While it was built as a dedicated film studio lot, it was television that arguably came to its rescue.
The studio has five purpose-built sound stages, ranging in size from 743 square metres (8,000 square feet) to 2,323 square metres (25,000 square feet).
The first film was Hating Alison Ashley with Ghostrider as the first international film. But it has since seen Where the Wild Things Are, Knowing, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, The Eye of the Storm, Patrick, Killer Elite, I Frankenstein and Kath and Kimderella.
Television productions have seen Nine, which is a permanent tenant, and Seven use the site regularly, plus some TEN and Foxtel productions.
TV titles include The Pacific, Nightmares and Dreamscapes, Winners and Losers, Satisfaction, The Footy Show, Hot Seat, 1 vs. 100, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, INXS: Never Tear Us Apart, Australia’s Got Talent, Live From Planet Earth, Everybody Dance Now, Hole in the Wall, Iron Chef Australia, Last Man Standing, Project Runway, Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation, Slide Show and The Rich List.
Inadvertently it also helped create a media hub at Docklands which has included Melbourne bases for Seven, Nine and, previously, The Australian Film and Television School.
“The studio was one of the first things built down this end (of NewQuay),” studio CEO Rod Allan said.
“There were no buildings directly opposite and Harbour Town hadn’t been built yet.
“I think the highlights are really when we are at a diverse capacity, when we have all of our sound stages occupied by different projects,” he said.
“It’s not one particular event, so much as seeing the place fully occupied and humming.
“I suppose the biggest challenge really has been getting people who would otherwise not think about coming here to actually think about it,” he said.