Melbourne studios rechristened Docklands

Victoria government investing $9.8 mil in project

SYDNEY -- Australia’s newest studio complex, Melbourne’s Central City Studios is getting a name change and an upgrade.

The unwieldy Central City Studios moniker will go, to be replaced by Docklands Studios Melbourne, which studio CEO Rod Allen said the name is widely accepted in the industry.
“Docklands Studios Melbourne is easy to remember and emphasizes our unique and highly attractive location,” Allen said.  

The rebranding follows the announcement this month that the Victorian government would invest AUS$10 million (US$9.8 million) to build new infrastructure for the studios and undertake a feasibility study into building Australia’s only horizon tank, similar to that used for films such as “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Master and Commander.”

Initially the studio’s sound stage 5 will be modified and improvements made to the studios’ workshop facility.

Longer term plans include: the development of a large sound stage; construction of purpose built workshop and craft shop spaces; creation of mess hall facilities; provision of additional production office space; and the attraction of permanent commercial tenancies to the site.

The improvements are part of a wider long-term master plan for Melbourne’s inner city Docklands site which includes, commercial, retail, residential and sporting facilities.

Central City Studios was built in 2004 as a state of the art complex with five sound stages and production offices.

Victoria Innovation Minister Gavin Jennings said the $10 million will “develop a flexible and multi-use complex, creating an even more vibrant film and television hub for Victoria.”

“The planned modifications look set to boost domestic television production levels, while keeping the Studios in the market for major domestic and international film projects.”

The Studios have been used for production on HBO’s “The Pacific,” features “Where The Wild Things Are,” “Ghost Rider,” “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark,” and TV series “As The Bell Rings,” “Talkin’ Bout Your Generation,” “Australia’s Got Talent” and "Iron Chef Australia."
The rebranding and renovations come as Australia battles to attract more offshore production with the Australian dollar nearing parity with the U.S. dollar, hitting a 27 year high Thursday, of 98 cents.

Dockland's Studios Melbourne is one of three major complexes down under. Fox Studios Australia in Sydney and Warner Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast are the other two.