Political thriller Secret City begins filming at locations across Canberra

Jordan Hayne

08/09/2015

Walking along Lake Burley Griffin in New Acton this morning, Canberrans could have been forgiven for thinking they had stumbled across a major crime scene.

But beyond the marked cars and uniformed officers patrolling the lake’s shores, a production crew of dozens worked to stage the scene — of a body being pulled from the lake.

The key scene was shot as part of the upcoming political thriller Secret City, which has been filming at locations across Canberra.

Major productions like Secret City which film in the ACT, have led to a recent flurry of activity for the city’s small film sector.

“We’ve got Secret City, which is a six-parter for Foxtel, which the ACT Government invested in, which is fantastic,” Screen ACT director Monica Penders said.

“[ABC thriller] The Code just finished on Friday of last week. They did two-and-a-bit weeks here as well.”
Ms Penders said the productions had put Canberra on the map as a film destination, but growth in the sector was badly needed.

“[We have to ensure] that we have the crew that’s here to service those productions,” she said.

“So that means we have to do things like attachments which is what we’re doing on The Code and Secret City.

“Having local people in paid positions who are learning as well as contributing to the productions.”

The setting of Canberra played a big part in both recent productions, but Ms Penders said Canberra offered unique opportunities to all filmmakers.

“We do have great locations, I think that our biggest drawcard is the fact of access,” she said.

“You can fly into Canberra and you can be at Parliament House in 10 minutes or a sheep paddock in 15 minutes.

“That doesn’t happen in many capital cities.”