/News 17.02.23


Queensland-made feature film True Spirit, the true story of teenage solo sailor Jessica Watson, has captivated audiences following its February 3 release. In its first week, it raced to Netflix’s global top 5 hitting number 2 in its second week and ranking top 10 in 88 countries.

Supported by the Queensland Government through its Production Attraction Strategy, True Spirit was filmed at Village Roadshow Studios and surrounding locations on the Gold Coast.

For storm scenes, the production made use of Village Roadshow Studios’ spacious lot to set up a custom-built dry gimbal rig – replacing the water and sky using visual effects provided by Queensland’s Alt.VFX. For calm water sequences, the production used the Studios’ Outdoor Round Tank, which has a diameter of 18 metres (59 feet) and a depth of five metres (15 feet). Village Roadshow Studios is home to three water tanks, including the largest in the southern hemisphere. Other productions that recently used Village Roadshow Studios’ tanks include Nautilus and The Wilds, Season 2.

Behind the scenes of True Spirit at Village Roadshow Studios, on the Outdoor Round Tank and on a purpose-built rig on the studio lot.

In particular, the production took full of advantage of the expertise of local Queensland crew, who are renowned for their vast experience with shooting water sequences, both above and below the surface.

“This is the first time I worked out of Village Roadshow Studios and honestly this place is addictive … I think it’s home to some of the greatest crew not only in Australia but in the world. And I really mean that.”

Sarah Spillane, Writer/Director/Executive Producer
L-R Star Teagan Croft and Writer/Director/Executive Producer Sarah Spillane.

True Spirit was produced by Sydney’s Sunstar Entertainment for Netflix. It was directed by Sarah Spillane, who wrote alongside Rebecca Banner and Cathy Randall. Producers were Debra Martin Chase, Susan Cartsonis and Andrew Fraser, and Executive Producers were Shahen Mekertichian, Sarah Spillane and Queensland’s Georgina Marquis.

For more information about Queensland film locations, facilities and incentives, contact Screen Queensland.

Naomi Wenck, Production Attraction Director
[email protected]
+61 7 3248 0500