Written by on Jul 23, 2015. Posted in Incentive News

New Zealand tweaks filming incentive after year of boosted international shoots

New Zealand is to make its visual effects incentive more accessible to producers a year after the country’s overall filming incentive package was boosted. As an administrative change, Film New Zealand will be absorbed into the New Zealand Film Commission.

The country boosted its base filming incentive to 20% in mid-2014 as the Large Budget Screen Production Grant to increase New Zealand’s appeal as an international filming location.

Overseas interest in New Zealand dissipated after Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy wrapped and the country’s rivals were offering more generous filming incentives.

“We have seen a record year for international productions shooting in New Zealand including Walt Disney Pictures’ Pete’s Dragon, Dreamworks’ Light Between Oceans, The Weinstein Company’s Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon II, and Saban Brand’s Power Rangers,” said New Zealand’s Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce.

“Several international studios have chosen to film here as a result of competitive factors like the incentive, our current exchange rate, our skilled workforce, and attractive shooting locations.”

As a result of a one-year review of the overall New Zealand Screen Production Grant (NZSPG), the qualifying spending threshold for the Post, Digital and Visual Effects Grant will be halved to NZD 500,000 (USD 335,000).

Wellington remains the film production centre of New Zealand and is home to Stone Street Studios, where James Cameron is scheduled to film three Avatar sequels. Almost 80% of New Zealand’s production revenue for 2014 was generated in Wellington, according to recent figures from Statistics New Zealand.

“We expect to see steep growth next financial year as the revamped government screen incentives begin to produce more project revenues, jobs and wider benefits from tourism and technology,” said Gerard Quinn, head of Grow Wellington, recently.

Auckland is established as a TV production hub and recently hosted MTV’s fantasy series Shannara at Auckland Film Studios (above).

(Image: Auckland Film Studios)


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