Rotorua has been visited by Los Angeles-based film studio executives scouting the region for potential filming locations.
Eight executives representing heavyweights such as HBO, Netflix, Apple TV, Universal Studios, Annapurna Pictures, Legendary Television and Fremantle Media visited locations around Rotorua and the wider Bay of Plenty as part of a screen "famil" organised by film industry group Screen Experience Trust NZ in partnership with The New Zealand Film Commission and Air New Zealand.
Working with SETNZ, Bay of Plenty Film facilitated and hosted the two-day visit to the Bay of Plenty.
In its second year, the focus of the famil was to educate Hollywood executives on the extensive range of filming locations, infrastructure and experienced crew available for international projects here in New Zealand.
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In 2018 international productions brought $1.5 billion dollars into the New Zealand economy.
During their visit executives were shown the Rotorua Redwoods, Waimangu Volcanic Valley, Kawerau Industrial District, Otarawairere Bay, Maketu Peninsula, Mount Maunganui and Whakaari (White Island).
The executives said in a statement they were blown away (figuratively not literally) by Whakaari and also by the wide range of amazing accessible locations available within a short travel time within the Bay of Plenty.
An executive vice president of production at Fremantle Media, who did not want to be a named, said New Zealand offered a unique array of landscapes that could almost double anywhere.
"This was eye opening to me, I knew of the physical beauty but wasn't aware of how diverse the cities are. The depth of crew and facilities makes New Zealand an obvious choice for any TV series."
Bay of Plenty Film chief executive Anton Steel said he had great feedback directly from the group during the trip as well as from the New Zealand Film Commission and the SETNZ organisers regarding the tour of the Bay of Plenty Region.
As a result of the tour, Steel has had follow up meetings lined up in Los Angeles.