NHNZ footage in snowboarding game

A snowboarder pauses before tackling a mountain in the yet-to-be-released EA Games SSX, which...
A snowboarder pauses before tackling a mountain in the yet-to-be-released EA Games SSX, which includes footage shot by Dunedin-based television company NHNZ. Photo by EA Games.
NHNZ has been used by one of the world's largest video game companies.

NHNZ Moving Images manager Caroline Cook said the footage library was approached by gaming giant EA Games to license its high definition avalanche blast film.

Emmy award-winning cameraman Mike Single shot the footage near the Homer Tunnel after the company liaised with the New Zealand Transport Agency, which was carrying out an avalanche blast in the area.

Ms Cook said companies using stock footage wanted it in high definition, so NHNZ "specifically went out and shot avalanches".

"We shot the same thing in standard definition some years ago, but no-one wants standard definition stock footage for their productions any more."

There was a growing international market for stock footage, and gaming was a "new outlet for our footage".

"That is where gaming is going. They are using actual footage in the backgrounds for their games."

NHNZ's stock footage library was in the top 10 globally. The company differed from other libraries by shooting its own footage and produced about 60 hours of factual programming a year.

"For every hour we produce, there is about 20 to 50 hours of field footage shot," she said.

The best footage was made available on servers in New Zealand and in Los Angeles. NHNZ retained the copyright.

Recently, the company had shot footage from Tonga, Madagascar, Japan, China and the United States, and was not just limited to the natural history genre, she said.

The avalanche footage would feature in the 3-D snowboarding game, SSX, which will be released for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 early next year.



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