New Zealand’s Prime Minister, John Key, was excited to announce a successful negotiation of securing The Hobbit movies to be filmed in New Zealand. The films have had difficulty in becoming a reality with changes in directors and other negotiations being rocky for Warner Brothers and Director Peter Jackson. Nevertheless, the movies are going to indeed be made and New Zealand will profit from the project through job employment, expected income from film crew members and actors over the two years of filming, and the tourism promotion from the film.
It is hoped that the two Hobbit films, which will be filmed back to back, will see the same success for New Zealand as The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Mr. Keys said in his announcement concerning the films: “I am delighted we have achieved this result. Making the two Hobbit movies here will not only safeguard work for thousands of New Zealanders, but it will also follow the success of the Lord of the Rings trilogy in once again promoting New Zealand on the world stage.”
The movies are expected to pump over 1.5 billion dollars into the country’s economy. Negotiations to secure the film stayed in New Zealand involved Economic Development Minister Gerry Brownlee and Arts, Culture, and Heritage Minister Chris Finlayson as well as Warner Brothers executives. One key issue is the introduction of new legislation to distinguish the difference in an employee as opposed to an independent contractor when involving those working in the film industry. This was an important issue in securing the films. It is hoped the legislation will attract others to come to New Zealand for filming as well as more films from Warner Brothers.
Mr. Key said: “The industrial issues that have arisen in the past several weeks have highlighted a significant set of concerns for the way in which the international film industry operates.”
“We will be moving to ensure that New Zealand law in this area is settled to give film producers like Warner Bros the confidence they need to produce their movies in this country.
“This will guarantee the movies are made in New Zealand.”
He added: “My Government is determined to use the opportunity that the Hobbit movies present to highlight New Zealand as a great place to visit, as well as a great place to do business.”
The Hobbit films are due to begin filming in February of 2011. It has also been announced that a world premier for one of the films will be held in New Zealand, further adding to their tourism promotion as well as another financial boost to their economy.