Third movie crew keen on Queenstown - NZ Press

Third movie crew keen on Queenstown
By Meaghan Miller
February 24, 2000 - NZ Press

Producers of a third large feature movie were interested in filming in the Queenstown area, a Film NZ spokesman said.

In the footsteps of The Vertical Limit due to finish filming in Queenstown next month, and The Lord of the Rings, returning to Queenstown in the winter to complete filming, Film New Zealand confirmed another production was signalling interest.

Manager Jane Gilbert said Film NZ had received a lot of inquiries.

During the past three months it had dealings with 20 production companies, all expressing an interest in Queenstown.

The Vertical Limit producer Lloyd Phillips told The Southland Times last week he was aware of another large movie production making noises about Queenstown.

He predicted with the release of The Vertical Limit in the American summer, interest in Queenstown and the South Island would increase.

Ms Gilbert confirmed Film NZ had had dealings with a large production company interested in making a feature film in the Queenstown area.

"Whether or not it gets picked up at the end in America is another matter," she said.

It was not unusual for Film NZ to deal with 300 inquiries a year.

While there had always been a considerable number of inquiries, she said there was no doubt with the combination of The Vertical Limit and Lord of the Rings interest would escalate.

Ms Gilbert said the inquiries about Queenstown and the South Island were from all types of productions, including some television series, segments for films being made elsewhere and some complete feature films.

It was hard to say which projects had "legs." All had to be treated seriously but the nature of the business was vulnerable.

"It's a step by step game," she said.

It was difficult to say what kind of calibre the feature films being discussed were.

"It's hard to ascertain a budget . . . people are very discreet . . . many are confidential," she said.

The Queenstown Lakes District Council last week passed policy making the council a "film-friendly" body.

Ms Gilbert said she was delighted with the council's policy, which Film NZ had been encouraging for some time.
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