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Australia’s Western Sydney will get a new 96 acres (39 hectares) film and TV studio complex, dubbed Lakeside Studio, amid “growth in demand for new content,” including from streaming services.
“The multi-million-dollar facility planned over three phases will eventually feature 10 sound stages of various sizes aimed at attracting large-scale international productions, as well as catering for the domestic market,” said Lakeside Studio and Penrith Lakes Development Corp. on Monday in unveiling a commercial agreement to develop the “world-class purpose-built” facility. “The new state-of-the-art Lakeside Studio complex, incorporating next-generation technology to produce motion pictures and television series,” will be located in the growing tourism and technology precinct immediately west of Sydney,
Australian producer James Vernon (Hacksaw Ridge) is spearheading the project as managing director. He is joined by his daughter and fellow producer Kristy Vernon (Gabriel, Sweet River, Rising Wolf) as director studio operations and former Warner Bros. International president Wayne Duband, who will serve as the international studio consultant.
“Lakeside Studio will look to capitalize on the explosion in international film productions that have been produced or are presently in production, with recent enquiries from overseas filmmakers estimated to be over AUS$2 billion ($1.47 billion) in production value,” the companies behind the project said. “Number One sound stage with an area of 48,000 square feet (4,500 square meters) will be the largest soundstage in the Southern hemisphere.”
The facility will also feature a backlot and “extensive water shooting options,” they said.
Said James Vernon: “As streaming platforms race to produce original content, surging demand for studio soundstage space has created a worldwide shortage of studio facilities. Featuring extensive purpose-built digital production facilities, Lakeside Studio is set to become a new powerhouse of creative production to attract international film and television productions and deliver a world-class studio environment.”
Added Duband: “Australia’s film industry is thriving and over the last decade has developed a global industry reputation with a slate of productions that have had an overwhelmingly positive shooting experience. This was further fuelled by the way the country handled the global pandemic with an unprecedented boom in both local and international film production. Combined with financial incentives, a wealth of talent, a range of locations, Lakeside Studio will be perfectly positioned to meet the demand.”
And Kristy Vernon said: “Sydney is home to some of the best creative talent anywhere in the world, so every effort will be made to nurture, harness and promote the emerging writers, directors and producers, but in particular provide the industries future top line crew personnel by way of traineeships via the establishment of the Lakeside Studio Film Academy.”
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