British filmmaker Peter Webber (Girl with a Pearl Earring) came to New Zealand in 2012 to film the epic feature Emperor starring Tommy Lee Jones and Matthew Fox.
The film takes place during the precarious days after the close of World War II, and follows General MacArthur (Tommy Lee Jones) and his military intelligence head, General Bonner Fellers (Matthew Fox), as they face decisions which will alter the course of history, in an epic story of love and honour.
Although the film is set in post-war Japan, all but two days were shot in New Zealand at 32 locations around Auckland, at Auckland Film Studios, and at locations in Wellington and Hamilton. It was post produced at Park Road Post Production.
What I hope to do is to transport you back in time to a place that has been ravaged beyond belief by war. To a destroyed, almost post-apocalyptic cityscape. And to take you on the journey of some people who had to make some really important historical decisions.
Days shooting in NZ
Total NZ cast and crew
Emperor was produced by Yoko Narahashi (The Last Samurai), Gary Foster (Ghost Rider, Daredevil, Sleepless in Seattle, The Soloist), Eugene Nomura (Tajomaru, Surely Some Day) and Russ Krasnoff (The Soloist), and is a co-production by Fellers Film and Krasnoff/Foster Entertainment.
Emperor producers Yoko, Gary, and Eugene
Composer Alex Heffes
Alex Heffes (Touching the Void, The First Grader, The Last King of Scotland), recorded the film score for Emperor with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra at the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington.
I've worked with orchestras all around the world, and this is a unique experience, it's a working symphony orchestra, not a session orchestra... That makes it a really gratifying experience for me, because I don't have to work hard to get the creative response I want, it just sounds great.
A morning with Peter Webber
Location Shoot: Auckland
Take a look behind the scenes of Emperor and see how Auckland was transformed into post-WWII Japan.
Location Shoot: Massey University
Massey University was a key location, doubling as The Dai-Ichi Seimei Building, General Douglas MacArthur's (Tommy Lee Jones) Japanese headquarters. Take a look behind the scenes.
Take a look at some of the scenes from Emperor.