Horizon water tank opens in Auckland

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Kumeu Film Studio has unveiled its ocean horizon tank, just 26km from Queen Street, via Highway 16. NZ will be just the fifth tank location in the world (there are already multiple installations in Mexico, Dominican Republic, Malta and Australia). 

Horizon water tanks are always built near the sea to allow for a natural, safe, controlled, environment for shooting realistic ocean scenes.

KFS is built on a 27 hectare site which includes a converted warehouse containing a 4000 square metres stage area, 11m high. The site also includes workshops, office space, a forest backlot, a dive tank and an ocean horizon tank with green screen wall.

“New Zealand isn’t just a great location, the tanks will add another dimension to our film industry,” said PSN NZ partner Iris Weber. PSN also provides full shoot support in most of the other global sites.

Yankiwi Barrie Osborne shoots Meg in Kumeu
Kumeu is quickly becoming a significant production centre with a number of projects being filmed there, including Meg, a Warner Bros film starring Hollywood stars including Jason Statham, Bingbing Li and Australian actress Ruby Rose.

Executive producer for Meg is Barrie Osborne (US-born, now rebranded as a Kiwi). “We just love Kumeu,” he told Stuff.

Osborne has been involved in many Hollywood films including The Matrix and Apocalypse Now, before working with Sir Peter Jackson on The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Osborne said Warner Bros has spent millions in the local area. Around 500 people are working on the site each day, and he said money has been spent on housing, renting equipment, food, clothing, props and construction. He says the use of wood and steel for construction has been “quite extensive”.

Stuff says that in 2015, there was a $185 million gain to the economy Auckland-wide from the film industry.

Because Meg is a thriller about a deep sea diver and giant shark, the producers have taken advantage of the Waitemata Harbour.

Over the last 12 months, at least three South Pacific Pictures television shows have used the north-west area for filming.

The Brokenwood Mysteries have been filmed in Taupaki, Riverhead and Kumeu, 800 Words has shot in Muriwai and NZ comedy series Westside shot scenes at Muriwai and Helensville.

Mysterious owner
Stuff says the owner of the studio “remains a mystery” but the name, Kumeu Film Studios, has been reserved with the New Zealand Companies Office.

Just how to contact KFS is also a mystery – a Google search turns up little, and this M+AD report was compiled from a number of press sources, including Stuff NZ and Campaign Brief Australia.