Film crew commits to green ethic

The makers of the $100 million Hollywood blockbuster Xmen Origins: Wolverine are to be rolemodels for environmentally friendly movie-making, days after being caught storing high explosives next to the Queenstown Gardens.

Woz Productions has agreed to allow Queenstown Lakes District Council recycling specialists on sites and sets around the resort to advise on recycling and other steps the film company could take to protect the environment.

The joint venture, announced in a press release yesterday, aimed to help develop guidelines that would form part of the council's resource consent process for future productions.

The move comes after it was revealed last week Woz Productions had stockpiled explosives inside a building on the edge of the Queenstown Gardens, in breach of a lease agreement with the council.

The explosives were moved to a quarry outside Queenstown after council staff objected.

Yesterday, Guardians member Neil Clayton, whose organisation aimed to protect the gardens, said the latest announcement smacked of ‘‘tokenism''.

The timing of the announcement, coming days after the explosives blunder and after the Fun Centre building on the edge of the gardens had been turned into an ‘‘industrial site'', could not be overlooked, he believed.

‘‘I can't imagine storing explosives in the gardens is regarded as being green. I can't imagine running an industrial site in the gardens is green.

‘‘There's no doubt in my mind this is about damage control. There's no question it's tokenism. This company will leave behind, as all film companies do, evidence of its departure,'' he said.

Film Queenstown manager Kevin Jennings said the agreement would allow both parties to work towards a ‘‘green screen'' ethic.

‘‘A movie of this nature is a huge undertaking. Over a relatively short period of time, that might involve remote catering for hundreds of cast and crew, set building, construction and painting.

‘‘The potential for recycling is enormous and the commitment being made here is extremely pro-active by the production.''

Woz Productions producer John Palermo said it was important for the film industry to reduce its environmental impact.

‘‘The natural beauty of the region is what attracted us to film here in the first place, so it is important we . . . help preserve that environment,'' he said.

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