Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) CEO David Strong said New Zealand’s international reputation continues to attract global interest, following this morning’s announcement that Amazon Studio’s 'The Lord of the Rings' series will film season two in the United Kingdom.
“We’re an easy country to do business in and New Zealanders have a reputation for being highly skilled, innovative and creative. Our locations are legendary, and we have competitive incentives and infrastructure. This coupled with the Government’s management of the COVID-19 pandemic positions us as an attractive partner for international productions.”
While New Zealand would have welcomed them back to our shores, he said they are a big business, and their decision is commercial and aligns with their strategy of UK expansion.
“In a year of Covid they brought in around NZ$650million and employed nearly 2000 New Zealanders”
Strong acknowledged the New Zealand cast and crew who worked on the series and in particular their dedication to excellence. “It’s a shame and I feel for everyone who has put their hearts into this production. Season two was expected to begin later in 2022, so our role now is to work hard to keep the Kiwi screen sector employed.”
Strong said their departure opens the door wider to others to come in and that the NZFC continues to work closely with Government on assisting these productions to shoot in New Zealand. “Other internationals have interest in shooting here, and that is an acknowledgement of our strengths.”
Amazon Studio confirmed that post-production on season one will continue in New Zealand through to June 2022 and that they will continue to explore and invest in New Zealand.
Strong said that through the production, crew have continued to innovate and work with leading film techniques and technologies, and they can now apply those to future New Zealand and international productions.
“Every production from a short film to a studio streamer is important to us and we will continue to nurture and support all filmmakers to create great shows.”