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Docklands Studios Melbourne

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Docklands Studios Melbourne
Docklands Studios Melbourne logo 2017.jpg
General information
TypeFilm and television studios complex
LocationDocklands, Victoria, Australia
Current tenantsNine Network
Dick Cook Studios
OwnerState of Victoria

Docklands Studios Melbourne is a major film and television production complex located in Melbourne’s redeveloped Docklands precinct. The site is located approximately 2 kilometres from Melbourne’s Central Business District. The complex opened in 2004 and its primary function is to support Victoria's film and television industry and attract international and Australian productions to Melbourne. It is one of three major studios in Australia, the others being Village Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast and Fox Studios Australia in Sydney. The facility is in an expansion phase, with construction to begin in late 2020 on a super stage (Stage 6) that will be comparable to the largest stages in the Southern Hemisphere.


The push for Melbourne to build a major studio complex arose in the late 1990s amid concern that it was "losing some of its media city position to arch-rival Sydney and to the Gold Coast".[1] The strategic objectives were that construction of a major studio complex would represent Melbourne's maturity and global ambitions, develop production capacity to its next stage, and service the needs of the local film and television industry.[1] At the time, Melbourne had a number of smaller facilities with sound stages, but did not have a large state-of-the-art complex.[1]


Construction began in 2003 on a parcel of land provided by the Victorian government in the Docklands precinct.[1] The studios were a partnership between the Victorian government and a private consortium, Central City Studio Holdings. The complex opened in April 2004 under the name Melbourne Central City Studios and that year hosted the Australian feature film production, Hating Alison Ashley. In 2005, the American-backed Ghost Rider became the first international production at the studios and, with a budget of around $120 million, was the biggest feature film ever to be made in Victoria.[2] However, the number of international productions in the first few years of operation did not live up to expectations, partly because of the fluctuating Australian dollar.[3] In 2008 the private consortium withdrew and the Victorian government took control of the facility.[3] In 2009 the Victorian government and the studios commissioned the 'Future Directions' study, which reaffirmed the government's commitment to retaining ownership of the facility and led to a $10 million infrastructure upgrade.[4] In October 2010 the complex changed its name to Docklands Studios Melbourne, formally adopting the name by which the studios were commonly known.[5] In the same year, the Nine Network announced plans to relocate its television production to Docklands Studios, following the closure of its outmoded facility in Bendigo Street, Richmond.[6]

Recent history

Docklands Studios Melbourne is used by domestic and international productions of all sizes. In recent years its five stages have housed Australian feature films such as The Dressmaker and Winchester, small screen projects Millionaire Hot Seat and Dancing With the Stars, and international productions Upgrade, The Whistleblower, and Preacher (Season 4). Many films have used the complex as a production base while shooting on location, including Lion, Ride Like a Girl, and True History of the Kelly Gang. In August 2019 it was revealed that two major TV series, Shantaram for Apple TV [7] and Clickbait for Netflix[8] would be filmed at the studios. In October 2019 it was announced that Dick Cook Studios, founded by former Walt Disney chairman Dick Cook, would set up its Asia-Pacific production base at the lot. Its first two projects are a film based on the Ranger's Apprentice book series by Australian author John Flanagan, and The Alchemyst, based on The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Irish author Michael Scott. At the same time the Victorian Government unveiled plans to build a super stage at the complex, to allow the studios to host large-scale blockbusters while still providing world-class facilities for smaller TV and film projects. The $46 million stage is expected to be open for business in late 2021.[9] Since 2009 the CEO of the complex has been former film producer and former Fox Studios Australia Director of Operations, Rod Allan.


The studio complex consists of five sound stages with a total area of 6,318 m² (68,000 square feet), various production offices, a workshop divided into bays of different sizes and parking for 800 vehicles.[10] The sound stages vary in size from 2,323 m² (25,000 square feet) to 743 m² (8,000 square feet). They are hired for production of feature films, drama series and audience-based television programs as well as television commercials, music videos and corporate events.


Feature films and TV dramas

by year of release or broadcast

Audience-based and reality TV


  1. ^ a b c d Goldsmith, Ben (September 2003). O'Regan, Tom (ed.). Cinema Cities, Media Cities: The Contemporary International Studio Complex (PDF). Australian Film Commission. pp. 40–42. ISBN 0958015279. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
  2. ^ Ziffer, Daniel (15 February 2007). "Melbourne in frame gives filmmakers flaming headache". The Age. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
  3. ^ a b Bodey, Michael (16 April 2014). "Docklands studios makes it to 10 years". The Australian. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
  4. ^ Quinn, Karl (24 February 2013). "Film studio attracts more lights, camera, action". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
  5. ^ Chai, Paul (12 October 2010). "Melbourne studio gets name change". Variety. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
  6. ^ Knox, David (25 October 2010). "GTV 9 to rent Docklands Studios". TV Tonight. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
  7. ^ "Ministerial media release". Film Victoria. 15 August 2019. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  8. ^ "Federal Government media announcement". Federal Government. 26 August 2019. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  9. ^ a b c Bulbeck, Pip (October 21, 2019). "Former Disney Studios Chair Dick Cook to Make Two Adventure Films in Melbourne". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
  10. ^ "Docklands website". Docklands Studios Melbourne. Retrieved 2 February 2017.

External links

Official website

This page was last edited on 20 November 2020, at 13:54
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