Mumbai: The New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) and Education New Zealand (ENZ) have partnered with Universal Pictures, MRC and Hungry City Limited on the upcoming film Mortal Engines as a part of the New Zealand Screen Production Grant 5% uplift. The large-scale production of Mortal Engines is of great significance for the New Zealand screen industry, with production taking place entirely in New Zealand.
The announcement comes as the teaser trailer for the film was released—revealing the first look at the epic feature film by New Zealand Director Christian Rivers and Producers Zane Weiner, Amanda Walker, Deborah Forte, Fran Walsh and Peter Jackson.
The filmmakers and studios chose New Zealand to film Mortal Engines due to New Zealand’s world class crew, talent, technicians and facilities.
Rivers also knew that Kiwis were exceptional world builders. He said: “It’s a testament to the skill, talent and imagination of New Zealand crews that they are able to completely fabricate these other worlds that have never been seen before. Our crews are extraordinary.”
Principal photography took place over 16 weeks in Wellington, New Zealand, earlier this year. The film was shot at Stone Street and Avalon Studios and at a few small local exterior locations. Post production is currently underway at Park Road Post Production with visual effects work being realised by Academy Award®-winning company Weta Digital.
More than 1,000 New Zealanders—including crew, cast and craftspeople—were contracted during principal photography. Nearly all of the Head of Departments were Kiwis, as were 98% of the crew. New Zealanders also feature heavily in front of the camera, with more than 70% of the 50 speaking roles going to New Zealanders.
“New Zealand offers some of the best and most talented crews we have worked with, said MRC. “We remain incredibly impressed by the collaborative atmosphere of the entire team and its unmatched ability to oversee a film adaptation of this magnitude.”
The MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) between the partners recognises the significant economic, cultural and industry benefits the Mortal Engines production will bring to New Zealand. This includes a detailed marketing partnership with NZFC and ENZ to promote New Zealand’s screen and education interests.
NZFC Chief Executive Dave Gibson noted the partnership not only provides considerable economic benefits but will also strengthen the perception of the New Zealand screen industry internationally.
“Mortal Engines gives us the opportunity to profile the New Zealand screen industry on the world stage—including our talented pool of actors, experienced crew, and facilities. In doing so, this showcases that New Zealand can cater for large scale full-service productions.”
ENZ Chief Executive Grant McPherson said the partnership with Mortal Engines and the NZFC provides an exceptional opportunity to build brand awareness of New Zealand as a high-quality education destination for international students. “This film was made in New Zealand because of the depth of talent and level of technical sophistication available here. This partnership allows us to showcase New Zealand’s education strengths in the creative arts—in which we are not just world-class but world-leading—and which offer our graduates global-career opportunities. It supports our brand positioning of New Zealand as a modern, dynamic and creative country with a lot to offer in the highly competitive international education market.”
He welcomed the opportunity to tell the stories of recent graduates and industry professionals who worked on Mortal Engines in ENZ’s global marketing programme. “This includes telling the story across our one-million-strong social communities, paid digital advertising programme, worldwide PR, events and other in-market activity.”
Mortal Engines opens worldwide in December 2018.