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Film Location Specialists Come to Sth Is

19th October 2006

Canterbury & The West Coast To Host Influential Film Location Specialists

Two key U.S. screen professionals in the business of sourcing major film and television locations are visiting Canterbury and the West Coast for the next fortnight.

Ilt Jones comes straight from the US$100 million plus live-action feature Transformers, directed by Michael Bay (Pearl Harbor, The Island). He has also location managed feature film and television drama shoots in Europe, the UK and the US, such as the high profile series Big Love (Executive Produced by Tom Hanks and starring Bill Paxton) which recently aired on TV2.

Jones has previously worked with New Zealand director Andrew Niccol on the futuristic thriller Gattaca, starring Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman and additional feature film credits include Hellboy and After The Sunset plus the acclaimed television productions The X Files and Profiler.

Accompanying Jones is Michelle Latham, whose credits include blockbusters such as Mission: Impossible 3 and National Treasure with most recent feature films Spring Breakdown and Disturbia. Latham has also worked as Location Manager on the award-winning drama series House and Monk as well as CSI: Miami and The X-Files.

They were selected to take part in a familiarization of the regions by Canterbury & the West Coast Regional Film Office, Film South following meetings in Los Angeles over the past two years. "Ilt and Michelle are ideal targets for a visit of this nature because of their varied credits within both feature films and television drama series," explains Executive Director, Jacqui Wood. "This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the ease of access to our stunning scenery and film-friendly communities."

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Among the many locations to be visited is Flock Hill station, site of the climactic battle sequence in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe which Film South promoted to Andrew Adamson and his team bringing direct spend to the region of more than NZD$23 million.

Jones and Latham's visit is supported by Air New Zealand and the Christchurch Events Fund, a partnership between the council and Canterbury tourism enterprises.

Comments chair Tim Stonhill, "The value in hosting influential filmmakers such as these to the region is obvious and we are committed to supporting this Film South initiative that directly introduces the advantages of filming here to Hollywood."

The guests' itinerary has them exploring Christchurch City, plus other major filming locations throughout Canterbury and the West Coast including The Lord of the Rings Trilogy; Vertical Limit, Heavenly Creatures and Perfect Strangers. Throughout the trip they will be meeting with local location scouts to discuss processes for filming in these unique locations.

The visitors will also be hosted for a couple of days by Film Wellington, visiting studios and post production facilities in the capital.


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