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Film studio a world first: MacDonald

Wednesday, 5th May, 2010

The old power station will be developed into a $2 million film studio The old power station will be developed into a $2 million film studio

The world’s first
desert film studio will
pump tens of millions
of dollars and hundreds
of jobs into the local
economy, according to
a NSW Government
Minister.
Earmarked for development
at the old power
station site on Eyre Street,
the Broken Hill Film
Studio could create more
than 1,000 new jobs and
put around $44 million
into the region’s economy.
In the city yesterday to
promote the studio that
the NSW Government will
contribute $1 million to,
the Minister for State and
Regional Development,
Ian Macdonald, said it
would be a world first
and a terrific boost to the
region.
“We believe it will be
the only global desert studio
in the world,” Minister
Macdonald said yesterday.
“We believe it could be,
over the next five years,
a $44 million economic
boost to the region. A lot
of jobs will be created
- 570 each year for two
years.”
Mr Macdonald said
he had been in discussions
with a number of
film makers who had
expressed interest in the
proposed studio.
“I’ve been working with
KMM (Kennedy Miller
Mitchell) for some time
including with Happy
Feet and on Fury Road,”
he said.
“We have been discussing
with them their keenness
to go to Broken Hill
and (the use) of this power
station.

“I was (also) talking to
Warner Brothers last week
... and of course I mentioned
it and they were
very, very interested.”

While Mr Macdonald
had seen the outside of the
building many times before,
including when he opened
the Rasp Mine in 2007,
he had his first glimpse
inside the abandoned site
yesterday.
Besides a number of
broken windows, floors
covered in dust and the
droppings of pigeons who
have made it their home,
the building is largely in
good repair.
Mr Macdonald said its
size and condition made it
perfect for a state of the art
film studio.
“It’s fantastic. It’s a wonderfully
large facility which
can be used for a broad
range of productions,” he
said.
“I mean the mess doesn’t
worry me - I’ve seen it in a
lot of buildings.
“It won’t be long until
it’s transformed into a global
attraction for the film
industry.”
While it’s hoped the
film studio will be ready
for use in August in time
for the start of the filming
of Mad Max 4, stage one
has not yet even begun.
But that doesn’t worry Mr
Macdonald.
“I’m confident that the
timing (is there). It’s not
major engineering. There is
some work to do but it’s not
structural.”
Meanwhile, City
Council, which teamed up
with the NSW Government
to develop the first stage
of the studio precinct at
a cost of $2 million, said
the development site works
would begin soon.
General manager Frank
Zaknich, who also inspected
the facility yesterday,
said local and Mildura contractors
would be working
on the job.
“Ground works will
begin in the next couple of
weeks,” Mr Zaknich said.
“The first priority is to
relocate the power. Once
that happens we then have
the staff come in and do the
clean up work.”
Mr Zaknich said the
studio would add another
string to the city’s film
industry bow and would
stamp the city as a major
film production centre.
“It really raises the profile
of the city further as
a destination for the film
industry,” Mr Zaknich said.
“We’ve already got the
built and natural environment.
This adds a further
capability to provide a full
service.”

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