Screen Queensland has appointed Mark Melrose as manager of studio operations as it prepares to start construction on a new production facility in Cairns.
Melrose was previously festival director of Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival in Winton, where he grew attendance by 311 per cent over his nine years leading the major event.
His other executive positions have included operations manager for the 2021 Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF) and 15 years at Queensland Rugby, where he was head of operations for eight years following other senior roles.
Melrose was also director of MDM Consulting Group, the clients of which range from Southern Cross Austereo to Queensland Cricket and community broadcaster Briz 31.
In his new role, he will be tasked with driving occupancy at Screen Queensland Studios in Brisbane, while also overseeing the construction and eventual operation of the Cairns facility (opening 2023), as well as another location on the Gold Coast.
Melrose said he welcomed the challenge of running the studios network.
“As a festival director engaged with screening and celebrating film, I have seen Queensland grow as a local production hub and a destination for Australian and international productions, drawn by our enviable combination of stunning locations, fantastic weather, and studio facilities,” he said.
“I’m extremely passionate about providing space for local talent to thrive and I’m focused on strategically leveraging the current success of Screen Queensland Studios to further propel production attraction in the diverse and film-friendly regions of Brisbane and Far North Queensland.”
Melrose’s appointment comes as the Queensland Government announced further $5.8 million in funding for the Cairns production facility as part of the 2022-2023 state budget, boosting the overall investment in the site to $12.6 million.
To be built on a 6,500 square metre building site just outside the Cairns CBD, the new studios are set to house a sound stage and support facilities, including production offices, construction, wardrobe, and hair and makeup departments, along with an events space and permanent creative tenancy opportunities.
Screen Queensland CEO Kylie Munnich welcomed the addition of Melrose to the project.
“Well-known to our local industry as a leader in the screen culture sector, we are delighted that Screen Queensland Studios will now benefit from Mark’s significant experience, depth of knowledge, and relationships in film, as well as results-driven business operations,” she said.