New $45m film studio in Upper Hutt attracting international interest

A new $45 million film studio is under construction in Wellington's Upper Hutt and is hoping to capitalise on New Zealand's COVID-free status. 

Tucked away in Wallaceville, Lane Street Studio is promising 'lights, camera and action' for the region's film scene.

Director Kristy Grant hopes it will become a world-class production studio and says they're already getting interest from overseas.

"We've got people who want to be here and we will book it up and take advantage of this facility when it's ready," Grant said.

Council controlled promotional organisation WellingtonNZ is confident the studio won't poach work from the rest of New Zealand's film sector.

"It's a compliment to what already exists here. This is going to boost the existing industry," says Nicci Boucher from Screen Wellington.

The studio's plans include three 2300 square foot sound stages and each production is set to create at least 500 jobs.

"That's the real winner for us," says Danny Evans whose family is funding the studio.

His father Rod says the family likes watching films "all the time" but will probably only get involved in the studio as an extra.

But the studio isn't the only thing in development, Lane Street Studio is also developing a national training programme to share industry knowledge with around 200 students.

Once it's all complete, Upper Hutt's Wallaceville may be the new Hollywood.