Victoria delights in The Leftovers

Locations in Melbourne and regional Victoria feature strongly in the third and final series of HBO's cult classic The Leftovers.

The experience of working with Film Victoria was one of a kind. I hope to repeat it many more times in my career.

Damon Lindelof Co-creator and showrunner, The Leftovers

Produced for HBO by White Rabbit in association with Warner Bros. Television, the supernatural drama The Leftovers was filmed on location in Victoria from July to September 2016, making good use of the unique locations all close to Melbourne’s CBD and world class filming facilities at Docklands Studios. An all-star cast including Justin Theroux, Christopher Eccleston, Liv Tyler and Scott Glenn were able to enjoy Melbourne surrounds and vibrant food and arts culture, when the storylines moved the action to Australia.

Series co-creator and showrunner Damon Lindelof, Executive Producer Eugene Kelly and Director Mimi Leder led the charge in taking the production Down Under, with Lindelof saying Australia was always front of mind as a filming destination. 

“We had a sense of the different looks we wanted to get and we knew that we were going to be starting in a fairly urban environment and gradually getting out and moving into a more rural environment. We also wanted to have some flavor of what we thought of as the outback, which really only looks the way that it looks in Australia."

"Mimi Leder brought a team down with the Executive Producer Tom Spezialy. They travelled to Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide to get a sense of what the different looks would be available, what the stages were like, what the crew base was going to be. I started hearing as soon as they got to Melbourne that it was really going to be the place that felt like it fit best with the show we had designed,” Lindelof said.


Executive Producer Eugene Kelly affirmed that Docklands Studios Melbourne  was a major drawcard for the production. “We used a couple of the stages, the construction workshops, the wardrobe/costume spaces and art department and production offices, which were all based in Docklands – this meant we had the ability to spread out. Docklands Studios was a big reason why Melbourne was our choice...I can only speak highly of our experience there.”

Outside of the studios, inner Melbourne areas of Brighton, Newport, Sandringham, Flemington and Fitzroy became the backdrop for many of the suburban sequences while Melbourne Museum, the State Library and RMIT University were also featured. Regional Victoria also saw filming activity with Mt Rothwell Biodiversity Centre in Little River and Clunes bringing to life the outback aspects of the series. 

The series brought together experienced local crews with a great depth of talent and strong work ethic. “The Australian crew have this unique blend of not taking themselves too seriously but taking the work incredibly seriously and I feel that they also work with great speed," said Lindelof. "It really infused the work with a nice sense of energy and it’s nice to not shoot until three in the morning."

"We never heard ‘no’ and I think that we just learned a lot about how to optimize the incredible sort of power and spectrum available to us in this very narrow range of miles. I never cease to be amazed by the fact that we were based out of Melbourne but were able to get so many unique looks.“

Film Victoria landed the star-studded HBO drama series through its on ground support and attractive production incentive program backed by the Victorian Government.

Film Victoria’s CEO Jenni Tosi said “We were delighted to welcome Eugene Kelly back to Melbourne and it was fabulous to have him and HBO endorse the creative strengths of Victoria. More than 250 cast and crew were employed on the production and to know their work on this prestige series will be seen around the world is a real bonus.”

Lindelof expressed his delight at the positive experience he had saying “Every resource that we needed was basically afforded us by Film Victoria. I’d never been to Australia before this show. I really wrote this show so that I’d have an excuse to go. It’s really unlike any other place that I’ve ever been and I can’t wait to go back.”

The Leftovers Season Three commenced in the US on 16 April and in Australia on 20 April, screening on Foxtel.