By Rachael Turk

Film Victoria yesterday launched the additional functionality to its new website which combines Google Interactive Maps technology with a library of 40,000 film location images and a portal of websites to create a screen industry world first in promoting the state’s film locations.

The Google Maps technology allows producers and location scouts a first-hand view of the filming possibilities across Victoria. Upon selection of a particular location, information about requisite permits and policies can then be sourced direct.

According to Kirsten Badcock, who also developed Film Victoria’s award-winning ‘Film Melbourne Now’ campaign before being appointed general manager of Film Victoria’s Melbourne Film Office in November, the idea was adopted from sites researched in the tourism industry.

‘We took a lateral approach to our research phase, looking at other service industries that also have a focus on destination marketing. The tourism industry draws a good parallel with ours, in that you are piquing interest in a physical location and experience. It uses similar marketing techniques and we took great interest in researching how it adapts to market changes,’ she said.

The functionality extends to a tool whereby the user can collate a selection of stills in online ’photo albums’ which can then be shared amongst colleagues in the film community. Since the site’s launch on November 28, 2007, Film Victoria has had well over 11,000 visits to the site.

The new Locations Gallery adds to the ‘shopping cart’ tool launched late last year to facilitate the online compilation of crew lists. This saw a total of 2091 CVs and 21 crew lists downloaded in the first 16 days of launch.

‘Film commission marketing approaches are generally quite similar,’ Badcock said. ‘Most sites let you view images of locations and search through a database of industry practitioners, but we wanted to go beyond this.

The overall aim of the new site is to build on the 8 percent increase in production expenditure for Film Victoria last financial year and capitalise on the increased levels of production anticipated nationwide as a result of the Government’s new film rebates.

With 76 percent of current visits to the site being first-time visits, it’s clear that an ever wider net is being cast.

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