Six U.S. TV production exex are currently touring Oz as part of an “Inward Visitors Program” launched earlier this year by the government’s trade department and two state film bodies, Pacific Film & TV Corp. and the NSW Film & TV Office (FTO).
Program is the first orchestrated attempt to bring in a large group of decision-makers, and is a key element of an aggressive location/facilities marketing push that began at AFM this year.
Program’s funded by Austrade, the government’s trade marketing arm, and various major facilities companies, including Hoyts TV, Kodak, Atlab and Warner Roadshow Movie World Studios.
The exex are being squired around key production sites in Queensland and New South Wales all this week. Currently they’re in Queensland, where productions such as the Roadshow Pictures/New World TV series “Paradise Beach” and Gale Anne Hurd’s “The Penal Colony” are being shot. On Wednesday they arrive in Sydney, their first glimpse of the city being a harbor cruise with press and VIPs.
Another six exex are coming out later in the year, but with film production experience, says the FTO’s location liaison officer Bethwyn Serow. Next year it’s planned to bring out counterpart exex from Japan.
The six currently doing the rounds are: Mitch Ackerman, senior veep of TV production at Walt Disney and Touchstone TV; Thomas Brodek, production veep at ABC Prods.; Dennis Brown, senior VP and executive, film production, for NBC Prods.; Charlie Goldstein, production/finance exec veep, network TV, Twentieth TV; Steve Papazian, senior production veep, Warner Bros.; and Mel Swope, production veepee, Wilshire Court Prods., which has a telefilm currently shooting in Queensland.