Award Winning Hollywood Director Backs Fremantle Society

"Incredibly greedy land grab" - film director

The Fremantle Society wrote to you about the proposed film studios for Victoria Quay, all 8,315 square metres of them in high rise boxes.

An award winning Hollywood film director, who cannot at this stage be named, has commented on our ideas as follows:

"The (Fremantle Society) statements are correct. The recently announced studio plan is an incredibly greedy land grab attempt by property developers who are pulling the wool over the eyes of the government. At the same time, no one in the government has any experience with what is actually required for a proper studio to work as a functional space where filming & sound recording can take place nor the environs outside of the sound stages which can provide quick & varied locations to help a film complete a shooting schedule on time and on budget rather than travelling a small army to a distant location far away from a town centred studio lot.

It's important to note that no professional Executive Producer, in their right mind, is ever going to heave a crew & gear all the way to West Australia, just for a nice studio. They all have their own or access to nearby stages. Instead, many EP's will most definitely and happily come to WA's excellent climate to shoot our pristine coast line, natural raw deserts, flora and unique fauna including unique marine life. It's the destination we need to be promoting and if we have a studio then 'maybe' that can be a bonus but most productions shoot their studio elements at home within comfortable control where most of them live nearby and don't have the expense of hotel stays.

Out of the numerous Hollywood movies I've worked on only one utilised a studio, that was Jackie Chan's Rush Hour II and that particular scene of a kung fu fight on bamboo scaffolding up a high rise building was too cumbersome and expensive to transport to LA so it made sense to shoot it in HK and that was only for two nights.

Yes, Perth needs a studio but no it should not be in the middle of any busy, noisy town. No producer will come here for a studio but yes they will come for our amazing locations but we need crew & gear and most of that is over East because few productions come to WA because of the lack of local support. It's a vicious circle and that is the actual part that needs addressing to get everything to work.

Promote WA as a destination, provide tax rebate incentives to attract foreign productions (that's why Fox & Warner over East are busy), offer easy & useful support for logistics i.e. getting crew & gear from over East to over here, ensure each production utilises Screen West's 'Attachment Incentive Programme" (affordably hire & attach young local crew to incoming experienced crew, to learn on-the-job {better than any film school} and enjoy our locations being promoted, forever, in international films that are shot here).


John Dowson
The Fremantle Society

0409 223622

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