19/11/2013 - 14:39

Murdoch film precinct bid

19/11/2013 - 14:39

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An ambitious proposal to build a film studio precinct in Perth is expected to be formalised in the next fortnight, with completion planned for 2016.

Murdoch film precinct bid
ACTION: Stephen Van Mil says there’s been strong overseas interest in the proposal by Impian Films and its JV partner, UK film company Extraordinary Group. Photo: Attila Csaszar

An ambitious proposal to build a film studio precinct in Perth is expected to be formalised in the next fortnight, with completion planned for 2016.

Local independent production company Impian Films has launched a joint venture with UK film company Extraordinary Group with a proposal to build a studio and hotel complex at Murdoch University.

Impian Films founder and producer Stephen Van Mil said the facility would help overcome some of the financial and logistical challenges of shooting a major production in Perth.

Preliminary estimates put the cost of building the facility at $50 million.

The proposal includes three studio spaces with sound stages, a 260-room hotel, a bar, restaurant, cinema, nightclub and gymnasium.

Mr Van Mil said that cost was likely to rise as the number of hotel rooms had increased since the plan was conceived.

“All the cast and crew that aren’t from Perth have to be accommodated, and Perth’s accommodation rates are ridiculously high, and then they’re scattered everywhere,” Mr Van Mil told Business News.

“It’s a one-stop shop, so a production can come into town and all their cast and crew are fully catered for on site, which is highly unusual.

“I can only speculate with great confidence that once we’ve got some infrastructure in place that it (the WA film industry) will just expand many fold.”

Mr Van Mil said funding discussions with offshore investors indicated strong interest in the project, and he was confident of progressing once the formal proposal was put to Murdoch and approved.

Meetings have been held with the university, which would have to approve the project in order to lease the land to the Impian Films and Extraordinary Group joint venture.

Murdoch vice-chancellor Richard Higgott said he was similarly excited about the idea, and was looking forward to seeing a formal proposal.

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