Future of NZ film lies in Asia
NZ filmmakers are increasingly looking to Asia to fill the void left by the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Annual production financing in NZ soared from $146 to $402 million between 1998 and 2001, chiefly as a result of the Rings films. After shooting was completed, production financing dropped 56 percent to just $176 million in 2004. Today, NZ filmmakers are just as likely to get work from Korea, Hong Kong, China and Japan as they are from Hollywood. “I think everyone was very realistic that the Lord of the Rings was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” says Vicki Jackways of the Peter Jackson-owned Park Road Post film editing lab, which is currently editing the Chinese movie Big Water and is negotiating work on three more Asian films. In other major coups for the NZ industry, the Japanese samurai movie Dororo was recently shot in Methven, South Korean director Kim Sung-ho scouted the country for his movie Together, and Hong Kong mega-star John Woo is expected to spend more than $80 million in NZ on his ancient Chinese epic Red Cliff.