An Academy Award-winning director and producers bring to
life their original mystery television mini-series Top
of the Lake for international distribution, with a set
being created near Moke Lake, Queenstown, this week. Photo
by James Beech.
Academy Award-winning New Zealand director Jane Campion
is due to roll cameras on location near Queenstown on Tuesday
and the cast and crew are "very busy, very focused, very
excited", one of the producers says.
Auckland-based Philippa Campbell (Black Sheep), of
Escapade Pictures, told the Otago Daily Times the
television miniseries Top of the Lake was "a very
ambitious project" with a "top-notch team" assembled around
Campion, who was now in the resort, and co-director
Australian Garth Davis.
The fictional six-part series will be shot on remote private
and public locations around Queenstown over 16 weeks.
It stars three-time Emmy nominated actress Elisabeth Moss
(Mad Men, On the Road), Holly Hunter, who won Best
Actress Academy award for her performance in Campion's The
Piano, Bafta nominee Peter Mullan (War Horse,
Trainspotting) and AFI award-winning actor David Wenham
(The Lord of the Rings, Australia).
Ms Campbell said the mystery story written by Campion and
Gerard Lee (Sweetie) was "about people living on the
edge of the wilderness, so it's a psychic space in a way and
that position offers up the characters opportunities and also
challenges and that's what the story explores."
Campion was instrumental in bringing the transtasman
co-production to the Wakatipu due to her "love and knowledge of
this place", Ms Campbell said.
"Integrating ourselves with the local creative and
film-making community has been a key part of ... why we're
here, it's not just the amazing natural world.
"We've tried to bring local people into the world of the film
as much as we can."
Asked if the cast members had arrived in Queenstown, Ms
Campbell said she picked up an undisclosed star from
Queenstown Airport "the other day and there was a little bit
of camera phone action", but not everyone had arrived yet.