WHY: Diverse locations from mountains to seaside with crews that have benefited from years of international productions since “The Lord of the Rings” put it on the international filming map. Add to this world-class post, digital and special-effects facilities led by Peter Jackson’s Weta Digital (currently home to James Cameron’s envelope-pushing “Avatar”) and a favorable exchange rate, and you have a high-quality international locale.

Film New Zealand’s website carries full details of the country’s range of incentives. The Large Budget Screen Production (LBSP) and Post-production/ Digital/Visual Effects (PDV) grant has no cap when productions spend NZ$15 million ($9.4 million) for LBSP and NZ$3 million ($1.9 million) for PDV only.

The second lure is the new Screen Production Incentive Fund (SPIF), introduced in July to boost domestic feature and television production with significant New Zealand content. A New Zealand line producer or production manager who knows his or her way around can maximize use of local crew and cast, production services and facilities.

SHOT THERE: “Avatar,” “Outrageous Fortune,” “Underworld: Rise of the Lycans”

HOT SPOT: The soundstage at Henderson Valley Studios in Auckland opened late last year and is being used for “Legend of the Seeker,” a Disney/ ABC skein being produced by Ghost House Pictures.


Film New Zealand: filmnz.com