The Bay of Plenty Region recently hosted a group of eight Los Angeles based film studio executives who visited the region as part of a wider New Zealand screen ‘famil’ organized by film industry group, Screen Experience Trust NZ (SETNZ), in partnership with The New Zealand Film Commission and Air New Zealand.
Working with SETNZ Bay of Plenty Film facilitated and hosted the two day visit to the Bay. The first time visitors represented HBO, Netflix, Apple TV, Universal Studios, Annapurna Pictures, Legendary Television and Fremantle Media. In it’s second year, the focus of the SETNZ famil is to educate Hollywood executives on the extensive range of filming locations, infrastructure and experienced crew available for international projects here in New Zealand. In 2018 international productions brought $1.5 billion dollars into the New Zealand economy.
During their visit to the Bay of Plenty the executives were shown the Rotorua Redwoods, Waimangu Volcanic Valley, Kawerau Industrial District, Otarawairere Bay, Maketu Peninsula, Mount Maunganui and Whakaari (White Island). The executives were blown away (figuratively not literally) by Whakaari, and also by the wide range of amazing accessible locations available within a short travel time within the Bay.
One of the guests, Executive Vice President of Production at Fremantle Media, had this to say “New Zealand offers a unique array of landscapes that can almost double anywhere. This was eye opening to me, I knew of the physical beauty but wasn’t aware of how diverse the cities are. The depth of crew and facilities makes New Zealand an obvious choice for any TV series.”
Bay of Plenty Film CEO Anton Steel had great feedback directly from the group during the trip as well as from the New Zealand Film Commission and the SETNZ organizers regarding the tour of the Bay of Plenty Region. As a result of the tour Anton has had follow up meetings lined up in Los Angeles.
New Zealand as a country and the Bay of Plenty has definitely benefitted from the famil, with executives hoping to explore opportunities to bring productions here in the future.