Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge set for NSW shoot

30 July, 2015 by Brian Karlovsky

NSW will be the primary filming location for Mel Gibson's, Hacksaw Ridge.

The film is set to generate about 720 jobs and and over $26 million in production expenditure across central Sydney, Western Sydney and regional NSW.


It will commence production in September and will be based at Fox Studios Australia and primarily filmed in locations across New South Wales. 

Producers of the film include Bill Mechanic, Bruce Davey, Paul Currie, David Permut and Executive Producer, James M Vernon. 

Pre-production starts this month (July 2015) and the film is expected to be completed in the second half of 2016. 

It will star Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man, The Social Network) with screenplay by Australian writer Andrew Knight and Pulitzer Prize Winner, Robert Schenkkan.

Gibson said NSW was a great place to film.   

“I can't think of a better place to shoot this film than here in Sydney and NSW, where I was fortunate to have grown up and started my career,” he said.  

“The support from the NSW government has been overwhelming in ensuring the best production value possible."

Hacksaw Ridge is the true story of conscientious objector, Desmond Doss, who, in Okinawa during the bloodiest battle of WWII, saved 75 men without firing a gun. 

Believing that the War was just but killing was nevertheless wrong, he was the only American soldier in WWII to fight on the front lines without a weapon.

Doss single-handedly evacuated the wounded near enemy lines, braved fire while tending to soldiers and was wounded by a grenade and hit by snipers. He is the only conscientious objector to ever win the US Medal of Honour.

Ausfilm chief executive, Debra Richards, said Ausfilm hosted Gibson earlier this year on a location scout across three states as part of the organisation's annual Familiarisation Program targeting international filmmakers. 

"The production team toured Australia’s sound stages, leading post, sound and visual effects studios in addition to meeting with key crew and creatives," she said. 

"The film’s producer, Bill Mechanic (President/CEO of Pandemonium) is well acquainted with Australia having recently shot the feature film The Moon and The Sun and 2:22.

Mechanic said he was appreciative of Ausfilm’s help in the process of putting a movie together. 

"Our trip earlier this year was critical in not only making the decision to shoot here but finding our Heads of Departments.” he said.

Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy Anthony Roberts said the government played a key role in securing NSW as the primary filming location. 

“This investment reflects the NSW Government’s commitment to driving economic growth and job creation by attracting businesses to establish and expand in NSW,” Mr Roberts said.

In 2013/14 international productions The Moon and the Sun, Unbroken and San Andreas were shot in Australia employing 6,300 people in all states of Australia.

This brought new inward investment of $150 million. Recently the fifth instalment of The Pirates of the Caribbean finished production in Queensland and brought thousands of jobs, skills and training, and significant economic activity to the state and across Australia. 

As part of Ausfilm’s global strategy in attracting international production and post, sound and visual effects work to Australia, the organisation runs a regular program of familiarisation tours of Australia for international filmmakers.  

In partnership with Australia’s Screen Agencies the program provides location scouts and introduces filmmakers to screen businesses and facilities, talent, creatives and key crew.

Previous program guests have included representatives from: Twentieth Century Fox (USA); Dreamworks (USA);  Scott Free Productions (USA);  Universal (USA); Village Roadshow Pictures Asia (China); Sparkle Roll Media (China); Ruddy Morgan (China); and The Jim Henson Company (USA).