Russell Crowe, Peter Montgomery, and Keith Rodger last Wednesday announced the Pacific Bay Resort Studios and Village at Coffs Harbour, NSW.
By Grant Cairncross, Editor CCO.
Today we delve deeper into what is proposed and what it might mean for the Coffs Coast.
Pacific Bay Resort Studios and Village on New South Wales’ Mid Coast have announced the new studios will be the first fully integrated feature-film production and post production complex in Australia, merging advanced virtual studios and sound stages with accommodation and lifestyle facilities. All located on 100 Coffs Harbour coastal resort acres.
Russell, Peter and Keith say their plan is to create a studio complex of the highest international standard, offering cast and crew a premium lifestyle with the latest virtual production technology, while ensuring Coffs Harbour and Australia benefit from delivering targeted on-campus career training supported by tertiary educational institutions such as the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) to help meet current skills gaps.
Olympian and resort owner/operator Peter Montgomery has long dreamed of enhancing Pacific Bay with something such as film-making and cultural facilities to attract world-class productions.
“A great deal of planning and consultation have gone into the design of the proposed Pacific Bay Resort Studio and Village,” says Mr. Montgomery. “Its proximity to Coffs Harbour airport and the data centre are complemented by the region’s outstanding climate and natural landscape. Our studios will cater for major international feature films as well as local productions, giving them the bonus of resort lifestyle in facilities that are designed to bring employment to the region and work in harmony with Coffs Harbour’s Regional City Action Plan.”
Keith Rodger said who has spearheaded the project said “lifestyle film-making with education as the fabric of the studio is what will set our studios apart . “By providing everything cast and crews need within the studio complex we can eliminate the time usually lost due to the logistics of bringing a production together in a major city or isolated regional studio.
“Our multiple Leading Edge Data Centre,400GB fibre links and well as our onsite processing and storage capabilities’ will allow offsite producers remote production access with near-zero (>1msec) latency. Real-time data is a given if we’re to appeal to our industries top producers,” says Mr. Rodger.
“It just makes budgetary sense to Integrate high-speed remote data access to sound stages offering equipment rental, trained local crews, production offices, post facilities, catering and accommodation.
“Combine that with LED virtual studios, sound-proofed stages, water tanks, a full resort and adjoining city offering the freshest and best cuisine: it’s our coastal lifestyle, all designed to make production more efficient, cost-effective and enjoyable for actors, crews and their families.”
Education and Industry Partners
Regional community and government support, along with the advanced technology underpinning the studio project, has attracted an impressive group of prospective film industry partners.
These include, but are not limited to: Screen Australia, Screen NSW, Destination NSW, screen industry & talent development organisation, Screenworks; tertiary schools such as the national Australian Television and Radio School; The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA); equipment rental house, VA Digital Hire; camera and lighting manufacturer and industry educator, ARRI; post production house Spectrum Films; Leading Edge Data Centres; Trackdown; and the company driving much of the Virtual production revolution in the film world, Lux Machina / Epic Games.
Montgomery confirms that planning applications for the Pacific Bay Resort Studios and Village have been finalised for immediate lodgment with the NSW government as a State Significant Development.
The Capital Investment Value estimated by Quantity Surveyors Rider Levett Bucknall is $438,560,000.
An intense further refinement of the plans will commence after the NSW Governments official response which will also benefit from input from the Coffs Harbour City Council and other authorities. Potential industry partners will be given the opportunity to specify their needs well ahead of time.
The project aims to create large numbers of jobs and high skill careers for regional NSW in fields such as, but not limited to, construction, electrical, greens, animators, illustrators, editors, programmers, cinematographers, actors, accountants, production managers, hair and make-up artists, costume / wardrobe, drivers, caterers, stunt performers and the like.
Deputy Premier, John Barilaro, said the NSW Government “will investigate a range of options to support this exciting project.“ “This project has the potential to elevate Coffs Harbour to the world stage with international demand for filming space currently at an all-time high,” Mr Barilaro says.
“The Australian film industry employs 20,000 people and if the NSW Government can develop and support regional capacity in this area we can ensure the creation of an entirely new regional industry and a potential jobs boom for Coffs Harbour.”
See our original story about the launch of the studios here; https://coffscoastoutlook.com.au/new-coffs-harbour-film-studio-all-about-keeping-our-best-and-brightest-kids-here-russell-crowe/
Lead photo: ABC Mid North Coast NSW, Melissa Martin