Film Industry in New Zealand

Despite the fact that the film industry in New Zealand is young, it is strong and in a fast paced growth spurt. Until the Lord of the Rings trilogy started filming here, movie production in New Zealand was an industry with little interest and little to no profit. Peter Jackson is the producer that turned that all around. Now with the Lord of the Rings movies he has brought jobs to New Zealand and a sense of pride in the movie industry here. In fact, since the Lord of the Ring movies, New Zealand has seen an 8% increase in tourism which has helped boost the economy and provide jobs for numerous people, like our Lord of the Rings tour guides. Jackson’s other films that have brought media fame to New Zealand include King Kong and Avatar. When our class visited Weta Cave, we got to see just how some of the animations are made for these remarkable movies. I had no idea how much prep work goes into making each scene in a movie. It is truly amazing to see people carving out scene pieces and creating mindblowing animations on a computer. What once was a very tedious hands on process has become a very technology driven industry. In fact, these film changes can be seen in the Lord of the Rings movies. The first Lord of the Rings movies were shot outside amongst New Zealands beautiful mountainous landscape, however, the later ones in the trilogy and the most recent Hobbit were made using computer made backdrops instead of a natural setting as before. With this in mind, I wonder how this change in technology will affect the New Zealand film industry. New Zealands’s earliest movie successes arose from the use of the majestic local landscapes and that is still what draws film producers into New Zealand today to shoot a film. This could be concerning if it is cut out by green screens and computer technology and leaves the future of New Zealand produced film in a bit of a tight position.

-Kacy Nichols


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