Auckland is proud to be home to one of the longest-running and most-watched live action children's TV series in history, with Saban's Power Rangers now into its 24th season.
The franchise has been filmed in various locations around our region since 2003. Following this month's completion of the latest series – Power Rangers Ninja Steel – which began filming last September, Executive Producer Judd ‘Chip' Lynn said Saban's team has moved into post-production, while also starting to develop the next season.
The 24th series required 61 Auckland Council permits to film in public spaces including Henderson Park, Mahuhu Crescent, Albert Park, Auckland Domain, Kaitarakihi Beach, Manukau Plaza, Waitemata Plaza, and the exterior of Council buildings in Henderson.
When asked to single out a favourite location, Chip Lynn says: "To be honest, Auckland itself is my gem so it would be hard to pick just one location as a favourite.
"We've been able to film amazing scenes in Auckland. Power Rangers is a unique show in that there are a lot of moving parts, especially while shooting, and we've learned to adapt to the environment while on location to give viewers the excitement and adventure they're expecting."
Chip says filming in Auckland offers Saban an array of locations such as forests and beaches which are featured throughout Power Rangers.
"The main requirements we have to keep in mind involve the technical and logistical needs of each episode, especially choreographed scenes between our Rangers and whichever enemy they are protecting the earth from that day.
"Shooting on location can provide a lot of benefits for a show like Power Rangers. For instance, we require cityscapes, but we also need scenery with a lot of green and open space which is hard to recreate in a studio. Although the unpredictable weather can pose interesting challenges, we've become experts at getting creative with it as well as shifting schedules to accommodate, thanks to our incredible cast and crew," says Chip.
Kirsty Donoghue, Facilitation Manager at Screen Auckland, says the 24th season provided opportunities to work with other Council organisations such as Watercare to explore and feature new, exciting Auckland filming locations.
"We work with Power Rangers' locations team to help them achieve the director's vision. Power Rangers has some key hero locations across Auckland that are used for ongoing scenes. Often the brief calls for new and unique locations that can be difficult to secure. A request to film at Waitakere Dam this series was a challenging logistical request at a real world operational facility. It was great to have the support of Watercare, achieving a cinematic location to be viewed worldwide as the Power Rangers battle evil monsters," says Kirsty.
Power Rangers is a good example of the economic benefits the screen industry delivers to Auckland, says Kirsty: "About 90 per cent of the on-set and production crew are Aucklanders, and they are performing highly skilled, well-paid jobs. There are also a lot of opportunities created for non-crew and suppliers, such as supplies forest builds, costume and wardrobe, and special effects specialists. And revenue flows down to equipment and vehicle hire and catering companies, and also to landowners of private property used for filming."
Chip Lynn says the series' location manager does a fantastic job of planning and navigating through the local communities where filming takes place: "There are several locals on our staff and crew which proves to be incredibly helpful since they are familiar with the many locations we shoot at."
He says being an executive producer gives him insight into the amount of time and effort required to put something as successful as Power Rangers on air. During filming he makes himself accessible to all of his department at all times.
"But what makes the experience [in Auckland] so enjoyable is that everyone here is so passionate and dedicated to the work, and shooting in a beautiful place like Auckland certainly helps."
Chip has been an executive producer of Power Rangers for three seasons, including the current season, and co-produced five seasons before that. Writing and directing for Power Rangers has been a career highlight, he says.
"I'm lucky to be a part of the Power Rangers franchise and work on such an impactful and beloved series, seen around the world."