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Crawfords splits to woo producers

Veteran Aussie production house Crawfords is restructuring to accommodate indie and overseas producers alongside in-house productions.

Recognizingan upward trend in production, Crawford chairman John Harrison announced Wednesday that the 32-year-old Melbourne-based company will split.

Crawfords Prods., owned by Paramount Television Intl. topper Bruce Gordon, will continue to make and market product for local and international markets.

But in a major policy change, Harrison is establishing the corporate entity Crawford Studio Facilities to provide a full-service, high-tech production base for local independent and overseas producers filming on Aussie locations.

Harrison has already skedded a new Nine Network commission for six 120-minute telemovies next year under the working title “The Feds,” starring Ingrid Thornton.

U.S. webs ABC and NBC recently approached Crawfords looking for location facilities, Harrison said. NBC, he said, is specifically looking at Oz for a miniseries based on James Clavell’s “Gai Jin.”

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