In 1998, Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh bought The Film Unit, the only post-production facility in New Zealand capable of processing 35mm film. They needed to have access to such a facility in making The Lord of the Rings. In 2003, they moved the company from Lower Hutt to Miramar (only about a block from the Weta Ltd. headquarters). On January 1, 2005, it was renamed Park Road Post and later added “Production.”
According to the Dominion Post, Park Road Post Production is now expanding its presence by partnering with Film New Zealand to open an office in Los Angeles. Film New Zealand is the government agency that works to attract producters from other countries to bring their film projects to New Zealand. According to the story:
The two groups are partners in an initiative that will see Park Road Post Production marketing head Vicki Jackways, working for Film New Zealand as well when she heads to Los Angeles from 2012.
“We have been travelling to LA for years, but they have been quick trips. What we want to do is turn that on its head,” Park Road Post Production general manager Cameron Harland said.
The past decade or so has seen a growing competition among countries to lure filmmakers from abroad, with financial incentives and the creation of sophisticated post-production facilities. Great Britain, Ireland, and Australia already have representatives in Los Angeles. But New Zealand gained a high profile with the Lord of the Rings film and others, like The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Avatar, and The Hobbit, that followed.
Jackways will head for Los Angeles in 2012, and the office will be open for a trial period of 18 months. As the Film New Zealand rep, she will also promote other film-related companies in the country.