A $40,000 Community Support Grant has been awarded to archaeologist Karen Martin-Stone, of In Depth Archaeology Productions, to assist with developing a slate of TV projects, including Mega Beasts Australia.
The documentary will use the latest CGI and animatronics to recreate the ancient animals, and will include a spin-off “making of” series to explore the science and the artistry of creating true-to-life creatures.
project also includes a virtual reality experience, enabling the audience to get up close and personal with eight-million-year-old animals.
“The NT Government is pleased to support this fantastic project,” Chief Minister Adam Giles said.
“This proposal to create a documentary on significant scientific discoveries in the NT is a great example of our local screen industry proving yet again we have the skills, talent and intellect to develop a fine product.
“There is growing interest in the Alcoota fossil site, which is why the Government has allocated $3.97 million in the Budget to improve visitor amenities and safeguard the diggings.”
Ms Martin-Stone said thanks to government funding she’s been able to research the megafauna in more detail, write draft treatments and develop her pitch to broadcasters.
“We recently visited Alcoota to film the excavations there and interview MAGNT palaeontologist, Adam Yates,” she said.
“This footage will be used to pitch the project to national and international broadcasters, so we can reach as wide an audience as possible.”
Mr Giles said preliminary consultation has begun with traditional owners to improve facilities at Alcoota.
“Existing facilities are basic and undeveloped,” he said.
“The Budget allocation will enable upgrades including a raised boardwalk track, an interpretive shelter for a shaded rest stop and picnic facilities.
“This will enable visitors to safely observe the digging works and to learn about the significance of fossils located at the site.”
Mr Giles said the upgrades would encourage more tourists to visit sites along the Plenty Highway, with spin-off benefits for Alice Springs, Gemtree and national parks in the region.
NT Government media release