The scoop: Since “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy solidified New Zealand’s spot on the world location stage, the Kiwis have gotten serious about incentives. In midyear, the film-friendly government relaxed rules for the Large Budget Screen Production Grant for movies and boosted rebates to 15% from the previous 12.5% of local spend above NZ$15 million ($10 million). It also introduced grants with a rebate of 15% for local post-production and vfx spend.
Bonus: Because labor is largely deregulated, most film crews are treated as self-employed, so producers don’t have to pay for health and holiday benefits. There are no payroll taxes, and New Zealand staff are covered by a government-run no-fault accident insurance scheme.
Shot there: “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian,” directed by Andrew Adamson; “30 Days of Night,” David Slade; “The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep,” Jay Russell; “10,000 B.C.,” Roland Emmerich
Hot spot: The 20,000-square-foot soundstage at Henderson Valley Studios recently opened near the Waitakere wilderness area on the outskirts of Auckland.