Press Release – NZ Film
As the first movie in The Hobbit trilogy has its world premiere in Wellington today, Film New Zealand is saluting the work of hundreds of non-screen contributors to the project with a series of nationwide advertisements thanking the unsung heroes of the New Zealand screen industry.
Film New Zealand CEO Gisella Carr says the support given by hundreds of everyday New Zealanders to our film makers is pivotal to ensuring movies like The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), are made here. The film, released worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures and MGM, opens in New Zealand on December 12.
Gisella Carr says that if there was an award for ‘Best Supporting Country’ New Zealand would win hands down.
“There are hundreds of skilled people working outside the screen industry who were crucial to the production of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
“Today we are highlighting just a few of them, individuals, businesses and community groups like the Glenorchy Volunteer Fire Brigade and the entire population of gorgeous Otago town of Naseby,” she said.
Gisella Carr said the range of skills required to support a production with scale as large as The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, is incredible.
“We’re saying ‘thank you’ to people like the Canterbury weather planner, the resource consent expert from Ohope, the Queenstown based helicopter pilot, the Wellington sushi maker, the digger driver and his wife in the King Country – and of course those wonderful folk who kept the crew fed and fuelled.”
Film New Zealand asked the filmmakers to help select these people who, Gisella Carr says, are representative of hundreds of others throughout the country, many of whom have been supporting film crews working in their communities for well over a decade.
She says the sheer magnitude of the impact a production has on a country like New Zealand is clearly illustrated by recently released statistics. These showed that due to the filming of The Hobbit:
• 99 sets were built
• 6750 domestic flights were taken
• 19 commercial properties were leased long term
• 93,000 hotel bed nights were sold
• 1800 rental cars were hired
• 1650 work vehicles were used
• $380,000 was spent on coffee
• $9,180,000 was spent on set construction materials (with local suppliers)
• approximately 16,000 days were worked by New Zealand actors
• $1,450,000 was spent with local food suppliers
She says New Zealand is known as one of the most ‘film-friendly’ countries in the world.
The relationship is mutually beneficial, with screen production in New Zealand growing and now playing a significant role in the New Zealand’s economy. Last year New Zealand’s film and television industry brought in just under $3 billion.
“It’s this level of individual skill and community involvement that makes our country such a great place to make films and one of the reasons why we’ve risen to the top of the global industry.
The people who come here to make films and television shows are blown away by the positive culture we have towards film making in this country,’ she says.
Film New Zealand works with New Zealand’s major offshore customers including major Studios in the United States, to bring international film and television productions to this country.
“There is an incredible passion for filmmaking here, and it goes beyond the amazing skill and talent in the industry itself. Today’s World Premiere is also an opportunity to celebrate New Zealanders’ contribution to creating international movies.”
“We have been able to highlight these people with the support of our partners, Telecom and Fujitsu who are also proud IT supporters of the New Zealand screen industry.”