Netflix has been making a new series in the Hunter and the Central Coast starring Toni Collette, David Wenham and Bella Heathcote.
The eight-episode series, titled Pieces of Her, has been filming in Newcastle, Port Stephens, MacMasters Beach, Kincumber, Ocean Beach and Ettalong Beach.
The film is set in Georgia in the US. Filming was to be done in Canada last year, but was delayed and moved to Australia due to COVID-19.
Filming at the Hunter locations was done on the quiet, but it was a bit hard for the Central Coast locations to be kept secret.
Philip Pells said the MacMasters Beach set location was next door to him.
The impact on the area began about a month ago with "substantial temporary reconstruction of a house".
About 180 people had been on set, with 10 to 15 large trucks, about 8 to 12 cars, a COVID testing station, a complete mobile kitchen system and a marquee.
It was quite the disruption to the local residents. Not quite a Supercars-style disruption, but disruption nonetheless.
"It was huge," Philip said.
The series is being partly funded through the federal government's $540 million Location Incentive program. The funding offers up to 13.5 per cent of a project's Australian production expenditure.
NSW Minister for the Arts Don Harwin said in November that the series would provide 400 local jobs and contribute an estimated $58 million to the state's economy.
The state government kicked in some cash through its $175 million Made in NSW fund.
The series is an adaptation of a New York Times bestselling thriller by crime author Karin Slaughter. The plot involves a young woman [Heathcote] and her mother [Collette] in a diner when a mass shooting occurs. The mother violently stops the shooter from killing more victims. The penny then drops for the daughter that her mother had a secret past. It's a story of love, strength and forgiveness.
Lord of the Rings actor David Wenham will play a character from the mother's past life. All episodes of the first season will be directed by Minkie Spiro, of the acclaimed series Downton Abbey and Better Call Saul.
Toni Collette, who starred in Muriel's Wedding and the United States of Tara, said in a recent statement that she was thrilled the production went ahead. "On a personal level, for me, it also brings with it the great joy of shooting at home in Australia".
Moving to free-to-air TV, Monday night's episode of Channel Ten's The Amazing Race Australia will be partly set in Newcastle.
The team will "dust off their dancing shoes" and learn a tap routine from Tap Dogs to receive a clue.
"They must literally find a needle in a haystack to reach the finish line in Sydney's picturesque Hunter Valley," the promo said.
That's a bit of a surprise. Did anyone else know Sydney wine snobs owned the valley?
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