The Evening Post

February 28, 2000

Wellington Reaps Benefit From Rings
Post Reporter

The Lord of the Rings has put Wellington on the film-making map, Mayor Mark Blumsky says. Speaking from Los Angeles today, where he is attending a film location expo, Mr Blumsky said there had been strong interest in the $360 million Lord of the Rings project. "People are dying to find out more. But Lord of the Rings isn't the only film project creating interest. The script of Stickmen is also generating keen interest at the expo," he said. Stickmen, a $1.4 million production based on three pool-playing lads, is being filmed around Wellington. It is due to be released in December.

Mr Blumsky attended the three-day Location 2000 expo with Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey to promote New Zealand to several thousand film location and production managers. They also met the makers of the third Star Wars   "prequel" to try to convince them to film the movie in New Zealand.

Big  studios who visited the New Zealand expo stand included Columbia Tri-Star, Time Warner and Disney, and there was also interest from Britain, Japan and France, Mr Blumsky said. On Friday night, he attended a function for 300 film people at the New Zealand Consulate where promotional footage of Lord of the Rings was shown. Mr Blumsky said Wellington's potential as a movie-making destination had been hugely enhanced because it was now known as the home of the Lord of the Rings.