Puff the Magic Dragon, lives by the sea .. and had a birthday celebration in Wellington on the weekend ... although it was abit of a struggle getting all the dragons into the venue .. by all accounts they had a firery great time!
Making an Advert
Wellington has been given a commercial break which is benefiting the whole region.
Several foreign television commercials shot in the city - some with budgets of $1 million and employing a cast and crew of about 450 - have helped bring in the money.
Last year, television commercials, along with feature films, television productions and music videos, pumped $285 million into the region's economy more than double the $128 million generated in 2007. The number of Wellington businesses involved in the screen industry also increased last year by 9 per cent, from 594 in 2007 to 648.
Film Wellington, which promotes the city as a location and helps film-makers, said making foreign television commercials was not just "bread and butter work" for New Zealand crews between other projects but had the potential to bring feature films to the capital.
"It's word of mouth. If someone comes here working on a TV commercial and they have a fantastic experience, they will then go back to the rest of the world and that reputation gets fed back into the feature film industry," manager Delia Shanly said.
"If you are film-friendly to a TV commercial, it impacts on whether or not a $200 million feature film decides to come here."
Last year, Wellington was the stand-in for several overseas cities in commercials. For one session, 40 sheep were shepherded into Wellington Railway Station for a British advertisement, believed to be for a rail company. And Featherston St was also transformed into an English street for an advertisement for British national lottery operator Camelot.
On Saturday, (also go to more photos inner-city residents got a peek at a commercial, shot in Abel Smith St, which included giant green tentacles sprouting from an apartment block. A commercial, for an American telecommunications company (US Cellular), plans to shoot in central Wellington tonight and tomorrow, using a low-flying helicopter and spotlights projected on to streets and buildings.
Ms Shanly could not give more details about the two commercials, but said that usually big foreign commercials shot in Wellington had budgets of between $700,000 and $1 million, and could employ up to 450 cast and crew. A few had budgets of about $2 million. An average commercial shooting for about two days could have a budget of between $200,000 and $500,000 and employ 50 to 60 crew.
Ms Shanly said helicopters for tonight's commercial should finish their flights by 11pm. Filming would continue with lights projected from vehicles and buildings. But if there was heavy rain, filming would be delayed until Wednesday and Thursday nights.