Wonders Down Under–Filmmaking in New Zealand


A movie set is a village, complete with solutions to all life’s pressing problems.  Places to eat, rest, clothe yourself, and, of course, a place where that most primal of needs, the telling of stories, comes to life in a very special way.

We arrived in New Zealand in the morning, rested and showered then headed to the set where my novel . . . but wait, I can’t tell you which one yet, can I?  See two blogs ago to find out why and enter my giveaway.

“The film being produced for German television” is based on one of my earliest novels, what publishers called a “sweet” romance, meaning there’s an absence of steamy love scenes and the heroine is often young and innocent.  Fascinated by family life, I often, even then, wrote about domestic issues, a habit that served me well in this novel.  The moment we arrived on set we watched a scene with the movie’s male lead and three young children. 
Thumbnail image for Rain, rain go away.JPGAnd watched.  And watched.  Because if I learned anything in the hours while I stood in the rain as two different scenes were filmed and refilmed, I learned movie making is an exacting and exhausting business that requires an enormous number of people from the inception (where I came in) to the conclusion, when the film makes its debut.

On any number of levels, I’ve been so impressed with the film people I’ve met.  They have been, to a person, warm, interested and interesting.  They are cosmopolitan, creative and in the case of the German production team, flawlessly bilingual.

And did I mention great with children?  The kids in the production are having such fun, and the adults clearly enjoy having them around.

Take your best shot.JPGEven in the moments when nothing was going right, rain was falling, closeups revealed problems with continuity, there were none of the much publicized personal theatrics we’re told to expect on film sets.  Just hard work, attention to detail and creative solutions. I am left with a new respect for a medium I, as a viewer. often take for granted.

Which reminds me of another group of films made here in New Zealand that no one will ever take for granted.  But we just pulled up to the Shire, so that story will have to wait for the next blog.

Stay tuned for photos.


  1. Diane Chamberlain on February 19, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Emilie, I’m so glad you’re sharing this adventure with your readers! What a thrill for you. I can’t wait to hear more and see more pix.

  2. Kathleen on February 21, 2010 at 11:39 am

    I can’t imagine what it must feel like to see a book you wrote come to life in the movies.. I am sure you are over the mooon and I hope they do a terrific job of bring your words to life..

  3. ewald fahrensohn on February 23, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    I can`t wait to see the movie.My car,an old Triumph Herald was used in it.Only problem is,I live in New Zealand and won`t be be able to watch the movie on German T.V.

  4. Emilie Richards on February 24, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Ewald, please send me your email address again, and I’ll forward to the producers. You’ll be glad you did.

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