Author of acclaimed novel The Luminaries chooses New Zealand for series filming
A miniseries based on Booker Prize-winning novel The Luminaries should film on location in New Zealand, the author has said. Eleanor Catton’s novel is set in 1866 during the Otago Gold Rush of southern New Zealand and she wants the drama adaptation to film in the country.
“I would insist on location, just because the flora and fauna in New Zealand is not anywhere else in the world and we have such great film facilities in New Zealand, so why not?” Catton told New Zealand’s Sunday Star-Times.
“Some things I wouldn't compromise on: it wouldn't make sense to be filmed anywhere else. I don't even know if I could put my foot down about that, but if I could, I will.”
New Zealand’s government introduced sweeping improvements to the country’s filming incentive programme in December 2013, partly to help secure James Cameron’s three Avatar sequels, which will be spending NZD500 million locally. Television production is now better incentivised too, with a much lower spending threshold triggering local support.
I would insist on location, just because the flora and fauna in New Zealand is not anywhere else in the world and we have such great film facilities in New Zealand, so why not?
Eleanor Catton, Author
Historical drama series Spartacus: Blood and Sand was among the most recent high-end TV productions to film in New Zealand. When Spartacus and Peter Jackson’s high-spending Hobbit trilogy finished, the country had problems attracting international interest on a similar scale. The country’s sweetened filming incentive programme should help change that.
Australia is New Zealand’s closest competitor and has attracted a succession of high-profile international features in recent months, but the country has its own long-term filming incentive issues that the government seems reluctant to address.
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