Rees Valley site for film

Dinosaurs could soon be roaming the Rees Valley, with Wellington company Fossil Films proposing to start filming on the 3D movie Walking with Dinosaurs as soon as Monday.

Lakes Environmental this month received a resource consent application for filming along a 3.6km stretch of the Rees Valley between March 5 and May 4.

With little proposed in the way of a set, the application said "dinosaur characters" would be added to the scenery during the secondary 3D animation phase of the movie.

Shooting would involve the use of stick-like "PVC pipe dinosaur figurines" as placeholders, ensuring screenshots are taken at the correct angle and location.

A spokesman for Fossil Films could not be contacted yesterday.

Southern Planning Group resource management consultant Sean Dent was unsure how big the figurines would be, but said they would be props, "not life-sized Brontosauruses".

Mr Dent could not confirm whether the film was linked with the BBC's award-winning Walking With Dinosaurs TV series of the same name.

However, the BBC in 2010 reported the series would be made into a 3D film, following a migrating family of dinosaurs and using live-action footage of locations alongside CGI creatures.

Fossil Films proposes to have three base camps servicing six filming sites on the river bed, Rees Valley Station land and Department of Conservation (Doc) administered riverside areas.

Over the two-month period, the company hopes to fit in 20 days of filming in locations with names such as "Spooky Woods", "Gorgosaur Lair" and "Enemy Island".

Filming would require the use of five seven-tonne technical support trucks, with a maximum of 50 crew members arriving each day in 4WD vehicles.

The production crew and filming activity would at times be visible from the Rees Valley Rd and the start of the Rees-Dart circuit tramping track near Muddy Creek.

Lakes Environmental planner Nathan Keenan said the application was only waiting for approval from Land Information New Zealand before it could go to the commissioner.

He expected it would have done so yesterday and was confident consent could be granted before Monday.

The application considered "the successful filming of this production will assist in increasing Queenstown's international reputation as a film friendly location and will result in direct positive benefits to Queenstown".

"In addition, the broader connectivity of Queenstown's screen production industry will have greater economic implications over and above the economic benefit of this single project's investment.

These spill-over benefits being the continued global connections made through film."

Walking with Dinosaurs last year visited New Zealand as an arena show, complete with 15 sife-sized robotic dinosaurs.



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