SQ News

New series mean 500 jobs on Gold Coast

The Newman LNP Government’s investment in TV production will see three series filmed in Queensland in 2015, creating more than 500 jobs and injecting millions into the state’s economy.

Arts Minister Ian Walker said the popular Mako television show would return with filming of a third series of Mako: Island of Secrets starting on the Gold Coast in 2015. The series return will mean more than 500 jobs for the local industry for Mako alone.

Series two for The Code, the highly-acclaimed ABC political thriller, and The Family Law, a six-part series to show on SBS, will also be filmed in Queensland.

“The Newman LNP Government has been working hard to turn Queensland’s screen industry around,” Mr Walker said.

“We inherited an empty book for planned international productions when we came to office in 2012.

“There were no international productions in 2009-2010 or 2011-2012 financial years, and we faced an uphill climb to get the screen industry moving again.

“In the past couple of years we’ve brought Unbroken, San Andreas and Modern Family to Queensland, with Pirates of the Caribbean filming here next year.

“We’ve achieved a lot, but there’s a lot more we want to do.

“Screen Queensland is investing about $1.5 million into these three new TV productions, which are expected to reap returns of about $10.9 million in Queensland Production Expenditure (QPE) to the state’s economy and create hundreds of jobs.

“This is another win for Queensland television production, which is the backbone of our screen industry.

“We’re delivering on our commitment to attract and support more TV productions in Queensland, sustaining a vibrant screen industry and ensuring that our technicians, crew and talent remain in Queensland.”

The Code is produced by Playmaker Media, while The Family Law by Matchbox Pictures is based on Benjamin Law’s popular novel about growing up in a small town in Queensland.

Screen Queensland chief executive officer Tracey Vieira said the boom in television production showed that Queensland was competitive in the global screen space.

“Commercially viable productions such as Mako give us the competitive edge,” Ms Vieira said.

“This is in no small part due to the award-winning team at Jonathan M Shiff Productions which continues to create hits, with the Mako mermaids especially attracting pre-teen viewers.

“Jonathan’s productions have sold to more than 170 countries and are performing well in the US, Germany, Canada, England, Ireland, Scandinavia, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Latin America.

“The first series of Mako, which aired two years ago, had an estimated 150 million worldwide viewers and achieved a world first as the ‘first live-action Netflix Original children’s series’ in the US.”

Executive producer Jonathan Shiff said the mermaid fantasy adventure has been a wonderful success.

“Throughout the series, the brightest star has been the appealing and stunning backdrop of the Gold Coast and the extraordinary talent and skills of local cast and crew,” he said.

“We are privileged to bring Mako to the world and delighted to partner with the Queensland Government in order to do this.”

The 16 half-hour episodes planned for Mako: Island of Secrets will be the finale in the series. It will screen in Australia on Network Ten, plus the Disney Channel, ZDF Enterprises in Germany and Netflix worldwide.

The three series of Mako: Island of Secrets have also been supported by Screen Australia and the Gold Coast City Council’s Business Gold Coast.

[ENDS] 16 December 2014