Coronavirus: Kiwi film crews rejoice being back in action post-lockdown

The New Zealand screen industry is rejoicing now many stalled productions are back in action post-lockdown.

Cast and crew of Three's drama Westside are back filming after production was halted midway through shooting the final season.

Now back on location at the iconic West house and working under alert level 1, it's nearly business as usual.

Crew member Bryce Wood says it was "a shock to the system" when they suddenly weren't working.

"For eight weeks we were told we weren't allowed to do anything. Most people in this industry are used to finding other means of income when film work might not happen."

Actor Antonia Prebble practically grew up in the West house. She's been working there for 15 years, first as Loretta in Outrageous Fortune and then Rita in Westside.

"Actors and people who work in the film and TV industry and the arts in general are more match-fit for this kind of uncertainty than other people in traditional linear careers. We go in and out of work all the time," she says.

"Looking at an uncertain future and not knowing where the next job or dollar bill is going to come from - it's not an unfamiliar feeling."

With New Zealand opening back up ahead of the rest of the world, many eyes are on us with potential for a real boom in the screen industry, South Pacific Pictures CEO Kelly Martin says.

"If production companies or broadcasters in other parts of the world can't get up and running as quickly as they would like, then there are opportunities for us."

Wood adds New Zealand is a "shining light" for the rest of the world.

"We're one of the few places you can go out and film almost as before. I get the feeling - without knowing for sure - but I get the feeling it's going to be a fairly busy time in the next couple of years at least."

Crew from the high-profile production Avatar have already arrived on New Zealand's shores. Director James Cameron and his team are self-isolating in Wellington ahead of beginning filming next week.