Film guide praises southern NZ

GRANT BRYANT IN QUEENSTOWN
Last updated 11:03 28/11/2012
J T Holmes
MARK GILLINGS/Supplied
American Extreme Skier J T Holmes undertakes a ski BASE jump at Earnslaw Burn, Glenorchy for the Go-Pro Hero3 brand launch TV commercial shot in Queenstown, Northland, the Central Plateau, Tonga, Tahiti and San Francisco in August and September.

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New Zealand has been listed amongst the top 10 film-shoot locations for next year but Queenstown gets the biggest mention in global film handbook P3's list of production hotspots.

The freshly released 2013 guide lists well-trod United States locations such as New York, Utah, North Carolina and California, along with only a handful of non-US locations.

These include Abu Dhabi, London, Canada's British Columbia and New Zealand.

In the New Zealand listing, Auckland and Wellington are briefly mentioned but the real rave, and the bulk of the article's space, is saved for the southern South Island in general, and Queenstown and the Wakatipu in particular.

''Southern New Zealand is the epitome of film friendly while offering pristine alpine landscapes, stunning year round glaciers, majestic fiords and rocky crags as well as waterfalls, rivers, beaches, farms, vineyards and historic towns,'' the guide says.

''Film Otago Southland has a long history of handling large-scale international TV commercials and feature films, and over the last three decades has grown into a world class production location with fantastic infrastructure.''

Winter shoots were easy because of easily accessed, relatively low-altitude mountains, which meant ''crew members were not afflicted with altitude issues.''

Queenstown's extensive crew and equipment specialists were also praised as comprehensive and being able to provide everything from all-terrain catering vehicles to specialised gyro-stabilised helicopter camera mounts.

''All services are locally based, removing any time and cost issues.''

Film Otago Southland executive manager, Queenstown-based Kevin ''KJ'' Jennings said the prestigious guidebook listing was the result of many long-term relationships, and constant work in raising New Zealand's international film profile.

''While P3 staff were here, I took them to the final of the Rugby World Cup at Harry's Pool Bar (in Queenstown) and they still say its one of the most memorable nights of their lives," Mr Jennings said.

"It's very gratifying that the visit has resulted in a listing that contains such high praise for our region, but this is a nationally significant listing which showcases the entire kiwi film industry.''

A recent example of the southern region's filming versatility is a TV commercial launching the Go-Pro Hero3 camera shot in and around Queenstown, as well as other locations, through Queenstown based production company MAP Productions.

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The clip has already had almost 11.5 million YouTube views (scroll down to view video).

MAP Productions New Zealand line producer Pip Gillings said many breathtaking and varied locations were within easy reach and local crew members from helicopter pilots to safety experts were world leaders in their fields.

Click here to watch the Go-Pro Hero3 camera launch shot in and around Queenstown, New Zealand, Tonga, Tahiti and San Francisco, and a selection of foreign TV commercials recently shot in Queenstown and Central Otago.

Click here to read the ‘‘Exploring New Zealand’s Southland’’ blog by global film handbook P3’s Photo Editor.

- The Southland Times

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