LOCATION, location, location may be a key phrase in real estate, but it’s just as important in the screen world, attendees at a seminar heard this week.
Screenworks was in Tamworth with information on how to attract film and TV projects to the Tamworth and Gunnedah areas – and the key message was: make it easy.
That meant having the right “look”, infrastructure, transport and facilities – but it was also about being “film-friendly”.
The seminar at Wests’ Diggers attracted filmmakers, multimedia production agency staff, council employees and more.
They heard from experienced film industry workers, Aus Locations location manager Colin McDougall and, from Create NSW, screen destination attraction professionals Matt Carroll and Shannon Wheeler.
They said being film-friendly was largely about a constructive dialogue between stakeholders involved in the project, including location scouts, planners, filmmakers, council staff and police.
Ms Wheeler said regions hoping to attract “repeat business” also needed to be co-operative, be quick to process applications and keep fees fair.
“If [crews] had a good experience, they go back and rave about it – and you can’t buy that sort of word-of-mouth,” Ms Wheeler said, and conversely: “It takes a moment to lose your reputation and forever to get it back.”
Mr Carroll, who has produced such acclaimed films as Breaker Morant, Storm Boy and Sunday Too Far Away, said Tamworth had many features that were “very attractive” to filmmakers.
“It’s an ideal base that ticks all the boxes in terms of size, variety and locations that surround the town,” he said.
“A lot of filming equipment comes in massive trucks … and it’s an easy day to get a truck to Tamworth from Sydney.
“You also have plenty of accommodation, cafes and a fantastic air service.”
He said the state government was “absolutely obsessed” with helping regions gain filming projects because Sydney was “just under siege” with them.
Some of the seminar attendees were also invited to a location-scouting workshop the next day.
The Tamworth town hall and King George V Avenue were among the places hand-picked for a discussion of their benefits, and how to photograph them.
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