple-m-coffs-breakfast/russell-crowe-explains-movie-studio-plans
Lead photo – Russell Crowe speaks at the launch this morning
Photos: Grant Cairncross