FROM THE FRONT PAGE

Central Otago Mirror - - WANAKA NEWS -

He is hop­ing his con­fi­den­tial ne­go­ti­a­tions with peo­ple in the New Zealand and in­ter­na­tional film in­dus­try will soon bear fruit.

He’s a pa­tient man. He started dig­ging in 2009 and by 2010, the hole was nearly 9m deep, 58m wide and 60m long.

More than 120,000 cu­bic me­tre of earth has been re­moved and re­cy­cled into dis­trict de­vel­op­ments and land­scap­ing projects.

Now, the hole can ac­com­mo­date a 18,198m2, five-storey high build­ing.

Nine me­tres of the build­ing will be un­der­ground and another nine me­tres will be above ground.

Rhodes is plan­ning two stu­dios and a wet tank within a staged, mul­ti­pur­pose build­ing that will also pro­vide space for mu­seum dis­plays, trade shows and events.

The en­gi­neer­ing plans have been com­pleted and Rhodes is ready to start stage one.

Rhodes says he is presently ne­go­ti­at­ing with a New Zealand film company about ‘‘a lot of props’’ and has also been talk­ing with Dis­ney about ‘‘a lot of ve­hi­cles’’ for another film.

Rhodes firmly be­lieves the film in­dus­try re­gards the stu­dio as a ne­ces­sity. He has vis­ited stu­dios in Wellington and Hen­der­son and has been to Paramount Stu­dios over­seas to talk with peo­ple.

‘‘From the per­spec­tive of the coun­try, let alone the re­gion, it’s got pri­or­ity. Whereas I wanted to do it over a cer­tain pe­riod of time, they now want to fast track it. It will em­ploy hun­dreds of peo­ple.’’

‘‘This is part of the jig­saw. The miss­ing piece of the puz­zle [for the film in­dus­try]. We want to fill it. We started a long time ago. We are close, but not quite there. We have a lot of peo­ple be­hind the pro­gramme,’’ Rhodes said.

Photo: MAR­JORIE COOK/FAIR­FAX NZ 630021479

Big plans: Na­tional Trans­port and Toy Mu­seum gen­eral man­ager Ja­son Rhodes mulls over plans for his pro­posed new build­ing.

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