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Upper Hutt film studio ready next year

film studio upper Hutt

Report from RNZ
A huge film studio development in Upper Hutt is getting closer to completion.

Lane Street Studio, the $50 million dollar project at the foot of the Wallaceville Hills in Upper Hutt, will help the region meet its capacity issues in the creative sector, and international clients are knocking on the door.

Today, the half-complete studio opened its doors partially for a look inside.

Previously a data centre, the warehouse has been re-designed and custom-fit for physical and digital content creation, which has both pre- and post-production abilities. It includes a screening room, costume and wardrobe department, and a warehouse-sized space for whatever the client wants to use it for.

Two 17-metre-high, 2300m2 sound stages are under construction on the site.

Lane Street Studios chief executive Kristy Grant said the project was going to further Wellington’s international creative status.

“It’s quite substantial, it’s a whole infrastructure situation in terms of the screen precinct that we’re developing here. A facility like this takes a lot of supporting sectors to make sure it can operate,” she said.

Grant said there was a lot of interest in hiring the space for production, with many inquiries from overseas.

The benefits were likely to trickle down for New Zealand creative and local business sectors in the Wellington Region.

The production section in Wellington has been experiencing capacity issues, struggling to meet the demand of many overseas clients.

Scale Studios’ Joaquin Loyzaga believed it would make a big difference. “It’s going to change things for the Wellington region. To have this means we could have some more long-term projects instead of the short term once we often see” he said.

Lane Street Studios will become a third part of Wellington’s creative production group, with Peter Jackson’s studios in Miramar and Avalon Studio in Lower Hutt.

Screen Wellington general manager Nicci Boucher said there was a priority on vocational opportunities.

“Having more facilities to offer these productions, means that we can open up more work experience opportunities for students,” she said.