Auckland Council, Auckland, 8 January 2015: New Zealand’s film and television industry has received a major boost with the news that MTV Networks and Sonar Entertainment are set to film the TV adaptation of the classic fantasy adventure book series Shannara at Auckland Film Studios Limited and various locations throughout New Zealand.
Based on the series of cult fantasy books by author Terry Brooks, pre-production for the TV series begins this month with filming set to commence in February 2015.
Welcoming the decision, Auckland Council’s Economic Development Committee Chair Councillor Arthur Anae says it will reinforce New Zealand’s position as a go-to destination for quality film and television production, increase Auckland’s profile and showcase the city’s world-class facilities and locations.
“The agreement underlines the value Auckland Film Studios brings to a modern, vibrant Auckland as it encourages creative industries and highlights the city’s capability to deliver high quality, Auckland-made productions to the world,” he says.
Screen Auckland, council’s specialist industry development team within Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), has worked with the film’s producers since early 2014 providing expert assistance to ensure their needs were met by Auckland.
ATEED Chief Executive Brett O’Riley says: “We are pleased to have played a major role in attracting this large-scale international production to Auckland. It will employ hundreds of Aucklanders directly and indirectly, and will have significant economic impacts beyond the screen sector.”
Auckland Film Studios Limited Chairman James Hill says that the studios are ready for the challenge of adapting such a well-known series.
“The Shannara books already have a worldwide following eager to see a screen adaption,” he says.
“We are confident that the new series will recreate the world imagined by Terry Brooks in a faithful manner, and introduce a whole new generation of fans to what is already a classic.
“We are delighted that Auckland Film Studios will facilitate that adaption, and we can’t wait to see the end result.”
About Screen Auckland
Screen Auckland is part of the Business Attraction and Investment division at ATEED, a CCO and Auckland Council’s economic growth agency. Its specialists work to bring major international productions to Auckland.
Auckland Film Studios Limited is owned by Auckland Council Investments Limited, a Council-Controlled Organisation (CCO).
MTV is the world’s premier youth entertainment brand. With a global reach of more than a half-billion households, MTV is the cultural home of the millennial generation, music fans and artists, and a pioneer in creating innovative programming for young people. MTV reflects and creates pop culture with its Emmy®, Grammy® and Peabody® award-winning content built around compelling storytelling, music discovery and activism across TV, online and mobile. MTV’s sibling networks MTV2 and mtvU each deliver unparalleled customized content for young males, music fans and college students, and its online hub MTV.com is a leading destination for music, news and pop culture. MTV is a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. For more information, go to www.mtvpress.com.
About Sonar Entertainment
Sonar Entertainment is a multi-faceted independent creative company designed to meet today’s ever-changing landscape in global television production and distribution. With headquarters in Los Angeles and offices around the world, Sonar is uniquely positioned to participate in a wide range of ways in order to create quality television series, miniseries and movies. The company has the capabilities to develop, produce, acquire, deficit finance, package and distribute product both internationally and domestically.
In addition to a full development slate, Sonar is in production on the Eli Roth-helmed series South of Hell for WEtv and Shannara, based on the best-selling novels, for MTV, both slated to premiere in 2015. Scheduled to begin production in 2015 is Taboo, starring Tom Hardy, for BBC One and FX. While primarily focused on the development and production of new product, Sonar is also the distributor of over 1,000 library titles comprised of award-winning programs from RHI Entertainment, Hallmark Entertainment and Hal Roach Studios, among others.