Australian artists praise Dunedin's film potential

Australian pop-rock duo Bianca Oechsle (left) and Max Donovan (right) celebrate the end of...
Australian pop-rock duo Bianca Oechsle (left) and Max Donovan (right) celebrate the end of filming for their first music video with director Benn Jae (centre), of Queenstown, at Larnach Castle on Friday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Dunedin's untapped potential as a filming location is a dream for artists, producers and the city's residents alike.

Larnach Castle formed the latest set for a filming project, which brought 22 crew members as well as music artists and a producer to Dunedin for a few days last week.

Residents were also used as extras in the music video for the first single by Australian pop-rock duo Max and Bianca.

Artists Max Donovan, of Melbourne, and Bianca Oechsle, of Sydney, were thrilled by the castle and its surrounds.

''It's pretty amazing, even better than I hoped. We had seen pictures but being here and seeing the detail in the building is incredible,'' Mr Donovan said.

The artists were worried about Dunedin's winter weather before they left Australia for the shoot, but were pleasantly surprised.

''We couldn't have asked for a better day,'' Mr Donovan said.

Director Benn Jae moved from Sydney to Queenstown two months ago and said there was massive untapped potential for filming locations in Dunedin.

''I have shot in the South Island about five times before and I heard about Larnach Castle, so came to investigate and it's just perfect for what we wanted. We are basically using every corner of the castle, inside and out,'' he said.

Mr Jae said Dunedin could complement the Central Otago landscapes better known in the film industry.

''Dunedin has amazing architecture, there are so many vastly different buildings that you can make it look like anything, really - the sky is the limit.

''Where else in this part of the world can you find a castle like this?''He was happy to keep the city's attractions a secret, but those in the Dunedin tourism industry wanted more producers to know what was on offer.

Larnach Castle marketing and public relations manager Deborah Price had a cameo in the music video and said it was fantastic to have such business during the quiet season.

It was the first time the castle had been used for a music video, although it had featured in various movies and television commercials, she said.

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