Above: Rod Allan and APDG President George Liddle at the 2017 Awards

Docklands Studios Melbourne has been a steadfast supporter of the Australian Production Design Guild awards since their inception in 2011. As a former producer, CEO Rod Allan has made it his mission to champion the skill and artistry of designers. In fact, many have long suspected he is a frustrated production designer masquerading as a studio boss!

While the APDG awards is celebrating a milestone, so too is Docklands Studios, with work starting this month on the main structure of a new super stage to be completed in late 2021. Stage 6 will be equivalent to the largest stages in Sydney and the Gold Coast.   
The 3,700 sqm fully soundproofed building will cater for large international productions, however Allan has assured Australian screen creatives it will free up space in the other stages for smaller, domestic projects. Allan told APDG news: “The start of work on Stage 6 is the realisation of a long-held vision for expanding the studio, and the stage will help create a long pipeline of work for crew on large and small projects.”
The centrepiece of the new stage will be a giant 900,000 litre tank for filming of water scenes and special effects. Five minutes from downtown Melbourne, Docklands Studios opened in 2004 and currently has five stages ranging in size from 743 sqm (8,000 sqft) to 2,323 sqm (25,000 sqft).

Recent international productions to film at the complex include AMC’s Preacher, Netflix’ Clickbait and Paramount’s Shantaram while domestic projects include The Dressmaker, Jack Irish, Millionaire Hot Seat and Dancing With The Stars