/News 18.04.23


Brisbane city streetscapes, as well as Gold Coast beaches and hinterland, provided the perfect backdrop to realise fantasy adventure feature film The Portable Door — streaming now on Stan in Australia, Sky Cinema in the UK, and MGM+ in the U.S.

The dazzling tale co-produced by The Jim Henson Company and Queensland’s Story Bridge Films (Black Site, Escape from Pretoria, Hotel Mumbai, Jungle) is based on the Tim Holt novel of the same name. Key cast includes Patrick Gibson and Sophie Wilde with Sam Neill and Christoph Waltz.

The production was helmed by Queensland-based creatives, Director Jeffrey Walker (Modern Family, Young Rock, and Fresh Off the Boat) and Production Designer Matthew Putland (Tidelands, Harrow, Predestination, San Andreas).

” Director Jeffrey Walker led an amazing cast and creative team to bring to life the high fantasy setting and unique humour of The Portable Door. An unexpected adventure filled with deeply funny moments; The Portable Door is poised to be the next Henson fan favourite. “
– Lisa Henson, Executive Producer and CEO, The Jim Henson Company

L–R Christoph Waltz, Patrick Gibson and Jeffrey Walker. Image courtesy of The Jim Henson Company and Story Bridge Films.
Filming goblins on the set of The Portable Door. Image courtesy of The Jim Henson Company and Story Bridge Films.

On location, Brisbane city served as an ideal substitute for modern-day London, showcasing varied architectural façades from slick contemporary to 1930s neo-classical. The platforms of Central Station seamlessly stood-in for the London Underground, while other downtown locations included the Queen Street Mall shopping district and the stately Treasury Brisbane. Situated just a short drive from the city centre, ornate 19th Century landmark The Old Museum was another feature location and is a popular choice for period shoots, including the upcoming Disney+ series, Nautilus.

Filming in Queen Street Mall in downtown Brisbane. L–R: Patrick Gibson, Sophie Wilde, Miranda Otto and Jeffrey Walker. Image courtesy of The Jim Henson Company and Story Bridge Films.
Brisbane’s Bank of New South Wales as J.W. Wells & Co. Images courtesy of The Jim Henson Company and Story Bridge Films (left) and Kgbo (right).
The Old Museum. Image courtesy of Kgbo.

“[Australia is] very close to my heart … it was a perfect fit … and it’s been the greatest experience that we could have hoped for. Honestly, it exceeded any expectation that we had coming to Australia again.”
– Blanca Lista, Producer, Senior Vice President of Feature Film Production, The Jim Henson Company

Scenic escapes through the magical ‘portable door’ were filmed at the Gold Coast’s stunning Miami Beach and the incredible waterfall of Natural Bridge at Springbrook National Park —idyllic romantic settings for the two protagonists Paul (Patrick Gibson) and Sophie (Sophie Wilde).

A scene from The Portable Door filmed at Miami Beach, Gold Coast. Image courtesy of The Jim Henson Company and Story Bridge Films.
Natural Bridge at Springbrook, Gold Coast. Image courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland.

“I can’t imagine anywhere in the world where we could have achieved so many incredible locations so efficiently. And even more importantly, the crew and facilities were all amazing … We are so very grateful to Screen Queensland and the Gold Coast city council, whose support every step of the way was a critical factor in making this film happen.”
– Todd Fellman, Producer & Managing Director, Story Bridge Films

The Portable Door was supported by the Australian Government through the Producer Offset rebate, through Queensland Government via Screen Queensland’s Production Attraction Strategy, which offers incentives for productions spending a minimum of AU$3.5 million in the state, in addition to a further incentive through the City of Gold Coast’s Screen Attraction Program, available to productions with a minimum spend of AU$750,000 within the region.

For more information about Queensland incentives, locations and studios, contact:
Naomi Wenck
Production Attraction Director, Screen Queensland
+61 7 3248 0500

Feature image: Filming on the set The Portable Door. Image courtesy of The Jim Henson Company and Story Bridge Films.