After the events of 2020, there is finally some good news for New South Wales job seekers and our regional towns. Australia’s regional towns are expecting an influx of jobs and a few celebrity sightings, as it has been announced that the Mad Max franchise will be filming in New South Wales next year. The movie will offer a cash boost for regional areas in New South Wales, as it is predicted that the film will create hundreds of jobs and is predicted to bring in $350 million dollars in total into the Australian economy. According to the New South Wales government, the film will allow money to flow into regional towns such as Broken Hill.
There has been some concern, however, that our regional towns will not be able to cope with the huge influx of people. Film make-up and hair designer, Lesley Vanderwalt, expressed these concerns, stating “I can’t even imagine how some areas will cope. It’s a large influx of people and supermarkets will have to put additional food on the shelves. On their days off, people will want to go shopping. However, movies.do inject a large amount of money”.
Mad Max: Furiosa is described to be the prequel to 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road. The film grossed $483 million dollars worldwide, costing $193 million Australian dollars to create. The film will start Anya Taylor-Joy and Aussie Chris Hemsworth, in what is expected to be an award-winning production. Lesley Vanderwalt, who in fact won an Oscar for her work on Mad Max: Fury Road, said that approximately 93 people worked in her team on hair and make-up and special effects every day. Therefore, she has experienced first-hand how the Blockbuster can bring jobs, opportunity and people into regional towns. Referring to the job search process, the make-up artist explained that production always starts with the usual teams, as they know that they have the skill set required and then every subsequent job you can start to bring in new people.
Production may even go on for three to four months before filming actually commences next year. Whether it includes machinery and cranes building the set or searching out the perfect location, there is a lot of work to be done before filming can actually start. Details on set such as the floor paint or even the colour of the wood stain, costume choices and the specific filming locations need to be considered well in advance. George Miller, who created the franchise to begin with, said the movie would be shot all over New South Wales, however, so far Broken Hill is the only town to be specifically named. The New South Wales premier, Gladys Berejiklian, said that the film would be the largest shot in the state and could create up to 850 local jobs. This ranges from field areas such as hair and makeup, film crews, catering teams and even including crane hire. She went on to say that” the government is extremely proud of all of the amazing talent we have” and that she “wanted to harness it right here in New South Wales”. The premier explained that they are using Mad Max: Furiosa to provide jobs, to rebuild the industry and the economy and to make sure that Sydney, New South Wales and Australia are all cultural icons.
Chris Hemsworth, who has recently moved to Sydney from his previous residence at Byron Bay to film the new Thor film, said that he has grown up watching Mad Max and feels a lot of pressure to do the franchise justice. The movie star stated that it is something that he will put his heart and soul into, as he described it as the biggest ‘pinch myself’ moment, as he is such a fan of the series. Hemsworth said that the film being made in Australia was a huge driving factor for him signing onto the project. The actor could not give anything away regarding his character in Furiosa, however, he joked that he might give Mel Gibson a call for advice, with Gibson’s acting career being launched by the first three Mad Max films.
The government has worked hard to ensure that Mad Max producers had every reason to film in New South Wales. The government incentives were an extremely strong draw for the movie’s production in the state. The film is receiving a partial amount of funding from government programs, including the $175 million ‘Made in New South Wales’ fund as well as the $540 million location incentive. Furthermore, another attraction for filming in Australia includes its management and handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Australia has been praised worldwide for how it has dealt with this virus, as Australians are currently experiencing a somewhat normal life here. Comparatively to other countries, Australia has had a relatively low number of coronavirus cases and as a result a low number of coronavirus related deaths. With our state of the art health care system equipped to deal with any outbreaks, there is no place safer at the moment. Whether it includes having air compressors on set to promote good air ventilation, or having everyone tested for COVID-19 upon entry to NSW, there are a strict list of requirements that will need to be adhered to.
So, whether it involves an air compressor lease during filming to make sure that there is good indoor air ventilation, that everybody is socially distancing and that all international visitors have completed quarantine upon arrival into Australia, there will be strict measures implemented to ensure that the film is created under COVID safe restrictions. After a year of devastating effects on our economy and people as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is hopeful to see the beginnings of our recovery. Furthermore, there is much anticipation for the next instalment of the Mad Max franchise. Showcasing Australia’s greatest talents, the film is sure to be fantastic and we will all just have to wait to see how the story pans out.