Peter Jackson urges New Zealand to be flexible with location filming incentives
Filmmaker Peter Jackson has urged the New Zealand Government to be flexible with location filming incentives in the coming years. He stressed that the hobbit trilogy came very close to being filmed in the UK partly because of a high-profile actors’ union dispute in 2010.
Warner Brothers did a comprehensive location scout throughout the UK, Jackson revealed in an interview with Radio New Zealand. In the end, however, the union dispute was settled and New Zealand made further financial and even legal concessions to appease the studio.
Jackson told the outlet: "[The studio] had sent a location scout around England and Scotland to take photos, and they literally had the script broken down into each scene ... There were pictures of the Scottish Highlands and forests in England and this and that; it was to convince us that we could easily just go over there and shoot the film."
The hobbit trilogy has received nearly NZD70 million in formal tax rebates. Jackson believes that being open to future incentive changes will be an important part of keeping the country globally competitive. His comments echo those of fellow filmmaker James Cameron, whose Avatar sequels will film partly in New Zealand.
[The studio] had sent a location scout around England and Scotland to take photos, and they literally had the script broken down into each scene.
John Key, New Zealand’s Prime Minister, was more cautious on the subject when he spoke to the outlet: “You can always have a race to the biggest incentive, but actually we've got to back ourselves on the quality of people we have, the flexibility of our crews, the nature of our scenery and the capacity for us to produce world-class movies. I don't think getting into some bidding war would help us.”
(Hobbit stills: James Fisher/Warner Brothers/MGM Pictures)
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