April bow for Fox Oz facil

SYDNEY — Bill Mechanic, chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment, announced Wednesday that Fox Studios Australia — the studio’s first facility outside the U.S. — will open next April, and he named five production services companies that will be based on the lot.

“Fox Studios Australia is developing a state-of-the-art facility for film and television production at Moore Park in Sydney. An important element of the facility is the opportunity for leading Australian production service providers to participate in this unique creative environment,” said Mechanic.

FSA chief exec Kim Williams foreshadowed further announcements of companies that will be housed at the $120 million complex, which will have six sound stages, a studio tour, plus a retail and entertainment area, including a multiplex cinema.

Universal’s “Babe 2,” helmed by George Miller, is shooting in one of the site’s existing buildings through the end of this year before moving to locations in the southern highlands, where its predecessor was filmed.

Mechanic and Williams hosted a reception on the lot to welcome the five companies. They are:

Animal Logic, a digital effects, design and animation shop that created the title sequence and other effects for “Face/Off”;

Global Television, a production and post-production house;

Soundfirm, Australia’s biggest film and TV sound mixing company, whose credits include “William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet,” “Shine” and “Babe”;

Spectrum Films, a leading post- production facility favored by such helmers as Peter Weir, Bruce Beresford and Gillian Armstrong; and

The Samuelson Group, an equipment supplier.

“We view the studio project as the most significant development in the history of film and TV production in this state, and we are committed to assisting it to become one of the best production centers in the world,” Samuelson Australia CEO Dennis Noonan said.

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