Here’s an article sent in by Susan on the event upon the opening of Peter Jackson’s new film unit (located at Avalon, Lower Hutt), formerly the National Film Unit…
Home to Avalon
The Dominion, February 8, 2000
Jackson’s WingNut Films bought the former National Film Unit from Television New Zealand amid fears that the film industry would otherwise have lost New Zealand’s only full post-production film processing laboratory.
The unit is said to be New Zealand’s and Australia’s only one-stop post-production lab offering a 16-millimetre and 35-millimetre laboratory, and sound production. It is estimated to be worth between $1 million and $3 million.
Miss Clark said the industry still 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,” she said. “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 industry.” The fund would help new filmmakers to go on to make more films with bigger budgets.”
“The fund would . . . provide a bridge between subsidised, low-budget first films and fully commercial productions.”
The economic benefits of a strong film industry were obvious but there were also cultural spinoffs in New Zealanders seeing their own stories on screen, Miss Clark said.
The opening was at?ended by film and broadcasting industry figures including the Lord Of The Rings production crew and producers of the television series The Tribe.
The opening was held around a pool which has long been a feature of the film unit’s courtyard. The disused staff pool was cleaned up specially for the event.