'Power Rangers' defeated

By Alanah Eriksen, Alanah May Eriksen

A long-running US children's television series, which is filmed in New Zealand and employs local actors and production crew, is about to be dropped.

Since 2003, Disney-owned Power Rangers has been filmed in several spots around Auckland, including Vector Arena, Drury and Bethells Beach.

Its American production company, Ranger Productions, has a base in the Glen Eden Studio West buildings.

Filming for the 17th season, Power Rangers RPM, began in September and the 32 episodes are due to screen from today in several countries but not New Zealand.

It was cancelled here in 1993 when the Broadcasting Standards Authority deemed it too violent.

The production manager for the show, Sally Campbell, told the Weekend Herald that "at this stage we will not be shooting another season".

Several New Zealand actors have starred in one of the show's six New Zealand seasons, including Sunrise host Oliver Driver, Outrageous Fortune's Antonia Prebble, Go Girls' Anna Hutchison and former Shortland Street stars Miriama Smith, Katrina Devine and Tandi Wright.

Actor Charlie McDermott, who has done the voiceover work for the General Crunch character for the last three years, told the Weekend Herald he had not been told about the cancellation.

"It's a bit of a bummer. These big-budget American companies have got millions and they're using our studios. I'd say it would be the actors who lose out the least. It's all the camera guys, the sound, editing suites ...

"But [the Americans] are used to paying a lot more than they pay us, that's why they come here, their dollar goes a lot further. And they have it down pat. Once you've been here for a while you really refine your processes and make some money."

The Power Rangers contract is worth a substantial amount to post-production companies Digipost, which edits the video, and Inside Track, which produces all the sound effects.

- NZ Herald

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