Director Christian Rivers has said the filmmakers and studios chose New Zealand to film Mortal Engines due to its world class crew, talent, technicians and facilities.
“It’s a testament to the skill, talent and imagination of New Zealand crews that they are able to completely fabricate these other worlds that have never been seen before. Our crews are extraordinary.”
Principal photography took place over 16 weeks in Wellington, New Zealand in early 2017. The film was shot at Stone Street and Avalon Studios and at a few small local exterior locations. Post production was completed by Park Road Post Production with visual effects work being realised by Academy-Award winning company Weta Digital.
More than 1000 New Zealanders including crew, cast and craftspeople were contracted during principal photography. Nearly all of the Heads of Departments were Kiwis, as were 98% of the crew. New Zealand-educated former international students also worked on the film.
Education New Zealand (ENZ) and the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) partnered with Universal Pictures, MRC and Hungry City Limited on the film as part of the New Zealand Screen Production Grant 5% uplift.
ENZ Chief Executive Grant McPherson says this partnership is an opportunity to build awareness of New Zealand as having a world-leading education system, with strengths in the creative industries.
McPherson says an increasing number of international students are choosing to study creative arts subjects in New Zealand – 5,139 in 2017, up 24% on 2012. Mortal Engines, and connected activity led by Education New Zealand, is expected to grow the numbers of international students choosing New Zealand for our creative industries education offering.
“Mortal Engines marks a real shift in the New Zealand story we want to tell the world,” he says.
“This film was made in New Zealand not because of the beauty of our landscapes but because of the depth of talent and level of technical sophistication available here.
“We know that our world-leading tertiary education providers are playing a key role in the health of our creative sector.