I was lucky enough to be a very small part of the Spartacus production when I was selected for a directors internship, shadowing acclaimed director Michael Hurst through the entire pre-production, shoot and editing process on on the penultimate episode of the series.
The New Zealand Film Commission congratulates the team behind Spartacus as they wrap up four incredible years of drama and action and blood spilt upon the sands.
The US television series, shot in Mt Wellington, Auckland, New Zealand since 2009, premiered to record breaking numbers on Starz Network (US) in January 2010, and has aired in Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Poland, Hungary, Brazil, Ireland, Turkey, Italy, India, Pakistan, Slovenia, Australia and New Zealand.
Produced in New Zealand by Executive Producer and creative force Rob Tapert and Producer Chloe Smith for Pacific Renaissance on behalf of Starz Entertainment, the production was made with the assistance of the New Zealand Government’s Large Budget Screen Production Grant and generated more than NZD$200million of spend into the New Zealand economy. Tapert and Smith have previously worked together on many off shore funded and New Zealand based productions, including Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Legend of the Seeker, 30 Days of Night and Xena: Warrior Princess.
Of the production, and filming in New Zealand, Tapert said “Shooting Spartacus in Auckland for the last four years only reconfirms my belief that New Zealand is a world class leader for film and TV production. Although the series has wrapped, I look forward to a future of making more productions here and continuing to be a part of the New Zealand film community. I also want to thank the thousands of Kiwis who worked on Spartacus – our cast, crew, extras, equipment suppliers, facilities – everyone … it was through their efforts that the programme was an international success.”
New Zealand Film Commission CEO, Graeme Mason, added “Spartacus was a key contributor to the NZD$3 billion generated by the film, screen and digital sector last year. The production engaged 315 permanent and 150 casual crew per week, 5000 extras days per season and 20 key cast roles per season plus ran a vendor list of 788 suppliers and six commercially leased buildings in the last season. The series has provided upskilling opportunities and internships for New Zealanders who engage in our screen production industry.”
The fourth and final season of the series, Spartacus – War of the Damned, will air in the US commencing 25 January 2013. War of the Damned concludes the story of Spartacus that began in 2009 with Blood and Sand and ran through two additional seasons, Gods of the Arena (a six episode prequel) and Vengeance. All told a run of four years and 39 hour long on-air episodes.