Monday, August 28, 2006

Today someone representing a West Island film company turned up at the office I'm working at on Labmton Quay. They gave our desk dude a wonderful letter commencing "Dear Business Owner/Building Manager". How nice.


But in order "to make Wellington look amazing for the [weekend] shoot":
One wonders if either the lovely "Mel" (who penned the letter) or her employers, Goodoil Films, have considered that their choice of Wellington may not have been so wise:

  1. We were "chosen over many major cities in... [Oz&NZ]..." yet in order to "achieve a very big city feel" we've got to flick the switch for an entire weekend.
  2. Leaving "lights on to give shape and vibrancy to Wellington"? Is "shape and vibrancy" industry speak for "fake"? It's certainly not going to "make it (Wellington) look its very best".
  3. In Wellington (unlike Paddington, NSW presumably), electricity use comprises a cost to business.

Just why "Wellington City" would do "everything it can to make this [rat arse ad shoot] possible" when we have a perfectly vibrant film community of our own is beyond me. Do they think they're big time? Theirs is simply a smarmy attempt to appeal to civic pride in order to extract a massive freebie.

I wasn't intending to come off all whiney, but tell me: why would we as a city, in an energy constrained country, with a significant amount of electricity still generated by burning fossil fuels, leave all the lights on in our most densely built area out of the goodness of our heart? Just because our last shower of rain was quite hefty doesn't mean we came down with it.

This is a perfect example of an organisation trying shift significant costs of business on to the community. Please, somebody, tell me if I'm out of order, and if so please spell out some benefits of leaving the lights on.

Update: quick calculation: assuming 2.5 days of lighting for half of the CBD core is being requested, and that on average 50% of all power usage is for lighting, then the bill comes to approx. $14,000. I don't have info to hand that allows me to state that in CO2 equivalent emissions, but it would be good to know.


johnny-johnny said...

I don't think you're "out of order" at all but I'll just put it a thought of my own.

What if the cost could be seen as an investment in Wellington as a film location? I imagine that if Wellington was used more as a location that it would benefit the entire community even if the company (and country) making the direct profits was the West Island. Flying staff to Wellington, putting them up in accomodation, feeding them, technical support for crew, etc. That's all money and experience that wouldn't otherwise be spent in Wellington.

As another aside, maybe Wellington is a lot more efficient at producing that big city feel (in terms of energy consumed and cost to the environment) than our Australian counterparts. Our smaller buildings are nestled more closely together rather than Sydney's 80 floor towers all spread out from each other (in comparison).

Guv said...

Fair call Johnny

Although i'm not sure we need the work. I'm aware of another filming project thats planned by a local crew in the CBD about the same time. They're doing without the light switch (maybe they don't need it).

Surely $14,000 spent on some computer software could do the same job as leaving the lights on (and more than just once). That would have to be more efficient.

The bottom line seems to be that GoodOil aren't paying.

Mind you I hadn't considered that it may be an ad for Wellie they're doing, or maybe even an energy company. Maybe they should be at Hunters Corner or Manchester St (ChCh) if they want this sort of "big city feel"...

Guv said...

Oh, and by the way, the reference and link to Carlito's Way should not be construed as a threat... yet.

No, seriously, not ever...