Australia’s biggest ever film production to pour money into struggling small towns

mad max

Actor Tom Hardy will not return for the prequel - but homegrown talent Chris Hemsworth has signed on. Credit: Michelle Pizanis

The hotly anticipated prequel to Mad Max is set to be the biggest film ever made in Australia — and regional New South Wales towns are gearing up for the fun.

Furiosa, named for its titular character which’ll be portrayed by actor Anya Taylor-Joy this time around, should begin filming mid-March and wrap in June.

The epic flick will also star Thor’s Chris Hemsworth and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’s Yahya Abdul Mateen II, telling the story of how Furiosa teamed up with Mad Max.

Screen NSW is elated that the iconic film series is coming back to NSW, saying it was a natural fit considering the state is home to more than half of the Australian screen industry.

This instalment will create 850 more jobs and pump around $350 million into the NSW economy.

So which NSW towns are set to cash in when the Hollywood epic begins filming in our own backyard?

Hay

The small town of about 2400 locals is nestled in Western Riverina region fairly close to the Victorian border — it’s actually one of our leading wool growing and sheep meat-producing areas.

The Hay Caravan Park confirmed Furiosa producers had booked 2.5 hectares of powered land — about enough to fit 40 to 50 Winnebagos. They’ve also snatched up nine cabins.

The owner of The Convent in Pine Street Geoff Murphy confirmed he’d also been chatting with the Furiosa production team as actors and crew prepare to arrive.

He told The Land “every hotel in Hay” will be booked out for at least two months while filming takes place in the small town.

Silverton

Owners of the Silverton Hotel Peter and Patsy Price say they’re elated to welcome the 800-strong cast and crew to Silverton, which is right next door to Broken Hill.

The pair told The New Daily it’s a “big thing” for their town — they expect their capacity at the hotel will be pushed to the limit, particularly considering staff shortages felt across the country.

But the influx of cash, particularly in accommodation and fuel, and the work created for locals, was cause to celebrate.

It’s actually a return to form for the small town — Mad Max 2, starring actor Mel Gibson, was filmed near Silverton some 40 years ago.

Western Sydney

Screen NSW has been tight-lipped about exactly where in Sydney’s western suburbs will be visited by the mammoth production team.

Then-premier Gladys Berejiklian confirmed “filming to take place in a number of locations including in Western Sydney”, though did not name specific spots.

Wherever they are, the locations will have big shoes to fill. Mad Max: Fury Road won six Academy Awards back in 2016, including Production Design, as well as Sound Mixing and Editing, Costume Design, Hair and Makeup, and Film Editing.

‘The Golden Era’ of Australian movies

Queensland has been nabbing the lion’s share of productions during the pandemic, partly because of the sunshine state’s mostly low cases (Omicron aside).

But the government is hoping Furiosa will put NSW on the map as a film production powerhouse for Hollywood.

“We are experiencing a boom in large scale global productions coming to film in Australia,” says Communications Minister Paul Fletcher.

But it all comes down to government support, longtime Mad Max director George Miller, 76, added.

The production was made possible via the NSW government’s Made in NSW funding — a kitty totalling $175 million — and the federal government’s 40% Producer Offset.

“The support of the federal and NSW governments was pivotal,” Miller says.

“They made it possible for the film to be green-lit, shot in Australia and for the production to be based in our home state.”

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Rick Vincenti
Rick Vincenti
3 months ago

No one seems to be talking about the onerous impost of STP on micro-business. Adding another red-tape burden to already cash strapped micro-businesses. For them compliance is often taking away precious time from actual revenue earning activities, thus reducing their competitive ability even further. We were promised reduced red tape and all we got was exponential growth. And… no one seems to care.

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