Pork Pie chase hits Southland

Pork Pie is wrapping up shooting in Southland (Grant Findlay)
Pork Pie is wrapping up shooting in Southland (Grant Findlay)

Farmers, teachers and cooks have been getting a taste of the movie industry, as shooting for the movie Pork Pie entered its final days in Southland.

The film is a reboot of the 1981 Kiwi classic Goodbye Pork Pie, written and directed by Matt Murphy, son of Geoff Murphy, director of the original.

Filming began in March, with the production making its way down the country since then. The story follows the Blondini gang, who race their Mini through towns and cities, with an ever-growing contingent of police in hot pursuit.

Producer Tom Hern says the team have been overwhelmed by the support they've received.

"The Blondini circus has been welcomed in every little town that we've arrived in", he says, "especially in Southland. I'd say Southland's almost like the spiritual home of the Blondini gang."

The original yellow Mini has been replaced by a burnt orange Mini hatchback for the new-generation remake.

The Kiwi classic was originally released in 1981 (Grant Findlay)

Behind the scenes, producer Gareth Ruck says there's still a lot of passion for the original movie, which was a part of many Kiwis' childhoods.

"As a 10-year-old I used to run around the backyard going, 'We're taking this car to Invercargill!' And you know, I tell my family now that I'm a part of this project," he says.

The southern city again features heavily in the climax. The film crew have been busy coordinating road closures to allow for shooting of the crucial chase scenes around the outskirts of Invercargill.

Stunt double Clint Elvy gets to lead the chase from the driver's seat of the speedy Mini. He's enjoying being part of the remake.

"I don't remember the story, but I just remember loving it because this little yellow Mini was being chased by all the police, all through New Zealand, and I loved it."

A host of extras were also needed to appear as police officers and armed offenders squad members. An eclectic range of newcomers answered the call, including primary school teacher Andrew Barnett.

"I just saw it on Facebook, so I thought well, why not be an extra?" he says. "Because Pork Pie's a classic New Zealand movie, so let's have a go at acting, being an extra. It's been an awesome experience, eh. It's good to see behind the scenes of how movies are made."

Main shooting wraps up this week, although some crew will be capturing pickup shots over the next fortnight. Southland's budding actors and the rest of the public will have to wait until next summer to catch the action on the big screen.

The movie won't be ready for release until next summer (Grant Findlay)