Friday, 1 February 2008
Fox Studios has approval from the Department of Labour to store tonnes of explosives in the Queenstown Fun Centre, which houses an ice rink, but the use of the building for this purpose violates the lease with owner Queenstown Lakes District Council, Radio New Zealand reported.
Council chief executive Duncan Field said he was disappointed the film company had ignored council instructions. Fox Studios said its production team was storing all items correctly and when concerns were raised some items were relocated.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the fourth movie in the series, is scheduled for release in America in May 2009. Details of the film's timetable and shooting locations have been the subject of speculation. Locations are expected to include Queenstown, Deerpark Heights, Skippers Canyon, Glenorchy and Milford Sound.
The use of the centre has already been controversial. Local ice hockey players will have to practise elsewhere for up to three months because the production team is using the centre.
A planned training camp in Queenstown for February had to be moved to Christchurch. Ten Queenstown ice hockey players are vying for selection in the New Zealand ice hockey team to compete in the division 2 world championships in Australia in April.
Shooting is about to get underway in the South Island, for the highly anticipated X-Men movie, Wolverine.
Filming will take place around Queenstown and Dunedin over the next six weeks, but it seems it is taking more than just impressive scenery to attract movie producers down under.
The Queenstown film office is joining together with other regions to offer producers more than just mountains and lakes.
“It sort of makes it a one-stop through Queenstown,” Kevin Jennings from Film Queenstown said. “And then we can put them onto some of the other regions which might have a coastline, or barren hillsides, tussocks, clay cliffs or small towns.”
Last year’s vampire flick Perfect Creature chose Oamaru and Dunedin to achieve its dark gothic look.
Dutch film Bride Flight also shot in the two southern cities late last year, after struggling to find period locations further north.
International filmmakers also employ many local workers and say shooting down under is like a bit of a holiday.
But while films are perceived as the glamour projects, the Queenstown chairman of the Film Technican’s Guild says it is the overseas advertisements that often appeal to crew.
“The commercials are for me, more of the glamour shots,” Joshua Dunn from the Film Technician’s Guild said. “More helicopters, more rushing around, more crazy hours, more unpredictable locations. But film once it’s cranking along, is a bit more of a big machine.”
A machine that is expected to continue to grow, with at least three more film projects rumoured to be heading south over the coming year.
Wednesday, 30 January 2008
Smit-McPhee joins Mortensen, Theron in McCarthy adaptation.
Kodi Smit-McPhee -- the 11-year-old Australian actor who will make American audiences' acquaintances as young Logan in X-Men Origins: Wolverine -- has joined the cast of The Road.
As reported by IGN Movies (via Australia's Daily Telegraph), Smit-McPhee will play the son of Viggo Mortensen's character in the Joe Hillcoat-directed adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's Pulitzer-winning novel. The young actor is already familiar to Australian audiences, thanks to his role as Eric Bana's son in Romulus, My Father.
IGN goes on to report (via The Pittsburgh Business Times) that The Road is kicking off an eight-week Pittsburgh shoot next month, and adds that Guy Pearce and Robert Duvall have been added to the cast. Since Mortensen and Smit-McPhee's characters are almost exclusively the focus of the book, IGN speculates that Duvall and Pearce -- along with another recently added cast member, Charlize Theron -- will be seen in flashback.
NewstalkZB is reporting that X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which is being filmed in Queenstown, will now wrap in April instead of March:
The company making the $100 million blockbuster, Woz Productions, has applied to vary their resource consent. It wants to extend their filming period from March to April, as well as double their helicopter movements from 10 to 40 each day.
Directed by Gavin Hood, the 20th Century Fox "X-Men" spin-off stars Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber and Kodi Smit-McPhee. It opens in theaters on May 1, 2009.