Big things coming for local film industry as potential ramps up

Kellie BalaamAlbany Advertiser
Email Kellie Balaam
The ABC in association with Screen Australia is excited to announce that production has commenced in Albany, Western Australia, on Itch a 10-part childrens live-action adventure series produced for ABC ME by independent film and TV producer Komixx Entertainment and distributed worldwide by ABC Commercial
Camera IconThe ABC in association with Screen Australia is excited to announce that production has commenced in Albany, Western Australia, on Itch a 10-part childrens live-action adventure series produced for ABC ME by independent film and TV producer Komixx Entertainment and distributed worldwide by ABC Commercial Credit: Supplied/Supplied

What does the future hold for the movie industry in WA or more specifically the Great Southern?

While the production of films has taken a huge hit worldwide because of COVID-19, it seems things are beginning to get back to normal down here.

You might have heard the uplifting news about Edward and Isabella, a flick expected to start filming in the region next month.

Also to start filming in Albany in the coming months is the second season of children’s TV show Itch.

Casting for locals as extras is under way.

This week, we spoke to Australian actor (and local boy) Joel Jackson, who has years of experience working across a variety of projects, from feature films to TV series.

Comparing the film industry in the Great Southern to other parts of the world, Jackson said we had lots of potential.

“We can be huge. If the WA screen studio happens, we will have it,” he said.

“In Queensland ... it was immense — there were 10 sound stages just for us and hundreds of crew.

“At crew call, I was like, ‘are we all on the same film’.”

In August, the State Government announced it was seeking proposals from the private sector to build and operate a film studio in WA with a sound stage of up to 3716sqm.

The facility would provide studio, digital and post-production activities to complement the boom in location-based screen activities across the regions.

The window for submissions to develop the studio in Perth closed on September 25, with any decisions still to be confirmed.

There is so much potential for this part of the world to be more of a goldmine for filmmakers than it already is — and such a facility would take things to the next level.

But Jackson said regardless of the production size of a project, the stories could be just as powerful.

“In comparison, you walk into shooting for H is Happiness, the wonderful thing is there are 10 people on set and it can be really quiet, special and intimate without being big,” he said.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails