New Zealand Screen Production Industry Comes Of Age
The world-wide success of The Lord of The Rings shows that New Zealand’s screen production industry now has a depth and
maturity that is capturing the film world’s attention, says Paul Voigt, Investment Manager - Creative at Investment New
Zealand, the national investment promotion agency.
“We’re now capable of staging international blockbusters which are founded on local New Zealand talent, creativity and
“Without the New Zealand input, The Lord of The Rings would not have been as successful – in fact, it probably couldn’t
have been made at all,” says Mr Voigt.
Peter Jackson is directing the trilogy and along with partner, Fran Walsh, and Phillipa Boyens also wrote the
screenplay. New Zealand companies were responsible for every aspect of the trilogy’s look, from the props and sets to
breathtaking special effects. New Zealand artisans and craftsmen custom made nearly all of the 30,000 props for the
Building on the international publicity, Investment New Zealand has been working with key entertainment media in the
United States, such as Variety and The Hollywood Reporter and Screen International in Britain, to promote New Zealand as
a place to make film and television productions.
In addition, Investment New Zealand, together with Trade New Zealand, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Tourism
New Zealand, are involved in seventeen events around the world, linked to the roll out of the The Lord of The Rings: The
“These events vary from country to country, but are extraordinary opportunities to showcase New Zealand internationally
to key people in the screen production (film and television) industry as well as wider contacts in the business and
tourism communities,” says Mr Voigt.
“It’s chance for us to showcase the best of our country to key movers and shakers around the world.
“We’re telling them that not only can New Zealand can make world-class movies but it also produces quality food and
wine, fashion and healthcare products,” says Mr Voigt.
One of Investment New Zealand’s key objectives is to build up the local industry by assisting it to forge beneficial
Mr Voigt points to the relationship with studios like Warner Bros, which helped bring The Last Samurai to New Zealand.
Is New Zealand prepared for an influx of big projects? Definitely, says Rob Arlidge, Creative Sector Specialist at
Industry New Zealand.
“Industry New Zealand is working with the local screen production industry to further strengthen its capability,” said
“We have to realise that behind our spectacular locations are our own, home-grown film production companies backed by
world-class post production facilities and an army of fresh, creative, animators and designers, producing state of the
art digital animation and cutting edge special effects,” said Mr Arlidge.
Mr Arlidge said that having those core advantages added to New Zealand’s ability to attract big budget features and
ensured the long-term health of the local screen production industry.
“Decision makers overseas are now looking for consistency and security as part of the whole package. We can market New
Zealand’s attractiveness as a complete screen production destination – not just locations, but skilled crews and a safe,
supportive, film friendly business environment.”
To increase the long-term prospects for the local screen production industry, Film New Zealand, along with Industry New
Zealand, the Economic Development Association of New Zealand (EDANZ) and Local Government New Zealand has just developed
the New Zealand Local Government Filming Protocol.
The protocol removes perceived barriers to filming locations all around New Zealand, encourages consistency and includes
local communities in the filming process.
Industry New Zealand has also undertaken an extensive capability study of the screen production industry in New Zealand.
The study, which includes input from New Zealand’s film and television community, addresses commercial issues that will
enable future growth. It will be released early in 2003.
To download the Variety magazine “The Lord of The Rings” supplement, please click on the following link: www.industrynz.govt.nz/invest-in-nz/
For more information on the programmes and services offered to the Screen Production Industry by Industry New Zealand
and Investment New Zealand: