The red carpet could soon be rolling out in Hawke's Bay if Allister Whyte has his way.
The Napier man is on a mission to make Hawke's Bay the movie-making capital of New Zealand and all is going to plan.
As creative director of the CornEvil maze which runs on Friday nights at a property in Longlands, near Hastings, Allister has had the chance to impress the movie world - and that he has done.
But a job offer from the Weta Workshop in Wellington was not enough to lure Allister away from Hawke's Bay. His Evil CornEvil character has been snapped up by the Auckland and Marton mazes and other mazes around New Zealand are showing interest.
The gory character was Allister's idea when Cal Huddleston employed him to help improve the maze last year.
"When the other mazes asked me to do it I had no idea how, so I've had to step up my game," Allister said.
Allister first went through the haunted maze as a visitor and saw potential.
"I remember saying to my friends 'do you know what I would do with this?', but I just didn't know it was going to happen," he said.
Since then Allister has turned the maze around. He has given it a theme, a pre-movie to explain why the characters are in the maze and is now planning on making ads for the Amazing Maze'n Maize's national website.
"Usually this kind of thing comes from head office and we have to follow suit so Hastings is leading the way," he said.
The Amazing Maze and CornEvil is a franchise business with four mazes around the country.
The maze's garage, out the back of owner Cal's home on Longlands Road, has been transformed into a digital workshop with the pre-movie being filmed there and an assembly line of Evil CornEvils at different stages of production.
"People always think they have to run off to another town to do multimedia," Allister said.
"It's a shame there is no drama school at EIT now and people are going to film school in Wellington where they don't do a lot of practical work. You have to get hands-on experience behind the camera."
The calibre is still high though.
"I'm finding a lot of kids giving me their DVDs they have made and I go 'Oh my, I have to catch up'," Allister said. "A lot of people are really media savvy now and people are more into the web than ever before."
That's why Allister decided to create adverts for the internet site.
Eventually visitors to the site will be able to choose a virtual door to watch different ads.
"If you're going to get customers you have to think like the customer," he said.
Making the maze scary has been relatively cheap, Allister said.
The low-budget movie was made using clever camera angles and lighting tricks.
"I'm a big fan of smoke and mirrors. It's cheap and effective," Allister said. Allister studied drama and video at EIT and then taught special effects.
He recalls making his first movies on his dad's 8mm camera and his first special effect for a Central Hawke's Bay College school play.
His friends used to ask him why he was bothering doing multimedia work in Hawke's Bay but Allister is determined to get the industry to his hometown.
"Slowly the film industry has started coming here. "There's a huge opening for a film market in Hawke's Bay. All we need is an international airport."
"Everybody can now have a camera and a PC to edit on. There's no reason we can't make movies in Hawke's Bay." It's not only the maze and it's audience who have benefited. Allister said the production of props and characters has been a boost for local art supply and timber shops.
"And now with the movie and ads there are local actors in front of the camera."
A local punk band has asked Allister to make the masks for their stage performances and more and more Hawke's Bay musicians are trying to make their own music videos.
"This has lead to all that, so why stop now?" Allister said.