Locations in Oamaru and North Otago have been confirmed for
Hollywood film Mister Pip, with a film crew expected
to arrive some time in the second half of August.
The best-selling book by Lloyd Jones has been adapted into a
film with the screenplay written by New Zealand producer
Film representatives and location scouts visited Oamaru and
North Otago just after Easter to evaluate locations but, at
that stage, still had to confirm whether or not the film,
with British actor Hugh Laurie in the lead role, would use
Yesterday, the film's publicist, Sue May, confirmed filming
would take place in North Otago, although the actual sites
and specific dates still had to be finalised.
The film crew was expected to be in the area for about a week
and a-half from mid-August.
The area had been chosen to represent scenes in Victorian
London, she said.
In April, film representatives looked at the old freezer
building on the Oamaru foreshore just north of Oamaru Creek,
the historic precinct and harbour.
It is also understood they visited Campbell Park at Otekaieke
and Fortification Rd at Totara.
Waitaki Development Board general manager Annabel Berry said
the film company had been working directly with the Oamaru
Whitestone Civic Trust with the board acting as liaison.
"It's a fantastic opportunity for us [North Otago]. It will
showcase our heritage buildings and our landscape," she said.
Unlike other film sets, the areas being filmed were
However, Laurie will not be coming to Oamaru. Laurie,
formerly of the Blackadder series and star of the
television series House, will be based in
Bougainville, Papua New Guinea.
Mister Pip tells the story of the last white man left
on the strife-torn island of Bougainville during the 1990
blockade by Papua New Guinea. He reopens a school and uses
the Dickens novel Great Expectations to inspire
pupils, particularly a gifted 14-year-old named Matilda.
Oscar-nominated Adamson, who optioned the rights to the book,
both directed the movie Shrek 2 and was co-screenwriter and
the director of the first two movies in the Chronicles of
Narnia series. Part of The Lion, the Witch and the
Wardrobe was filmed in North Otago.
A company, Mr Pip Ltd, was incorporated in New Zealand in
March, with Adamson owning 90% of the shares and Eyeworks
Film and TV Drama Ltd the other 10%.