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Excitement about BOP region’s film future after U.S. trip

BOP Film president excited about BOP region’s film future after U.S. trip

Tuesday, 11 October, 2016, 4:15 pm

Press Release: BOP Film

Bay of Plenty Film president and founding trustee Anton Steel has returned excited after a trip to the United States to attend the Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI) Cineposium in Atlanta, Georgia. He also visited key film industry players in Los Angeles.

The theme of this year’s conference in Atlanta was building your business, with workshops on film liaisons, locations photography, building facilities, building crew base, how to handle crisis, drone use and a case study of the effect that AMC show “The Walking Dead” has had on the US town of Senoia. Attendees to this year’s Cineposium also learnt about building and maintaining thriving film and television communities in their own communities. The state of Georgia is the poster child for the Cineposium’s theme this year and is now the third busiest production hub in the United States and fifth in the world in film production.

In Atlanta Anton was also taken on a tour of Pinewood Studios by the Vice President Kevin Bar. This state of the art studio complex is huge, boasting 18 sound stages as well as backlot sets, workshops and office support. It even has its own onsite Home Depot store just to service all the productions that shoot there, such as Spider Man and Captain America. Anton also scheduled two days in Los Angeles, where he had initial meetings with several companies that are interested in filming in New Zealand and some expat industry professionals based in the city.

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Anton says the value gained from the visits and networking opportunities, the Cineposium workshops, and the knowledge derived from the fellow participants at this event will be invaluable in building the film industry in the Bay of Plenty. Developing a local thriving screen media industry will contribute significantly to the economic development of the Bay of Plenty region, not only with the immediate financial injection that screen productions bring, but also in the tourist visitor economy that follows when productions like Disney’s Pete’s Dragon film in the region.

Reflecting on the experience Anton said “it’s a real eye opener to the size and scale of the film industry not only in the United States but also in places like Norway, Austria and even Uganda. I made some great connections and learnt a lot that we can apply here in the Bay. New Zealand’s brand overseas is very strong. Everyone you talk to wants to visit here.”

Bay of Plenty Film celebrated its inaugural board meeting prior to Anton’s departure; its key purpose is to grow a financially, environmentally and socially sustainable screen media industry in the Bay of Plenty. BOP Film will operate as a regional film office, promoting the region to productions, including large international feature films. It is a regional collaboration founded on the assets, skills and resources across the Bay from Western Bay, through Tauranga, Rotorua, Whakatane, Kawerau and Opotiki and is working closely with a wide range of key stakeholders.

Anton Steel says “Our goals are to connect, create and celebrate - building connections regionally, nationally and internationally, create the “greenest place to film” and a sustainable environment in the region for productions and also celebrate the benefits that a thriving screen media industry can bring to the Bay.”

Work will now commence to create locations databases, websites and a show reel to attract international productions to the Bay.


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