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Booming film industry good news for film and TV students

Jun 23rd, 2013 | By | Category: Latest News, News

IT HAS been a big year for the New Zealand film industry with screen revenue surpassing $3 billion in 2012.

The largest revenue increase was for feature films which rose 19% from $1,403 million in 2011 to $1,672 million, according to Statistics New Zealand Screen Revenue figures.

Victoria University film student Phil Crowther (27), right, thinks the boost to the New Zealand film industry will put more standing behind his degree.

“By the film industry being in a better position, for me personally, my degree will be better viewed when I go overseas” Mr Crowther says.

He hopes the increase in revenue will put the Victoria University film programme in a better standing in the university.

“When Vic comes to which schools should be cut, they may be less likely to look in to the film department as a department that is not producing” says Mr Crowther.

“In the last five years, we have had two instances of the film department at Vic being under pressure of being cancelled or heavily reduced due to lack of funding.”

Mr Crowther says the increase in revenue will prevent film students going overseas after they get their degrees.

“It prevents the brain drain. People who are going in to the practical side of film making are less likely to go overseas.”

Mr Crowthers feelings were underscored last month by Weta Digital setting up a new scholarship at Victoria University.

The new PhD scholarship is for a student studying computer graphics, which is used in film post production.

Professor Neil Quigley, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), says the scholarship is an exciting opportunity for an individual and an excellent example of the benefits of universities and industry working together.

Wellington was the largest earner in the post production sector, earning 78% of the total revenue.

Wellington made $453 million worth of post production, compared to $125 million for the rest of New Zealand.

Sashi Meanger, executive director of the New Zealand Film School, believes the activity is bringing more students to film schools around wellington.

“That boom is very attractive for our students, for international students, for all sorts of things” says Mr Meanger.

This increase in revenue can also be linked to international students that want to apply to New Zealand film schools.

“We have a lot of international students applying here because of the calibre of what we have.”

Other statistics in the release show television broadcast revenue increased from $1,248 million to $1,299 million, a 4% increase.

The release also shows the Rugby World Cup did not adversely affect people going to the movies, with film exhibition revenue remaining unchanged at $162 million for both 2011 and 2012.

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is a Whitireia Journalism student covering the Newtown area of the Wellington region.
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