City of Sydney CEO Monica Barone on the virtues of filming in Sydney

The Bleeding Steel team.

Film production spend in Sydney was worth around $50 million in the last year, according to the City of Sydney.

In 2015–16, the City of Sydney’s film liaison team approved more than 1,300 film and photo shoots across Sydney, including 31 major TV drama series and feature films. 

City of Sydney CEO, Monica Barone, said the city has streamlined the application process, making filming in the city easier and cementing Sydney’s lead over other Australian cities as a top film location.

“With China set to overtake the US as the biggest movie market, we can expect an increase in the number of Asian film productions in Sydney. This puts the spotlight on the best our city has to offer, attracting interest, tourists and investment that supports jobs and the local economy," said Barone.

“Our dedicated film liaison officer provides valuable assistance to producers in scouting and securing filming locations, providing local advice on filming in the city and helping to overcome any challenges that may arise.”

Jackie Chan's Bleeding Steel, the largest budget Chinese production ever to shoot in Australia, is expected to contribute around $20 million to the local economy. It has a crew of around 230 people, including up to 160 local staff and 200 extras.

International productions were a great way to promote Sydney to visitors from across the world, Barone said.

“Cast and crew stay in Sydney hotels, dine in local restaurants, visit our many wonderful tourism attractions and shop at our local stores and markets.” 

“Fans also flock to the city to follow in the footsteps of celebrities, visit the sites of their favourite scenes and experience for themselves the very best that Sydney has to offer.”

Sydney's Fox Studios has hosted Alien: Covenant, Hacksaw Ridge, The Great Gatsby, Truth, God’s of Egypt, Unbroken, The Wolverine, Mao's Last Dancer; The Matrix trilogy, Mission Impossible 2, Star Wars Episodes II and III, and Superman Returns.

The city has also been used as a backdrop for TV dramas Love Child and A Place to Call Home and indie features A Few Best Men, Griff the Invisible, Not Suitable for Children, Burning Man, The Sapphires, The Eye Of The Storm, Goddess and Candy.

Figures from Screen NSW show that NSW remains the dominant state for screen production, with more than 60 per cent of Australian production and post-production located in the state.

Almost 60 per cent of all people employed nationally in screen production are located in NSW, with many of them based in Sydney. TV commercials remain the bread and butter of film production in the city, making-up around 80 per cent of all productions.