The only recent request for water-related kit which Milne hasn’t been able to meet came from Paramount’s currently-shooting Wellington-based Ghost in the Shell, which was on the hunt for an underwater housing for a 65mm camera.
As well as Welcome to the Thrill Milne has worked on other productions accessing the incentives here, including the in-production Australia-NZ co-production 800 Words, which South Pacific Pictures produces here for Channel Seven.
Milne did the aerial shots for the title sequence of 800 Words, using his Inspire Pro drone. It carries a M4/3 camera, captures 4K raw footage, is half the size and makes half the noise of the larger six- and eight-rotor machines. It also has much a longer flying time than many other models available, which is always helpful when working with others.
SPP also has a third season of Brokenwood Mysteries in production and a second season of Outrageous Fortune prequel Westside heading to TV3 later this month. Productions of that scale are good for the industry, Milne claims. Not only do they offer a decent run of work, they allow people the chance to learn and develop. That upskilling is a help to the industry as a whole, and something SPP has long been credited with delivering on Shortland Street.
From the amount of production work around at the moment, Milne reckons Auckland’s very steady for TV work, with Greenstone, Imagination, Screentime and Warners all keeping busy. Anecdotally, it seems that the amount of TVC work is down (something Film Otago Southland’s Kevin Jennings also comments on in this month’s issue).