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Film-makers discover Franklin

TV ad shot at Waitangi Falls

Published: 28 January 2020

The Japanese public will soon be marvelling at a television advertisement filmed at Waiuku’s Waitangi Falls and other Franklin venues.

With no expense spared, the ad features Japanese film industry superstars in a  temporarily enhanced reserve after teams cleared litter, swept paths and even added stage make-up to fallen trees.

With the shoot now over, the entire area has been reinstated to its original condition, if somewhat tidier.

Franklin Local Board chair Andy Baker says locations in the board area are becoming increasingly popular with film and television makers because of their outstanding natural beauty.

The makers worked with Screen Auckland on a proposal to use the reserve that meant disruption to the public was avoided.

“More importantly, 80 per cent of any fee generated for using a site in Auckland is returned to the area for a board to use as it sees fit, and that’s a great trade-off for our community.”

Board member Sharlene Druyven says the real benefit in accommodating film activity is in the reputation the area is building as a film-friendly destination.

“The economic benefits that screen production activity bring in terms of employment and expenditure from film crews are hard to quantify, but it is worthwhile.

“We see a TV commercial and don’t realise that hundreds of people have been involved in filming it, scripting, lighting, doing make-up, preparing the site, feeding the crews, and so on. A lot of money is spent on location, and the board is keen for some of that to come our way.”

The film’s producers were so keen to use the area, that they put signage at the road entrance and built a spectator area so visitors could watch.

Last year TV3’s six-part crime drama The Gulf featured Kawakawa Bay, Waiti Bay Reserve, and Magazine Bay, while TVNZ’s thriller The Bad Seed showcased Karaka and TV ads for Holden, Subaru, Mercury, NZ Post, Asahi, Hirepool, and BP were filmed in the area.

While Auckland’s west and city have been the mainstay of on-location filming, sites within the Franklin Local Board area are now firmly on the screen industry’s map.

In the year to June 2019, 24 public space film permits were issued for the Franklin area, the biggest production involving more than 200 people.

Screen Auckland works with the local board, council parks staff and Auckland Transport to process and issue film permits.

Manager Jasmine Millet says: “It’s been great to see Franklin emerge as a screen production destination. The word is out in the industry about the area’s unique landscapes, beaches and relatively quiet coastal roads.”

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