Parts of Queenstown’s CBD will become a movie set this week as the ‘Top of the Lake’ mini series begins filming street scenes.
The multi-million dollar production, directed by Jane Campion and Garth Davis has already completed six weeks of shooting around the Wakatipu and is about to shift into town for its next phase.
Film Queenstown manager Kevin Jennings said the shoot was a great opportunity for Queenstown.
“We’ve had quite a few large scale productions over the years but ‘Top of the Lake’ is using Queenstown as Queenstown rather than as a double for somewhere else.”
“It’s great exposure for the town.”
Mr Jennings sentiments were echoed by Mayor Vanessa van Uden.
“Not only is the decision to set this production in the Wakatipu great for our profile but it’s also providing a welcome boost to our economy at what can sometimes be a quieter time of year,” Mrs van Uden said.
“We’re very pleased to have them here and I hope everyone will be accommodating while they’re filming.”
The production will be filming in lower Beach Street and Coronation Drive for ten days beginning on Thursday 22 March. The Ballarat Street Car Park would be used as a base for large vehicles which would affect the availability of parking.
“Parking capacity will be reduced while the shoot takes place,” Mr Jennings said.
“People are advised to use the Boundary Street Car Park instead, which will be available to Ballarat Street car park leaseholders at no cost during this ten day period.”
Mr Jennings said ‘Top of the Lake’ was just one production in what was turning into a mini boom for the local film industry.
"The entire industry is pumping,” he said.
“In the six weeks that this television programme has been shooting we've also had a music video, stills shoots, TV commercials, and two feature films in Otago and Southland. There are also two short films in pre-production.”
“It’s great to see the support all the projects are getting from the wider community."
Meanwhile Philippa Campbell, New Zealand producer of ‘Top of the Lake’ said the decision to film here had proved to be a good one.
“We’re very grateful for the support ‘Top of the Lake’ has received from the Queenstown community and, as we approach the halfway mark of the shoot, the impact of the unique beauty of area and all the adventures it offers, are constant reminders of why Queenstown is such a magnetic destination for filmmakers from around the world.”
‘Top of the Lake’ from See-Saw Films is being co-produced by UKTV in New Zealand and Australia, BBC Two in the UK and Sundance Channel in the United States.