Not only is Wellington the coolest capital in the world but the city is also the place-to-be for cinema lovers in New Zealand
Miramar: Gateway to New Zealand’s most powerful film industry
The Miramar Peninsula is now world famous for sheltering the biggest part of kiwi film industry. Indeed, Sir Peter Jackson decided to settle down in the south-eastern end of Wellington, and he built there his world famous studios “Weta” (Weta originally stands for Wingnut Entertainment Technical Allusions). – By the way, if you’re still wondering what a weta is, here it is ! :
Back to our point: You fancy making a blockbuster? You’ll find, next to each other, all the facilities you need to shoot a superproduction! First, a studio space hire (Stone Street Studios) to welcome your whole crew, a film equipment rental company (Portsmouth Hire) to supply all your technical needs , then one of the world-leaders in all areas of visual effects productions (Weta Digital) will design our craziest dreams and last but not least, Weta Workshop will make them come true in manufacturing as many props and costumes as you wish.
Origins of Wellywood
The term “Wellywood” itself is controversial & slightly embarrassing. Let’s go back to 2010 when the Wellington Airport decided to erect a Hollywood-style that would represent the city informal name: conflation of Wellington and Hollywood. But not everybody agreed on this project: Wellington has too much identity and style to be reducted to a copy of a already-existed sign! everybody would tell you how important is the wind on the harbour city.
The project was so controversial that it took two years to erect a sign, and finally, after a poll organized by the Dominion Post, Wellington blowing in wind” that was chosen and erected in July 2012.
Wellington is much more than a film super production business
But the cinema in Wellington is much more than the image we’ve got when we arrive at the airport, facing a gigantic Gollum in the arrival hall. Apart from big studios, Wellington has got lots of movie theaters, surviving video rental stores (Aro Video is a real institution), a very active Film Society, a renowned Film School as well as a film department at the University. It’s also in the small capital that you can find the head office of the Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, the fantastic NZ Film Archive, treasure of the national visual and audio memory, and the offices of the main film festivals of NZ: the International Film Festival starting soon! (on the 24th of July in Wellington) and the always growing French Film Festival (next edition in summer 2016).
Even if it has been a shift in the cinema industry for some years now (more and more cinematic and TV locations are now based in Auckland; biggest city in NZ & business center of the country). Wellington is still in the competition, having a population of 200,000 only! (VS 1,300,000 for Auckland)
Let me present you another aspect of “Wellywood” – in a more intimate and may be more underground perspective!