Movies

New Zealand’s Auckland Film Studios Opens New Stages As Production Boom Continues After ‘LOTR’ & ‘Sweet Tooth’

Auckland Film Studios, which recently hosted productions including Netflix’s Sweet Tooth and Amazon’s The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power, has opened two new sound stages as demand for physical facilities continues in the global production boom. 

The two stages are both around 2,000 square metres (22,000 square feet), which means that Auckland Film Studios now has five stages totalling more than 7,500 square metres (80,700 square feet).

The year-long construction project was supported with NS$30M (US$19M) in funding from the New Zealand government, with the remaining NZ$7.5M (US$4.8M) provided by the studio’s owner, Auckland Council. 

Screen Auckland manager Matt Horrocks said the new stages were built to meet the growing demand of the past five years for studio space, adding that the stages are already booked, with unnamed productions due to start work in early 2023. 

“Auckland has earned a reputation for the world-class studios, coupled with highly-skilled crew,” Horrocks said. “These studios were designed with the input of senior screen producers who understand the needs of premium productions, making this an attractive proposition in a start-of-the-art space that is only 30 minutes’ drive from the city centre and sought-after west Auckland coastline locations.”

Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown said: “The two new stages mean AFS can now cater for much larger single productions, or multiple smaller productions at once. They strengthen AFS and Auckland’s west as a screen destination at a time when New Zealand’s global reputation for big budget productions is growing.”

Sound stage space in Auckland has grown to more than 32,000 square metres (almost 345,000 square feet) in the past decade. The Auckland Film Studios expansion is expected to deliver hundreds more high-skilled screen production jobs and support the region’s more than 2,000 screen production-based businesses.

The two new stages were gifted the name “Te Pūtahi’” (to join and intersect) by the local Māori community. 

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