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Filming in New Zealand

For the latest coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions and regulations, please visit the New Zealand Film Commission's response page.

Some film cast, crew and associated travellers were allowed in to New Zealand during the pandemic which resulted in seven major productions restarting, including Amazon's Lord of the Rings and the upcoming Avatar sequel.

New Zealand reels in big budget features and high-end drama through its generous incentives, expert crews, and facilities throughout the country and its stunning locations.

The crew base has a high level of skills including award winning HOD's. There are soundstages, studios and pop-up spaces throughout the country and locations range from scenic countryside to dramatic coastlines, volcanic regions, and other worldly settings.

Recent productions to make use of the infastructure include BBC drama The Luminaries, Disney's live action Mulan, which doubled the country for China, and The Meg which used its marine locations. Currently, Amazon are shooting the Lord of the Rings TV series in the country.

The 20% baseline grant provides up to NZ25 million, and is thereafter calculated at 18%. If a production can demonstrate significant economic benefits to New Zealand they may be invited to apply for the 5% uplift. The VFX and post production sector is one of New Zealand's biggest drawing cards having worked on production such as Mortal Engine and Alita: Battle Angel.

There’s incredible opportunity in New Zealand: you go on one stretch of road and you’re in Scotland and you go on another stretch of road and you’re in Ireland, then another and you’re in Devon in the UK.

Iain Canning, Producer on Slow West

Climate

The north of New Zealand is sub-tropical and the south is temperate. The warmest months are December, January and February when average maximum temperatures range between 20C and 30C. The coldest months are June, July and August when average minimum temperatures range between 10C and 15C.

New Zealand experiences four distinct seasons with spring blossoms, golden autumns, serene summers and winter snows. New Zealand seasons are the reverse of those in the northern hemisphere. Crop harvests are generally between December and March.

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