23 Aug 2011

Movie sequence filmed in Oamaru

12:33 pm on 23 August 2011

Oamaru in North Otago has been a backdrop for the past four days for the filming of a movie adaptation of the novel Mr Pip by Lloyd Jones.

The novel is set in the Pacific Island of Bougainville, where a teenage girl becomes entranced with the world of Dickens as she imagines it.

Producer Robin Scholes says Oamaru was chosen to conjure Victorian London meeting the Pacific, using the look and colour of the town's beautiful stonework.

The Victorian quarter has already been the backdrop for a number of productions including The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and a series of AMI insurance ads.

Oamaru Whitestone Civic Trust chair Phil Hope says the film will inject at least $1 million into the town in just a few days.

He says he has learnt to be flexible and trust the crews to restore the area completely afterwards.

However, this shoot was delayed by three days by last week's snow storm.

After filming in Bougainville with all its problems of security and logistics, Ms Scholes (Once Were Warriors) says this was meant to be the easy bit.

Mr Pip will debut at Cannes Film Festival in May next year.