Filming has commenced on Universal Studios new 10 part series, La Brea. The show, about a massive sinkhole appearing in downtown LA that is a portal to another dimension – 10,000 years in the past, is the biggest production in Victoria in over 10 years. The project is expected to add over $60 million in revenue to the state and require the talents of 290 cast and crew plus 1,000 extras.
Relocation of the shoot to Australia has been supported by the State and Federal Government film incentive packages. Speaking to the SMH, Senior VP of production for Universal, Richard Ross also noted that the cost of COVID testing on productions here added $300,000 per episode. In the US it’s twice that, due to a more regular testing schedule. Over the course of 10 episodes, this adds up to a $3 million saving.
Mr Ross has also indicated NBC Universal could soon be making up to 4 shows per year, worth as much as $200 million, in Australia. He also indicated that the company’s move to Australia “would go beyond COVID”, which is great news for the local film production industry. According to Mr Ross, there are so many productions happening in Australia now, the production crew has had to make a soundstage out of an “old car maintenance place” as all the other studios in Melbourne were already in use. Roads were also closed in Port Melbourne this week to make way for the production.
Given the large scale of the production, interstate submissions have been happening. Good luck to everyone from MCTV who has been submitted!