If you’re planning on shooting a video in Melbourne and you’re from overseas or interstate, there are a couple of things you should know before you arrive. A little local knowledge could be the difference between a successful shoot and a disaster, so keep reading and I’ll get you up to speed with everything you need to know.
Why am I talking about the weather first? If you’re shooting indoors then it might not be a problem. If your shoot is outdoors or you need some establishing shots then it’s worth doing your homework because you might be thrown a curveball.
Generally Melbourne is pretty conducive to filming outdoors. It doesn’t snow and for the most part it doesn’t get unbearably hot. But Melbourne is well known for changing it’s mind pretty quickly. A sunny blue sky in the morning is no guarantee that lunch time will be the same. Take a look at the Bureau of Meteorology website for an idea of what you’ll be in for. It’s also worth noting that February can get pretty hot. If the weather is looking like it’ll be above 35 then it’s usually best to start out nice and early and finish before the afternoon. You’ll be thanking yourself later if you bring plenty of water, sunscreen and a hat.
Getting from A to B
Getting around Melbourne is straightforward but having a plan is important. Like most major cities, you’ll find peak hour traffic will slow you down considerably. Geographically, we’re pretty spread out in Melbourne so if you need to get from one suburb to another then it can sometimes take hours. Plan your journey the day before and use google to give you an idea of how long it will take at the time you plan to travel.
Coming from the airport can also be slow. Melbourne doesn’t have a train or a tram from the airport so you’re at the mercy of the traffic. A Skybus will get you to the CBD for around $25, a taxi will be around $80. Also be aware that while Melbourne does have Uber, you won’t be able to catch one from the airport.
Tools for the job
Getting the equipment you’ll need for your shoot is pretty easy here. At Dream Engine we have all our own equipment so that when clients come from interstate or overseas, they won’t need to rent anything. But for people in need of some rental gear, you’ll find what you need without much trouble. Offshoot rentals has everything you’ll need for a corporate video production. For high end shoots and specialty equipment Lemac has what you need. We’ve worked with and recommend talking to Tom from Savage Film Services for anything gaffer related that you require.
Finding a studio in Melbourne isn’t as easy as it once was, many have closed down. The main high end studio is Docklands Studios. They’ve played host to some big name feature films and they service that end of the market pretty exclusively. For smaller productions there still some good options. We’ve used Eleven40 Studio in Malvern to create these videos:
As you can see, it’s big enough to fit an ambulance and has a white cyc. There’s even an in house barista to keep you and the crew caffeinated.
Beyond the studios, you’ll find that Melbourne has a diverse range of outdoor locations pretty close by. Beaches, forests and desert locations are all within a couple of hours drive from the CBD. Dream Engine itself is located 6km from the CBD in St.Kilda, just next to one of Melbourne’s most popular beaches.
Overall you’ll find shooting a video in Melbourne is a pretty smooth process. While you’re here, expect to be overwhelmed with choice when it comes to cafes and restaurants (on any budget) and we also have plenty of food delivery services (UberEats, Deliveroo, Foodora) to keep catering on set simple.
Ryan Spanger is one of Melbourne’s most respected and sought-after video production professionals. Ryan founded Dream Engine in 2001, and specializes in helping medium to large corporates, government departments, and the non-proﬁt sector to connect with their audience by using video.
About us and this blog
Based in St. Kilda, Melbourne, Dream Engine is comprised of a small, close-knit team of energetic video production professionals.