Hawke's Bay over Hollywood? In a blockbuster movie-making era that is being ravaged by Covid-19, suddenly it doesn't sound so impossible.
The climate's similar, there's decent infrastructure and the scenery is beautiful and varied.
And Eastern Screen Alliance (ESA), which started the ball rolling to pitch for the region getting a slice of the international film action even before the pandemic, sees an opening.
Manager Patrick Sherratt said while other country's screen industries are shut down, New Zealand is open for business.
International film and television production crews are fast booking out production studios in Wellington and Auckland, he says.
It means that regional New Zealand has the opportunity to be the home of the next Avatar - whose crew are already in the country working on a sequel - or Lord of the Rings.
"The timing is perfect," Sherratt said.
Hawke's Bay was "naturally positioned" as a screening location - the weather, accommodation options, the food and wine industry, industry professionals already in the area and the diversity of Hawke's Bay's locations were unparalled, he said.
Sherratt believes the region is comparable to California.
He's confident that not just national but also international productions from the likes of Netflix and Disney could be a "very real possibility".
A big budget production would provide between 300 and 500 jobs as well as helping to boost local businesses, Sherratt said.
Statistics New Zealand 2017-2018 New Zealand Screen Industry Survey shows screen industry revenue for the year was $3.3 billion.
An Auckland company is exploring the opportunity for production studios in the region, he said.
If production studios are built, Sherratt anticipates international demand could begin next year.
As well as an international industry, ESA wants to continue to tell local stories and new infrastructure could also increase these.
This Town, a movie by local David White, which was filmed in Central Hawke's Bay and premieres in August, is an example.
ESA will be discussing screen production in Hawke's Bay at a fundraising screening of This Town at Toitoi – Hawke's Bay Arts and Events Centre on August 22.
Sherratt hopes the film will give people an example of what can be done in Hawke's Bay.
Eastern Screen Alliance is the interim Regional Film Office for Hawke's Bay. It is working on a business proposal to the region's councils to gain funding.
Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said "now is the time" for Hawke's Bay to become a film production destination and she is "excited about the opportunity to have a new industry come [to the region]".
"[ESA] has some very, very passionate dedicated and skilled people who are working to attract the industry to Hawke's Bay and we are there to support," she said.
Bringing the film industry to the region will also have a significant impact on the local economy.
Sherratt said films that showcase the region's landscapes will help bring more tourists who will want to see the filming locations.
A larger film industry would also provide more opportunity for industry professionals and students from EIT's screen production course.
Sherratt believes Hawke's Bay would be an ideal location for more industry professionals to settle and, given the Covid-19 pandemic, film industry expats are likely returning home.
ESA is looking to hear from anyone who is interested in being part of the film industry in Hawke's Bay. It can be contacted via easternscreen.com.