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Screen Production Industry Still On A Roll

Screen Production Industry Still On A Roll

The newly released results of the annual SPADA Screen Production Survey show industry activity has remained healthy despite the effects of the massive Rings project beginning to diminish.

“Rings is the biggest film project made anywhere in the world”, said SPADA chief executive Jane Wrightson. “Thus, as we have predicted for two years, the cyclical nature of the industry sees several results trending down this year,” she said. However, comparing results to 1999, before Rings, shows that the screen industry has grown significantly during this time. “In addition”, said Wrightson, “the Rings factor masks new and additional investment obtained by NZ producers and line producers, much of which will come on stream for next year.”

Key results include company turnover exceeding $900m, over $100m higher than in 1999. Total production financing was $444m, one-third higher than in 1999 and the third-highest result since the survey began in 1994.

Total foreign exchange earnings topped $361m, more than double that in 1999 (and over $100m higher than exports of NZ wine). 21% of forex came from European funding sources. Increased television programme sales and investment also enhanced the forex result.

The first project backed by The Film Production Fund, Whale Rider, was the only film whose budget exceeded $5m which received some public funding. Four other films also exceeded this budget level (including Two Towers of course), all made by NZ producers purely with international and private investment. Six of the 11 domestically-produced feature films had budgets under $5m, most considerably less, meaning that most film producers continued to exist in the emerging/experimental/low budget shallows.

The benefits of production spending reach across the New Zealand economy. $205m was spent around the Auckland region and $122m around Wellington, with a further $28m around Queenstown, $11m around Christchurch, $11m around Dunedin and over $9m in other New Zealand locations.

Copies of the survey can be purchased from SPADA. See attached fact sheet. -ends-


Among the results included in the SPADA survey are: Company turnover topped $923m, down from $1,159m but 13% higher than before Rings. Total production financing reached $444m, down from $572m but one-third higher than 1999. Foreign production financing ($277m, primarily from USA/Canada) makes up over 60% of total screen production financing. One third of the total production financing secured was for feature films. Half of total production financing secured was for television programmes. Total foreign exchange earnings reached $361m, down from $486m but nearly 2.5 times higher than in 1999. The majority of this foreign exchange continues to come from investment in productions compared to sales of completed programmes. Investment from Europe in television drama production doubled to $27m. Sales of completed films or television projects overseas increased again to $44m, up from $34m in 2001 and $18m in 2000.

Domestic funding and investment increased to $167m, the highest level recorded by the survey to date. This is primarily due to increased NZ On Air funding and an improved response rate from the commercials production sector.

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