December 23, 2018

Plans to film $1 billion Lord of the Rings television series in NZ under threat

The Government has held a crisis meeting with Amazon TV executives as the network threatens to pull plans to film the Lord of the Rings series in New Zealand.

At US$1 billion (NZ$1.49 billion), it is touted as the most expensive television series in history – and accordingly, the most lucrative for the country where it is filmed. 

Earlier this year, production company boss Jennifer Salke confirmed New Zealand was being considered as the location – but now, that's in jeopardy.

Amazon executives met this week with Economic Development Minister David Parker to express their concerns about a lack of studio capacity in Auckland.  Both parties were tight-lipped about the high stakes negotiations, when contacted this weekend. 

December 07, 2018

Wellington film industry added $260m to economy in 2017, provided 2500 jobs - report

Wellington has long been regarded as a film-making mecca, and now new figures show just how big the benefits are for the capital.

Government subsidies may have cost New Zealand taxpayers $550m since 2010, but a report prepared by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research shows film-making has created thousands of jobs in the region, and added an estimated $260 million to the capital's economy last year alone.

The report found that in 2017 the business of bringing things to the silver screen provided about 2500 jobs and generated $705m in revenue for Wellington-based film-making businesses.

Nearly two-thirds of that - $449m - comes from post-production work....

November 23, 2018

New Zealand’s film industry has always been about location, location, location, but what about everything else? What about all the stuff that comes after filming? Jihee Junn talks to Department of Post’s Katie Hinsen at the company’s new state-of-the-art headquarters about her mission to make Auckland into a post-production powerhouse....

November 15, 2018

The winners of three prestigious annual SPADA (Screen Production and Development Association) Screen Industry Awards for 2018 were announced at the 26th Annual SPADA Conference in Wellington on Thursday 15 November...

September 22, 2018

Kiwi film studios booked 'chocka' by Hollywood and US streaming giants

The cinematic home of Middle-earth is alive with the hustle and ambition of Hollywood film crews, as Kiwi studios enjoy their busiest period since the heady days of Peter Jackson's Tolkien epics.

After a lull in the post-Lord Of The Rings heyday of the noughties, New Zealand film studios are beset by American streaming platforms and silver screen production companies.....

July 05, 2018

Want to scrap Hollywood tax breaks? Fine, but RIP to our local film industry

By Rajneel Singh  The Spinoff 4 July

Want New Zealand to continue to keep making good local film and TV? Then it’s time to get over rebates and subsidies for big Hollywood productions, writes film industry professional Rajneel Singh.

People who have known me over the years know that I’ve never exactly lived the Hollywood lifestyle.

I am single, I still live in a flat with four other people, I have no dependents and still, year after year, my friends have heard me talk about my dealings with WINZ or joke about living near or, in some years, below the poverty line. That is despite the decade-and-a-bit that I have worked full-time in the film, television, corporate and web-video industry. No, I do not work on big-budget international productions, but I still somehow make ends meet as a solo person hovering around that definition of “not particularly well-off”......