New Zealand director Taika Waititi said that the resolution for Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit to shoot in New Zealand will be a boost to the local Kiwi industry as well.
“The Hobbit coming to New Zealand will affect other films getting made there,” he told Screen. “It helps our industry. The crews and craftspeople would have suffered the most. They work harder than anybody. So for them I’m really happy.”
“Our industry is too small to be having those arguments,” the Oscar-nominated writer/director continued. “We can’t set a precedent with a $500m film and expect every film with a budget of $1m or $5m to treat actors like they’re on a $500m movie. You do have to make compromises. Despite whatever differences they have what’s important is that its being made.”
Waititi spoke to Screen at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival, where he was screening his latest film Boy and also speaking at TED Doha.
Boy, which premiered at Sundance, has gone on to become the highest-grossing local film ever at the New Zealand box office.
The director says he’s not sure what his next project will be. “I’m just trying to finish a bunch of scripts, some that I’m working on with other people, some that I’m doing myself. Some I’ll do in the US, some at home. I have no idea what will be shot next,” he said. “I’m really just trying to do what I find interesting.
“The genres I would want to work in vary. I’m just a movie fan, I don’t just love character-driven dramas about rural communities, I also like horror films. I want to do everything.”
As an actor, Waititi also recently spent six weeks in New Orleans on the set of Green Lantern, playing the best friend of Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds). “It was a real boyhood fantasy coming true, being in a superhero movie,” he said. “It was amazing just seeing the mechanics of a giant film, it was educational.”