Adelaide Studios open for business

Three productions have been announced during today’s media tour and opening of the new Adelaide Studios; two films and one television series.

Adelaide Studios was $48m of a $300m project announced in 2008 to redevelop Glenside campus. Suitable for film, television and digital media production, the facilities at Adelaide Studios include:

  • Two soundstages (1,000sqm and 400sqm);
  • A sound mixing theatre (Harrison and Icon console) with Dolby Premiere Accreditation sought;
  • A 96-seat screening theatre;
  • ADR/Foley recording studio;
  • A large green room and;
  • Production offices.

As the last film to shoot at Hendon studios, The King is Dead by Rolf De Heer will be the first to use the new sound mixing theatre, which Adelaide Studios CEO Richard Harris said is equalled only by that of the room at Deluxe in Sydney. Harris told Encore, it’s the part of the studios he’s most excited about.

The second feature announced is Greg McLean’s Wolf Creek 2. “I’ve just done a tour with Matt Hearn, my co-producer and our jaws are on the ground,” He told Encore. “Having spent the last two years in LA, the mixing studio and design is as good as any. I can’t wait to get onto the sound stages and mixing theatre.”

The third production is a 26-part children’s sci-fi series, Resistance, produced by Andrew Dillon and Lesley Parker to be screened on ABC TV. “That’s the exact production we’d hope to get,” said Harris.  “We’ve been extremely astonished to attract them.”

Harris acknowledged the new studio knew its place and was not aiming to punch above its weight, against Sydney and Melbourne’s studios. “They are competing in a different market place. We’d never pull Baz or Alex Proyas but the good strategic position was to play to our strengths. It was the right decision. Of course if an international production wants to come here, great, we’re not taking ourselves out the market but we’re focused on local productions. Rather than us competing with them and potentially having empty stages, we decided to build on our niche and service Australian productions because that’s a much more certain proposition.

Media were given a tour of the facility by Harris and Chair of South Australian Film Corporation, Cheryl Bart.  “While the production facilities are the equal of just about anywhere else in Australia,” said Bart. “Having a beautifully integrated site on the fringe of the CBD gives Adelaide Studios a major advantage.”

“That’s already being recognised by the industry which has snapped up nearly all the founding tenancies, including the Bigpond Adelaide Film Festival.”

Harris said, “We basically have 100% pencilled in but we’re still working through agreements and we only have a few locked in. Fundamentally we’ve had a greater demand than we thought. In the long term the life blood will be the tenancies, adding a life to the site even when there is not a production happening day to day.”

“I’ve made two films, one solely in SA and the other in NT and Vic with post in SA,” said McLean. “T studios and talent pool will lead to a filmmaking renaissance not seen since the ‘70s.”

One of the aims of the studio, said Harris, was to move South Australia beyond being seen as the gateway to the Outback. “The Outback has always been a great part South Australia’s appeal but one of the points of the studios is to reposition ourselves beyond that, we’ve got a broader story to tell.”

The recent loss of Mad Max: Fury Road from Australia and specifically the Outback and Broken Hill to Namibia has not affected the Adelaide Studios directly but Harris did acknowledge a loss of that magnitude makes all the studios that much more hungry. “It’s disappointing and a sign of what happens when the dollar is against you, even with the producer offset.”


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