Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s recent visit to Village Roadshow Studios (“VRS”) to announce a $400 million incentive for international studios and filmmakers to produce their blockbusters films in Australia, has piqued the interest of several Hollywood elite, now considering Australia as the backlot of their next film production.
Following the PM’s announcement, New York Film Academy Australia (“NYFA Australia”) met with Lynne Benzie, President of Village Roadshow Studios, to discuss its flow-on effects for the local film industry, the local job market and the need for Australia to produce more locally-based talent who are skillfully trained to work on-set and on productions of studio blockbuster films.
“The announcement by the Federal Government for the $400 million has been a game changer for the international market and makes Australia more competitive,” says President of Village Roadshow Studios, Lynne Benzie.
In conjunction with this newly announced incentive targeted at international filmmakers to produce their films in Australia, there are also existing incentives for both the domestic and international screen industry offered by Screen Queensland and the City of Gold Coast. “Screen Queensland and the City of Gold Coast also have an incentive, which is the only council in the whole of Australia that actually has it for the film industry,” explains Lynne Benzie.
These incentives are intended to assist the Australian screen industry to secure an ongoing pipeline of film and television work for studios like the Gold Coast’s world-renowned Village Roadshow Studios, calling for more trained talent across the industry. Securing productions within Australia generates a variety of jobs across the industry for actors, screenwriters, camera operators, editors, sound and lighting technicians and more. It also results in growth for a variety of local businesses and helps to stimulate the economy.
NYFA Australia, a college of filmmaking, acting and screenwriting, is the only film school in Australia to house a campus on the backlot of a working professional movie studio – located at Village Roadshow Studios in Queensland’s beautiful Gold Coast. Students learn in a hands-on environment, shooting their own films in NYFA Australia’s very own production studios on the VRS backlot. That’s the same backlot that has previously been the home of many global blockbuster hits that have employed NYFA Australia students, alumni and faculty, including: Aquaman, Thor: Ragnarok, San Andreas, Unbroken, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, The Shallows, and Kong: Skull Island.
“I think the advantage of students from NYFA Australia [working on the backlot] is that these students will get to see things you would never see outside,” says Benzie during a recent discussion, noting the slew of productions and people that students may encounter being submerged within the local industry. “It’s critical. They will learn a lot from what they see around the site.”
“Behind these projects are thousands of workers that build and light the stages, that feed, house and cater for the huge cast and crew and that bring the productions to life,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in his announcement about the plan. “This [$400 million tax incentive] is backing thousands of Australians who make their living working in front of the camera and behind the scenes in the creative economy.”
In addition to the attraction of these incentives during this unprecedented year, Australia, in particular the state of Queensland (“QLD”), has demonstrated its resilience in the war against community transmission of COVID-19. That commitment has allowed Australians to return to a new version of normality much faster than in many other parts of the world, allowing film and tv production to recommence in QLD, well ahead of Hollywood and other popular film production hubs.
On the back of the PM’s $400M announcement, NYFA Australia announced its own incentive – a special tuition discount of thousands of dollars for any incoming students in their September 2020 Advance Diploma and Diploma intakes. “NYFA Australia is dedicated to providing its students with the opportunity to learn by doing in a real-world training environment, learning from working industry professionals and accessing state-of-the-art equipment and facilities,” says NYFA Australia Director, Elle Bailey. “With countless students and alumni working in the local and international film and entertainment industry, we couldn’t be more proud of the caliber of students who graduate from our colleges, both in Australia and in the United States”.
“Following graduation from NYFA Australia’s Advanced Diploma in Screen and Media, I had learned the tools I needed to be able to successfully navigate the world of independent filmmaking, resulting in my third feature film now in pre-production,” says Josh Hale, NYFA Australia Alum and award-winning writer, director and producer.
NYFA Australia has an intake enrolling just around the corner, starting this September 2020 and offering a one-time exclusive tuition discount. If you are looking to learn the skills needed to be prepared for the industry boom and join the exciting and creative world of filmmaking and entertainment, click here to learn more.
About New York Film Academy Australia
New York Film Academy Australia (“NYFA Australia”) located in Queensland, Australia is an extension to the world-renowned New York Film Academy (founded in 1992, offering degree and certificate programs in New York, Los Angeles and Miami).
Submerged in the heart of the innovative Australian film industry, NYFA Australia students find themselves completely immersed in their course of study – whether it be Filmmaking, Acting for Film, Screenwriting or 3D Animation – surrounded by award-winning faculty and working with state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, and access to production sets on the world-famous Village Roadshow Studios (“VRS”). VRS is the studio location for many Hollywood films including “Aquaman,” “San Andreas,” “Unbroken,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” “The Shallows,” “Kong: Skull Island,” and “Thor: Ragnarok,” among many others.
Through an Australian-first partnership, NYFA Australia has also collaborated with Warner Bros. Movie World, setting up film production hot sets and providing students the opportunity to shoot throughout the iconic theme park.
To learn more about NYFA Australia, the college of film and acting, visit nyfa.edu.au
All programs and workshops are solely owned and operated by the New York Film Academy Australia and are not affiliated with Village Roadshow Studios or Warner Bros Movie World.