Taylor-backed series to showcase NZ

Last updated 09:08 19/12/2012
Richard Taylor
KENT BLECHYNDEN/Fairfax NZ
Sir Richard Taylor says his company Pukeko Pictures' new series, based on Kimberley Cutter's novel The Maid, is the "perfect fit" for everything New Zealand has to offer.

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Sir Richard Taylor's production company is making a television drama that will showcase New Zealand's scenery around the world.

Based on New York Times bestseller The Maid, the series is yet to be named, but has been described as a Game of Thrones-style drama.

Work is expected to begin in the new year.

Taylor is the co-founder of Pukeko Pictures, which recently teamed up with international distribution company FremantleMedia to work on the series.

He described the series as ''the perfect fit for everything New Zealand has to offer''.

''From our spectacular landscapes to the award-winning team here at Weta Workshop - an epic drama that can showcase everything from conceptual design through to manufacturing; utilising all the skills we have honed on our feature work."

The series will be written by Craig Pearce, whose credits include co-writing Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge, and the upcoming The Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire.

The Maid, by Kimberley Cutter, is the story of a peasant girl based on Joan of Arc who believes she is sent by God to save France.

When the partnership between Pukeko Pictures and FremantleMedia  was announced earlier this month, Taylor said a big-budget television series could prove the answer to the film industry's unpredictable spikes and troughs.

"Television offers a consistent workflow, where film tends to fluctuate a little bit more. Should we be successful in achieving episodic drama here in Wellington, it would keep a large number of people consistently employed in making something that goes out every week."

Taylor said Wellington had the infrastructure and "more than enough talent" to make television drama, as Cloud 9 productions had showed with series such as The Tribe.

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- The Dominion Post

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