On Film

(New Zealand Industry Magazine)

November 2000 Issue


Stop Press Industry was ready for Xena exit

The production industry is reacting calmly to the decision to wrap production of Xena in April next year.

The news, which has been widely predicted for months, came just as Onfilm was going to press, but a check with suppliers and crew indicates they have been adjusting their sights to meet the challenge.

"It's early days yet, but my gut feeling is that while there will be some retrenchment initially, most crews and companies will find work," said Stephen Andrews of Central Hire, one of the many outfits supplying equipment to the huge production, which has pumped over $100 million into the Auckland economy.

SPADA CEO Jane Wrightson says the decision is not a blow to the industry and believes the crew will find work elsewhere. She hopes Pacific Renaissance will set up another series in NZ. She also paid tribute to the producers: "The Americans made a huge leap of faith in shooting the series here - their secret was to have high quality New Zealanders managing the production."

Sioux Ferguson, who runs the country's biggest crew agency, Film crews, was away when Onfilm rang, but a spokesperson said: "The crew on the project probably don't feel too good at the moment, but they have very good reputations and should find work on the overseas commercials, movies, and local TV series shooting in the Auckland district this summer."

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