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When in Rome

Libertine Pictures and Perth-based Prospero Productions are making a NatGeo show here and in Australia in which the presenter tries to survive in the wilderness using only techniques of indigenous people of the land.

Prospero also makes the Life on the Edge series for National Geographic. Prospero is one of Australia’s leading independent documentary production companies with a 20-year track record of award winning documentaries and documentary series. It was one of the first recipients of Screen Australia’s Enterprise scheme (as is Libertine here in NZ), and has been one of the success stories of Western Australian screen production. It also makes Outback Truckers, which screens here on TV One.

Outback Truckers

Outback Truckers

Wild Survivor is the first production from Libertine and Prospero’s newly-formed Prospero Productions NZ (PPNZ). Clearly, they resisted the temptation to name the company L&P.

PPNZ was first set up to produce another show, which has turned out to be slower coming to production. The company will produce new documentary, factual and drama programming in New Zealand.

Wild Survivors’ first episode has already been shot in the Kimberly region of North West Australia. Episodes two and three will shoot in the Rotorua Lakes region of the North Island and on the coast of the upper South Island this month. Brrrr.

The show, and the jv, are an example of the incentive schemes at work. Libertine’s Richard Fletcher told screeNZ today that the two NZ episodes of Wild Survivor are all-NZ affairs bar the presenter.

“Every crew member and supplier is from NZ” said Fletcher, confirming that the post as well as the shoot will happen here.

The 40% on QNZPE was a factor in Prospero’s decision to enter into a longer-term arrangement with Libertine rather than create a single-purpose vehicle to service one show. Fletcher said the new company would allow Libertine to expand into factual and documentary production with limited risk because of Prospero’s expertise and success in the genres.

Prospero MD Ed Punchard said, “We have been looking to expand our production base into New Zealand for some time. We look forward to working with Richard and Libertine, and with New Zealand’s highly skilled film makers.”

Although Wild Survivor doesn’t deliver work specifically to the city, Grow Wellington CE Gerard Quinn welcomed the news, saying, “Prospero Productions New Zealand will add depth and scale to the thriving Wellington screen sector.”

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