Movie costumes go to Random Films

Last updated 08:37 04/04/2014

GOING, GONE: Westside Studios director Robert Baldock with some of about 600 props up for sale with the closure of the business.

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Westside Studios' famed television and film prop collection has been saved at the last minute.

The proud new owner of the assortment, including items from Xena, Hercules and Dark Knight, is international production company Random Films.

Former studio directors Robert Baldock and Margie Petherick initially thought they would have to sell the hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of props piece by piece.

But Random Films, best known for funding movies such as Boy and The Pa Boys, stepped in at the eleventh hour.

Movie fans might be disappointed not to get their hands on some of the quirkier items, including five coffins, a lifesize gorilla, a ship's wheel, imitation guns, a spacesuit and a 300-year-old bible.

But Baldock and Petherick were delighted. "It's wonderful, " Petherick said yesterday. "I don't think it could have gone to a better company, who will be able to carry [Westside Studios] through into something a lot bigger than we would have ever dreamed of."

Many of Random Films' members had worked with the Shelly Bay-based Westside Studios through their film careers.

So the company was glad of the chance to snap it up, company creative producer Mark Westerby said.

"It was a bit sad to see such a icon looking to close its doors."

They would be keeping the collection for the business of prop hire and event planning in the capital, and would be relaunching in a few weeks, Westerby said.

"Especially a city like Wellington, that calls itself a film capital, needs a facility like this."

The purchase also comes with the announcement that Random Films will offer funding for three New Zealand movie projects this year.

The productions would now have access to the props collection, as well as other company facilities.

Westside Studios would reopen to the public next month, Westerby said.

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- Wellington


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