Underwater filming has now begun off the coast of West Australia on “Shipwreck Hunters Australia.” The six-part series is the first Australian documentary to be made for streaming platform Disney Plus.
The area is one of the most spectacular ocean environments in the world and has an estimated 1,600 shipwrecks. The series will mix new technologies, archival research and location filming to examine the mysterious past lived by ocean adventurers.
The series is directed and produced by Brendan Hutchens (“Drawn to Water”) of VAM Media working with professional divers and underwater filmmakers from Terra Australis. Series producer is Katherine Barrett (“Aussie Gold Hunters”) with Steve Bibb former Australian Broadcasting Corporation head of factual and owner of Barking Mad Productions, as executive producer.
“Shipwreck Hunters Australia” is a VAM Media and Terra Australis Productions production in association with Barking Mad Productions for Disney Plus. Principal production investment comes from federal funding body Screen Australia. It was developed and produced with regional funding body Screenwest and supported by the State Government of Western Australia through its Royalties for Regions Program and the Western Australian Screen Fund. Additional support comes from the Western Australian Museum.
“(The series) brings to life epic shipwreck discoveries from an intrepid ocean adventure team. We know our Disney Plus audience will be wowed by some of the most fearless shipwreck hunters in the world, all filmed on our stunning Australian doorstep,” said Kylie Watson-Wheeler, senior VP and MD of The Walt Disney Company in Australia and New Zealand.
The Disney Plus streaming service was launched in Australia in November 2019 and has grown rapidly. Some analyst estimates suggest that it has now overtaken Australian-owned Stan to become the second largest streamer in the country.
- This week, Stan CEO Mike Sneesby told a conference of financial analysts that its Stan Sport service is approaching 150,000 paying subscribers, just three months after launch in February. He claimed that made Stan “Australia’s largest reaching sports platform.” Live sports broadcasting in Australia has long been dominated by pay-TV platform Foxtel. Foxtel launched its own sports streamer Kayo for fans who don’t want to buy the full entertainment and sports bundle.