Wellington screen capital gets set to grow

Wellington still remains the country’s film capital, with businesses in the region earning $645 million from feature film revenue in the last financial year.

The capital’s share of post-production and digital effects work has also increased with $481 million earned in post-production, 82 per cent of the country’s total post production share according to Statistics New Zealand’s 2014 Screen Industry Survey.

Regional development agency, Grow Wellington expects a promising 2015 with screen activity in the Wellington region expected to rise.

 “2015 looks to be a cracker,” says Gerard Quinn, Grow Wellington CEO. “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.”

The increased incentives may be a contributing factor in getting more international productions to the region. In December 2013, the Government announced changes to the structure and the level of support for international and New Zealand film and television productions to ensure the further development of New Zealand’s screen industry.

This year, international co-productions such as Disney’s Pete’s Dragon, Legendary Pictures’ Krampus, ITV/Pukeo Pictures, Thunderbirds, as well as many New Zealand-based projects are already making 2015 a successful one for the region.

The new incentive offers a 20% grant for international productions and a 40% grant for New Zealand productions with a wider range qualifying.

Yet with the growth in revenue for businesses and increases in post-production, the survey showed a fall in sector revenues and jobs nationally.

“This reflects recent nationwide industry volatility,” says Quinn.

Even though Wellington’s statistics for 2014 show a fall in production and post-production revenue from previous years, Quinn says they are still impressive.

“The Wellington region has weathered the cycle well and the diverse activities of the screen businesses we have here has ensured their ongoing success.”

The number of completed co-productions increased from 60 in 2013 to 79 in 2014, highlighting the importance of partnerships between New Zealand producers in the key markets of Asia, Australia, North America and Europe.

Grow Wellington’s screen strategy focuses on attracting investment, talent and fee for service projects to the region, as well as providing businesses and producers that are already here with support and assistance.

“This enables our screen industry to grow, building scale and creating more jobs. We help businesses and producers to access markets, international investment and partnerships and thus build sustainable businesses.