Hollywood comes to Stanley: Locals get chance to be extras as film production descends on Tas town
Film producers who are shooting part of a blockbuster movie in Stanley in Tasmania's north-west are giving locals a chance to be in the film.
The historical drama is the film adaptation of ML Steadman's novel The Light Between Oceans.
It is set in the early 1900s just after the end of WWI and production is expected to begin filming next month.
The story is located on an island off the coast of Western Australia but the film will be shot in Marlbrough and Otago in New Zealand, as well as a week of shooting in Stanley.
Circular Head Mayor Daryl Quilliam said Stanley prided itself on its heritage.
"It's a historic town and it's not hard to look at Stanley back in the 20s and there's not a lot of work that has to be done for Stanley to make it look just as if it's a normal 1920s place," he said.
"The sealed roads will be gravelled and then the gravel will be taken off."
Production 'only going to be good' for struggling region
The shoot is another coup for the state's film industry, with production of the eight-part series The Kettering Incident already underway in Tasmania's south-east.
Unlike that production, only a small part of the movie will be filmed in Tasmania but it still boasts a stellar cast.
Big names include Oscar winner Rachael Weisz (The Constant Gardener), Michael Fassbender ("X-Men: Days of Future Past") and Alicia Vikander (Anna Karenina).
Circular Head Tourism Association president Clint Walker said the region has only recently seen tourist numbers improve after a prolonged slow period.
"It's been quite difficult for us to achieve growth but hopefully this movie might just be a catalyst where we can break the shackles a little bit and get a bit of a jump in visitation, and hopefully we can keep growing and growing from there," he said.
"If we could get just a fraction of what New Zealand did with The Hobbit, there'd be some pretty happy tourism operators in Stanley I'm sure."
Mr Quilliam said the north-west, like many other parts of the state, had been in economic downturn recently.
"We have had our share of knocks with various things over a number of years," he said.
The movie will also feature the famous Stanley Nut rock formation that gives the town its unique skyline.
"To have this set straight under that and to beam it out to the world I think it's only going to be good for tourism and the economy in our area for years to come," Mr Quilliam said.
Casting call for locals
This Saturday casting agents will be looking for about 150 locals to take part in the movie themselves.
Producers have asked locals to bring "just yourself and your best smile for some photos" for interviews on October 11 at the local Town Hall.
The casting call promises a rate of about $23 per hour for between one and three days work.
Local resident Graeme Wells said the town had already improved as a result of the interest from Hollywood.
"There's been a lot of work going on behind the scenes," he said.
"They've had contractors rebuilding the end of what we call 'the little wharf' and that will be a major spot for some of the filming.
"[The historic building] Highfield House is getting a bit of a touch up too, getting ready for it."