On location in the Bay

Elysia Gibb, Jade Kent and Tracy Hampton are leading Film Bay of Plenty. Photo: Supplied.

The launch of Film Bay of Plenty’s showreel is exciting producers and directors intent on finding new film-friendly locations.

The two-minute sizzle reel, which launches this month, features stunning mountains, forests, beaches, rivers and parks, as well as geothermal, industrial and urban scenes from the Bay’s six district and city council territories.

Featured locations from Taupō, Rotorua Lakes, Kawerau, Whakatane, Ōpōtiki, Western Bay of Plenty and Tauranga provide a thrilling dive into an untapped, diverse and film-friendly region.

“The pre-production work on the showreel included working with local councils and iwi to film across 14 locations, capturing some of the many highlights around the Bay of Plenty,” says Film Bay of Plenty’s Western Bay and Tauranga executive Tracy Hampton, who also produced the showreel.

“Filming included boating into a canyon and using drones to showcase the powerful vast landscapes.”

Tracy, who comes from a background as an executive producer with extensive experience in film and television, is co-leading Film Bay of Plenty with Jade Kent, who is responsible for Eastern Bay, Rotorua and Taupō.

“With notable films having previously been filmed here, we are excited to continue to promote our locations to international productions, showing our diverse, unique locations,” says Jade, who has previously worked for TVNZ, Māori TV, Sky and Al Jazeera.

Film Bay of Plenty, which launched in 2016, is a regional film office that connects national and international productions with crew, locations and infrastructure based in the Bay of Plenty. It also supports the development of up-and-coming film studios.

“Our role for the region and any potential studio is to collaborate and help to facilitate a pipeline of work,” says Jade.

Productions already filmed in the Bay include the television series Vegas, Shannara, Disney’s Pete’s Dragon, Yogi Bear, Mulan, Runaway Millionaires, Frankie Jean and the Morning Star, Taika Waititi’s Boy, Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and Without a Paddle. Muru, which was filmed in Taneatua in 2020, is due to be released in 2022.

Film Bay of Plenty’s leadership team also includes marketing manager Elysia Gibb, who has a tourism, logistics and marketing background, and has worked on feature films including The Hobbit, Wolverine, Yogi Bear and 10,000 BC.

The showreel, which was funded by the NZ Film Commission and filmed by a Bay of Plenty crew, has been met with high praise from councils and producers around the region.

“Tauranga’s screen sector is experiencing an exciting period of growth, with council receiving a significant increase in enquiries from production companies wanting to film in some of the great locations we have,” says Tauranga City Council arts and culture manager James Wilson.

“Earlier this year, during the Long Term Plan consultation process, council received a number of submissions from film practitioners and organisations, advocating for investment into the development of the local screen sector.

“In response to this, council has recently renewed its support of Film Bay of Plenty, who passionately advocate for and promote our city as a ‘film-friendly’ environment.”

The Film Bay of Plenty showreel can be viewed at: www.filmbayofplenty.com

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