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 – Actor, SAM NEILL. 

a little info

Breath-taking scenery, undisturbed landscapes, world-class crew and a kiwi can-do attitude; just a few of the things that firmly set the Queenstown Lakes district among the greatest places in the world to film. From Features to Commercials, TV series & short films. We make it all.

In this fun, slightly quirky and generally insouciant documentary, we explore what it is like to create visual awesomeness, in the Queenstown Lakes region - with maybe just a slightly more than usual emphasis on Wānaka's side of the hill... just for a change.

the viewers journey

In the film we will take our viewers on an adventure of the region and showcase what it is like to film here. The audience will learn why so many great film makers and photographers have chosen to capture their stories here, via  interviews with a few local industry legends - whilst also weaving in the story of the Monster Children x LWT Comp, and the winner Jake with his film making experience in Wānaka.

introducing Cam Wood

Cam Wood of REELNZ is a well-respected Locations Scout who has been working in the Queenstown Lakes region for many years. Cam has been responsible for locations on many of the biggest films shot in this region and is currently 'Locations Access Ambassador' for Film Otago & Southland.

Cam is an engaging character with a wealth of knowledge about the region and the film industry. We envision Cam as the wise spiritual guide that takes us on an adventure through the area.

Visually; a mix of staged interviews and on-the-fly location tours, will show us a glimpse of what Wānaka, Queenstown and Cromwell have to offer the film world.


a bit more detail

A key driver for people not only filming in our region, but visiting it in general, is the landscape. As such, the natural beauty of our environment plays a central role in this film and will act as a character of its own.

Intercut with Cam's location storyline will be a number of smaller stories, touching on a variety of experiences to give the viewer a more wholistic view of the wider industry. Below are details of who we plan to interview for this film - involvement TBC. 

Jake and Monster Children

Jake is arriving to film in the region for the first time, thanks to the LWT/MC film competition. We will speak to Jake about the comp, his experience filming here, as well as show some behind the scenes of their production. We hope to have Jake self tape some 'arriving and first thoughts' then will conduct an interview at the end of his filming to learn of his experiences here. 

Iris Weber - Production services

Iris started out as a professional photographer before moving into the world of cinematography and later into production services. She currently serves on the Executive Committee of the NZAPG (Advertising Producers’ Group) and is a board member of Film Otago Southland.

She has a vast knowledge of international productions taking place in Otago and hands on experience from a number of positions within the film industry. In her own words she combines the ruthless efficiency and professionalism of the modern Germanic barbarian with the adaptability, friendliness and easy-going nature of a kiwi.

Iris talks to us about international productions using the area for their campaigns and why.  

Toby Crawford - Commercial Producer

One of the few people of his generation to have been born and raised in Wānaka, Toby is a well-respected producer working in the commercial production space.  Wānaka and the surrounds are regular features in TV and online commercials, however the producers of such content are often underrepresented in discussions around the film industry. Toby can share with us a unique perspective to filming in this region from the view of a commercial and advertising producer.


Phillip Smith - Executive Producer 

Phil is the Founder & Chief Executive of Great Southern Television. Throughout Great Southern Television’s over 20-year history, he has worked as creator, writer, producer and executive producer, all while based in Arrowtown. Phil brings a wealth of knowledge to the film and speaks to large-scale locally produced productions.

Kahli Scott - Film Queenstown Lakes Coordinator

As the Film Queenstown Lakes Coordinator, Kahli Scott is across production in our region at every level. She talks to us about the feature film world and the international market.

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indicative story



ngāwari | adjective

Free from worries or problems.



Part One | Introduction

We open with a series of vast landscapes, grabbing the viewers attention and demonstrating the variety of locations we have to offer

• An alpine lake, surrounded with snow

• A deep green, wood and moss Forrest

• Big, ‘western world’ Bannockburn slucling's

• A vast river way from the air showing the veins of the river weaving.


While many would pose these opening images with dramatic music and a very serious tone, we see them with slightly quirky music, and graded in a way that shows the natural colour pallet of the area & displays the landscapes without imparting a directive feel upon them 


This opening sets the mood of the film as a whole. We want to show that while we, as a film region, are proficient, adaptive, experienced & world-class, we are also rather unique. Unique in the sense that nothing is a problem and can be pretty fun and laid back. Crews, equipment, the worlds best locations, above or below the line, we make hard look ngāwari.


Anyway, back to the story… 


From a drone, we see a 4x4 driving down a gravel road, dust trailing behind. (because you know.. that’s what we do here)

Cut to:

Interior of 4x4, Cam Woods is driving, he tells us he is on the hunt for a new location for filming and some brief details about the spot that he thinks might be perfect for the shoot that he’s working on. 


A sound-alike of the vocal opening from ‘easy like a Sunday morning’ begins in the background for a beat, as Cam drives. 


🎶 oooooooo, ah-ah, ahhh, ahhhhhhh 🎶


abrupt stop

Cut to:


(Over the empty opening shot of the opening interview below)



Large open area with a big view (possibly QT hill). Cam walks into frame carrying a chair and puts it down, takes a seat and begins his first interview. He tells us about the variety of locations on our doorstep and speaks to some of the productions that have utilised them. (Ideally intercut with some BTS of these productions or FOS location footage – pending license and availability)


We then briefly meet Iris, Toby and Phil, each speaking about what they find unique about the region in terms of filming here - intercut with supporting B-Roll and landscape shots. 


Cam talks about peoples reactions the first time they see some of our locations first hand, which leads us into Jake's arrival.


Jake arrives in QT, we hear about how he is here to film for the first time himself, and get his first impressions on the place. This is intercut with his interview scene, explaining how he won the MC/LWT film competition and how that lead to him being here.

(Depending on how much BTS we can capture with Jake we may have some here and tell a bit of the story of his film, however if access to their production is tricky we may move on and just have the bts in the wrap up later.) 


ngāwari | adjective

Achieved without difficulties.


Part Two | Body

Cam takes us to another location, something completely different, he shows us about and talks about filming in that spot. Our audience has a laugh with Cam as he tells us a few tales that he’s heard over the years of filming in the region, we keep the ‘feel good’, quirky feel alive.


We get to know our interviewees in more detail, the types of work they do and why our region is perfect for it. We learn about their experiences filming here & what makes it special while weaving in the local crews, specialists & the equipment that the region has.

We meet Kahli and learn about the international feature film market & how unusual it is for a place with this type of landscape, to have the right crews and equipment on hand rather than needing to ship them in from other places.

We see some more BTS of Jake on his shoot and learn how that’s going.

Cam, in a new vast interview location, speaks about access and how close everything actually is and access ease between locations.


ngāwari | adjective

Without anxiety or awkwardness; relaxed.



Part Three | Wrap up

Jake's film wraps! He speaks to us about his experience filming here and how the location contributed to his film. 


Cam, Toby, Iris and Phil talk about how they see the future of film in the region and the type of work they would love to see come here - as we close out to scenics.

Final resolution TBC based on interview content captured. 

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a little tech detail

Style | Narrative driven documentary short

Feel | Picturesque, Quirky, fun & informative 

Format & Aspect | 6K 2:1 


Director | Joe Murdie

Producer | Erin Murdie

DP | Joe Murdie

Cam-Assist | Emily Menzies, Ned Brannigan & Brad Willetts

Production co-ordination | Anna McConville 

Edit | Joe Murdie

Sound mix / composition | Danny Fairley


 – Director, BENN JAE. 

thank you. 

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