Jetty built as Hollywood heads for Marlborough

A temporary jetty is being built for a scene in an upcoming DreamWorks Studios' movie being filmed in Marlborough.

The jetty was approved by the Marlborough District Council for A Light Between Oceans, which is being filmed in the region at an undisclosed location.

The film is a DreamWorks Studios' adaptation of a book by ML Stedman.

LBO Productions supervising location manager Jared Connon said they consulted the council, iwi authorities, Department of Conservation and Maritime New Zealand to ensure all aspects of the jetty were sound and any potential environmental impacts were assessed.

Marlborough had "opened its arms" to the production on so many levels, Connon said.

"Across the board the support and willingness to ensure a successful film shoot takes place has been a fantastic asset which the region should be immensely proud of."

They had to build a temporary jetty that looked like it was taken out of an "historian's picture book", he said.

The film is about a young lighthouse keeper and his wife who live on a remote island off Western Australia following World War I.

They find a boat washed ashore carrying a dead man and a two-year-old child. The couple decide they will raise the child as their own but the consequences of their choice are devastating.

The movie is in pre-production and filming is due to start in Marlborough at the end of the month.

The crew were trying to create a sense of isolation combined with the beauty of an untouched environment, Connon said.

"Shooting period films are always tricky as we have to make sure there are no signs in our immediate environment that indicate anything but the 1920's, which can be a tough job at times."

This week, film-makers were also scoping sites in Central Otago and Dunedin for scenes. Connon said it was crucial to keep the locations confidential to ensure the project was completed on time.

"As with any film project, there is a schedule and timeline that needs to be maintained, and any distraction to that schedule can result in costly delays."

A DreamWorks Studios' spokeswoman said the star-studded cast, including A-list actor and X-Men star Michael Fassbender and Oscar winner Rachel Weisz, would start arriving in the region over the next couple of weeks.

Auditions for the role of the young girl were held in Wellington in July and the part would be cast soon, she said.

The Marlborough Express