Today’s ‘Dominion’ newspaper has a nice picture of Peter Jackson chatting to the Prime Minister. The occasion is a party being thrown to celebrate the opening of Jackson’s new film unit at Avalon, near Wellington. The film production crew also attended, as did the producers and crew of the TV series “The Tribe” which is also made there; also invited were film and broadcasting industry figures.
The National Film Unit used to belong to Television New Zealand, and is the only full post-production film processing laboratory in the country, and is said to be “the only one-stop post-production lab offering a 16-millimetre and 35-millimetre laboratory and sound production” in NZ and Australia.
The PM said the industry had untapped potential.”I’m sure that in the future, as in the past, some form of government support and facilitation is going to be needed. That’s why we’ve said we want to work with the Film Commission and other relevant players to investigate the establishment of a film development fund to attract more investment into the country.”
I also heard a soundbyte from Radio New Zealand covering the same event. Peter Jackson arrived by helicopter, and was interviewed. He said that in such a huge undertaking, three films at once, small problems had a way of snowballing. Or at least, that’s what I think he was trying to say; he’s one of those people that sound like their mind is racing way ahead of their tongue. He also said that filming was going very well and the actors were turning in great performances.
The PM talked more about finding govt. support for NZ film-makers onto their second or third project. Jackson and other local producers/directors have pointed out that there is a need for that. Jackson is one of the only directors to stay in NZ after ‘making it’ as a successful film-maker; usually there isn’t the funding available to produce larger films here, so people tend to go overseas as soon as they’ve had any success.