Written and helmed by Sarah Spillane, Netflix’s ‘True Spirit’ is an incredible biopic inspired by the story of 16-year-old Jessica Watson, the youngest person to sail solo, non-stop, around the world on her 33-foot vessel within 212 days. She faced major challenges on her journey with the turbulent sea, heavy storms, and seven knockdowns. The film follows her adventures at sea, and Teagan Croft has beautifully portrayed Jessica bringing out her character, soul, and experiences for the screen. Watson herself worked closely with the production and acted as a consultant for the film.
Thanks to the brilliant performances from some of the popular stars in the Hollywood industry, including Teagan Croft, Alyla Browne, Anna Paquin, and others, the quality of the narrative is enhanced further. Moreover, the biopic film takes us through stormy waters amidst vast oceans. Thus, it is natural for you to wonder where ‘True Spirit’ is shot. Well, we have gathered all the necessary details about the same to get rid of your curiosities once and for all!
True Spirit Filming Locations
‘True Spirit’ was filmed entirely in Queensland, especially in Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise, and Oxenford. A few scenes of the biopic were also filmed around New South Wales, especially in Sydney. Principal photography of the adventurous biopic began at the end of July 2021 and was wrapped up within 44 days. Now, without further ado, let’s follow Watson as she sets out on her adventure of going “around the world in 212 days” and get a detailed account of all the specific sites that appear in the Netflix film.
Gold Coast, Queensland
A few of the sequences of the Netflix film were shot in Gold Coast, Queensland. In an interview with Movie Web, the director Sarah Spillane talked about the film process and the difficulties the cast and crew faced while shooting the scenes. While talking about shooting the ocean scenes, which were shot at Surfers Paradise in Gold Coast, she mentioned that apart from her and the director of photography, almost all the actors, including the lead, Teagan Croft got seasick; hence they had to wrap up the open water scenes within two days.
Surfers Paradise Beach is well-known for its skyline of tall buildings and its golden beach, where a thriving market is held many times each week. Shops, cafés, and energetic nightclubs can be found along Cavill Avenue. With its SkyPoint viewing deck, the towering Q1 skyscraper provides panoramic views of the city and the ocean.
The majority of the scenes, including the turmoil at sea and the storms, were shot at the Village Roadshow Studios in Oxenford, Queensland. Stages 5 and 8 and the Main Tank were used to film different sequences. Spillane said, “It became very clear to me, early on in the pre-production process, that we’d have to build replicas, rigs, gimbals, and all the rest of it. So we could control every aspect of what the boat was doing at any particular moment. We shot a number of sequences on a gigantic water tank that they have at the Village Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast of Australia.”
She added, “It was interesting because the water tank is great for calm sequences. When it came to the epic storms, if we’re going to replace water around the boat, then we might as well replace all the water. We ended up building a couple of enormous rigs in the parking lot of the studio. They looked like a giant theme park ride. The boat is on a gimbal moving around. I think Teagan loved it. It was like being in a theme park every day for her. It was a lot of fun.”
In the same interview, Spillane spoke about her favorite moments. She said, “The best day for me was filming the Starman sequence, for obvious reasons. It features a cover of the David Bowie song Starman. It’s the only fantasy sequence in the movie. She’s coming out of a lull, no wind, period. She’s sailing in very still water. The stars are perfectly reflecting on the ocean. It looks like she’s sailing through space. We shot that on the water tank at night. We had the song covered by Sarah Blackstone, an Australian vocalist. We had it blasting through the speakers. I kid you not; half the crew was in tears. It was so beautiful.”
Sydney, New South Wales
A few of the scenes of the biopic were also shot in Sydney, New South Wales. Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, is one of the biggest cities in Australia; best known for the Sydney Opera House, which is located right on the water and has a distinctive sail-like design. With the arched Harbour Bridge and renowned Royal Botanic Garden adjacent, the large Darling Harbour and the smaller Circular Quay port are centers of life along the water.
The Skywalk at Sydney Tower provides 360-degree views of the city and its suburbs, making it a great tourist attraction. Apart from ‘True Spirit,’ other productions filmed in Sydney include, ‘Thor: Love and Thunder,’ ‘Poker Face,’ ‘Mad Max: Fury Road,’ ‘The Matrix,’ and others.
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