Film set on Old Quad

Friday, 2 May, 2014


The Old Quad has been turned into a film set for today. A scene from Hollywood film The Moon and the Sun is being filmed on location at the University of Melbourne.

The forthcoming thriller will feature Pierce Brosnan, William Hurt, Rachel Griffiths, Kaya Scodelario and Chinese actor Bing Bing Fan.

Kaya Scodelario and Rachel Griffiths are two of the stars on campus today (even though Griffiths isn’t listed on the IMDB page).

The set is dressed up to look like a Versailles abbey. The scene is on location at the university because Docklands Studios has been over-booked. However the rest of the filming will take place at Docklands.

Pia Emery is location manager for The Moon and the Sun. She has managed several productions shot on campus and around Melbourne.

She told Farrago the set took two days to build and will be taken down tomorrow.

“Sydney complains a lot that they don’t get the filming that Melbourne has. But Melbourne will always be the heart of filming in Australia because so much is shot on location,” she said.

“Anything can be done in a studio, but when you need to do location, you come to Melbourne. We offer the right looks, our crew are really good, and we’re so used to doing stuff with no money, we can make anything look good.”

The Chinese-American production tells the story of King Louis XIV’s quest for immortality.

The screenplay for the film is adapted from Vonda McIntyre’s sci-fi romance novel of the same name. Published in 1997, the book beat George R.R. Martin’s first novel A Game of Thrones for the Nebula Award for Best Science Fiction or Fantasy work.


Griffiths and Scodelario are the most recent in a long line of famous actors seen around the University. Since Mad Max first laid eyes on his iconic Pursuit Special in the university’s carpark, the Parkville campus has provided the backdrop to a number of local and international films.

Nicholas Cage played harried MIT Professor John Koestler alongside Rose Byrne in 2009’s Knowing, with the university standing in for MIT.

Mid-’90s breakout indie hit Love and Other Catastrophes was filmed all over the Parkville campus over a period of 16 days during the summer. It starred Alice Garner, Matthew Dyktynski and Matt Day. They may have been the only actors actually playing University of Melbourne students.