Members of Auckland’s screen industry professionals were welcomed to Kumeu Film Studios on 17 March for a special preview of the two new sound stages – which are due for completion shortly.
About 170 people were welcomed by Michael Brook, Manager of Screen Auckland at Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), and Film Auckland’s Alex Lee. NZ Film Commission CEO Annabelle Sheehan also spoke to the guests.
Screen Auckland and Film Auckland gave guests tours taking in key features of the 27ha site which has been developed through a unique partnership between ATEED on behalf of Auckland Council, the NZ Film Commission on behalf of the Government, Warner Bros. and Gravity Pictures – which filmed the upcoming feature film The Meg on site – and the private site owner.
As a condition of ATEED’s long-term lease of the studios, the landowner funded the construction of the sound stages, which were designed with input from Kiwi construction supervisor and set designer Neil Kirkland.
The industry guests were shown inside the stages, the first purpose-built stages of their size built in Auckland. Along with the world-class indoor dive tanks, outdoor ocean pool and fixed green screen wall, forested backlot and substantial production facilities, the studios form a large part of Auckland’s international screen production proposition.
Other prominent Auckland studio operators from Kelly Park and Studio West came along to further raise awareness of the great studio facilities available across Auckland which Screen Auckland markets globally, along with the NZ Film Commission.
ATEED is operating the studio complex until a private sector studio manager of both Kumeu and Auckland Film Studios is installed in mid-2018. Council procurement has been running an appointment process for the studio manager which is still ongoing. The intention is for the successful applicant to run the studios as private sector company.