/News 26.06.23


Australia may be known for its world class beaches and pristine natural beauty, but in Victoria’s Melbourne (Narrm), it’s all about art, cafes, cuisine, and culture. With heritage architecture lining the laneways and alleys that form down-town Melbourne, it’s no surprise Love Me (streaming on Hulu in America and Apple TV+ in the UK) chose Australia’s cultural capital to create this intimate intergenerational drama.

Visit Victoria, Kirks Wine Bar, Little Bourke Street. Photo by Robert Blackburn
Visit Victoria, Bourke Street. Photo by Jake Roden

Adapted from the Swedish series Älska mig into a uniquely Melbourne production, Love Me features the streetscapes and skylines that make Melbourne a major international tourist destination, a sporting capital of the world, and a unique melting pot of diversity and creativity for filmmakers.

Hugo Weaving playing Glenn in Love Me S2. Photo by Ben King.
Bojana Novakovic playing Clara in Love Me S2. Photo by Ben King

Melbourne shining

Shooting Season Two of the popular drama was a task in reinvention, Director Bonnie Moir says.

“It’s always a unique experience shooting in your own city. I’ve spent more time scouting interstate or overseas… but one of the many things that struck me about Love Me S1 was the way the city felt international and a beautifully integrated part of the story.”
– Bonnie Moir, Director, Love Me

“Creating a real presence of Melbourne as a setting and character in itself was central in our approach on Love Me S2,” Director of Photography Ed Goldner said. “Having both grown up here, Bonnie and I were eager to show off Melbourne, whilst providing audiences with some new perspectives of the city.”

William Lodder playing Aaron and Mitzi Ruhlmann as Jesse on the banks of the Yarra River with extras in Love Me S2. Photo by Ben King
William Lodder playing Aaron and Mitzi Ruhlmann as Jesse at a bar in Love Me S2. Photo by Ben King.

From cosy corner pubs to high-end cocktail lounges and rooftop bars, the hospitality on offer in Melbourne’s inner-city is endless and provides the perfect backdrop for scenes on screen, as well as its ability to seamlessly double for other territories.

Melbourne is renowned for its liveability and is considered one of the most multicultural cities in the world, providing filmmakers with excellent lifestyle options whilst shooting down under. Little Bourke St in the heart of the city boasts Melbourne’s Chinatown, reflecting the longest continuous Chinese settlement in the western world. The vibrant cultures interwoven throughout these urban landscapes make Melbourne an attractive location for screen practitioners wanting to recreate a bustling urban atmosphere.

Visit Victoria, Chinatown at Night. Photo by Roberto Seba

Melbourne is often referred to as Australia’s most cosmopolitan city, with European-inspired cafes, speakeasy bars, underground restaurants, and hidden warehouse galleries all appearing in the same block, often behind a façade of Victorian-era architecture.

Visit Victoria, Manchester Press Cafe. Photo by Rebecca Newman

Melbourne also has a grungy reputation in parts, often due to the street art which adorns many laneways with large colourful murals. Like most international cities, Victoria’s capital has multiple faces depending on where you situate yourself. 

Guildford Lane. Photo by Kaylene Tyler
Bob Morely as Peter and Bojana Novakovic as Clara in Love Me S2. Photo by Ben King

For DOP Ed Goldner, there was no shortage of establishing drone shots to showcase Melbourne’s spectacular skylines. “The decision to approach our environments from an aerial perspective was adopted early in pre-production,” Ed said. “Using drone technology allowed us to really unlock some unique views of the city, whilst providing moments of breath. It also felt like the perfect tool to create the sense of a living city, where we happen to be following one group of people yet countless other stories are taking place around them.”

“We want it to feel like a contemporary city story, and to look like it could be any beautiful international city,”
– Alison Hurbert-Burns, Executive Producer, Binge

Drone footage from Love Me S2. Photo by Ed Goldner
Drone footage from Love Me S2. Photo by Ed Goldner

Melbourne doubling

Melbourne has doubled for cities across North America, Europe, and the UK in recent years, including Washington County in the upcoming Russell Crowe crime thriller, Sleeping Dogs – which shot entirely on location in Melbourne earlier this year. As well as the upcoming comedy from Academy Award-winning Director Peter Farrelly, Ricky Stanicky, which stars Zac Efron and occupied a Hamptons-style home in Melbourne’s suburb of Surrey Hills.

“It’s a fantastic place to work, you guys have really great writers, directors and crews. I would love to shoot stuff for the rest of my life here.”
– Zac Efron, outside the set of Ricky Stanicky

In 2021, the Netflix smash-hit series Clickbait shot most of the series in Melbourne, doubling the city for Oakland, California. And Shantaram, which premiered late last year on Apple TV+ starring Charlie Hunnam, shot extensively across Melbourne, which even doubled for the city of Mumbai. 

Shantaram trailer:

With competitive production attraction incentives, award-winning creative teams and highly skilled and experienced crews, Melbourne has everything you need for screen projects of every size.

Adding to Melbourne’s appeal as a tech and innovation city are the purpose-built stages at Docklands Studios Melbourne – which boast a brand-new super stage and the world’s largest virtual production Volume Screen right on the doorstep of the CBD and just 14 miles (22 kilometres) from the airport. Leading-edge post-production, visual effects, animation, and games studios are also within minutes of the centre of the city. 

VicScreen’s expert Production Support and Locations team can help pinpoint the perfect location for your next production, as well as assist with production support, local budgets, logistics advice, and facilitate introductions to production partners and experienced crew. They’ll also tell you where to get the best coffee!

For more information about filming in Melbourne and VicScreen’s incentives, contact:
Joe Brinkmann
Head of Incentives and Production Support
[email protected]