The New Zealand Genre Content Network

Fantasy in New Zealand – What’s the internet presence like?

It’s undeniable that Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Ring’s films and upcoming Hobbit films make New Zealand one of the most iconic fantasy filming locations in the world.

Currently the Hobbit is in production, and the behind the scenes production videos receive a tremendous amount of attention on Facebook. You can find out more about the Hobbit production at The Hobbit Production Blog

I am curious to xplore New Zealand’s further ties to Fantasy in upcoming posts, and especially what sort of internet presence New Zealand fantasy has and whether a resource like could tap into the obvious Lord of the Rings connection to expand the circle of New Zealand fantasy genre content creators.

So, a few experiments:

If you type New Zealand Fantasy Authors into Google the picture looks pretty incomplete.

First up is a Wikipedia page with a list of just seven authors. A delve further in to their pages suggests that few of them actually are based in New Zealand, and were either New Zealand born or grew up here for a while before moving elsewhere. Is this a fate that is still destined for most New Zealand authors – that they can’t sustain a living on these shores, or can’t get the breaks they need here – or is the increasingly connected world of the internet going to make it easier for New Zealand based authors to find success, and can they tap into some of the connections between fantasy genre fans and New Zealand’s alternate identity as Middle Earth?

Other sites include which, unfortunately, resembles more of an archaeological dig into the early days of the internet than anything resembling a vibrant community of creators or readers.

Does this lack of information show a lack of numbers, a lack of patriotism, or a lack of internet savvy amongst aspiring and successful New Zealand Fantasy Authors?

New Zealand Fantasy Films isn’t a huge hit generator either – and the in comparison  its Wikipedia page is even more depressing, only citing the Lord of the Rings films.

Interestingly enough – New Zealand Fantasy Game Developers actually strikes upon a bit of gold – a forum post on Game Planet Forums with a video about indie Auckland based developer Grinding Gear Game and their in development title Path of Exile

Now this is exactly the sort of project that I envision supporting. Ambitious development of a commercially oriented project in New Zealand by guys who could have probably moved overseas to try their hand at it, but figured out a way to get it off the ground here.

It’s not New Zealand centric, but I imagine it’s independence from being produced in California or Seattle means that it will remain a New Zealand take on what has proven to be a globally successful genre – at least more so than if the team had physically relocated to get it off the ground. This interests me and I am very hopeful that the company and the game proves successful.

More over, I hope to cover more about Path of Exile in upcoming posts on – because it’s the sort of ambition that these guys are showing that I really want to support and get word out there about – no matter what the medium the creators are working in.

Apologies I didn’t get this out as a post on Saturday as intended on my regular schedule – it was my birthday and festivities got in the way. Will try and ensure I’m back to the schedule by Thursday.



2 responses to “Fantasy in New Zealand – What’s the internet presence like?

  1. Jonathon July 10, 2011 at 6:08 am

    I’m thinking, just off the top of my head, that fantasy is a genre that can be top-heavy on the production $$ and that’s the factor that might prevent too many local fantasy productions getting out the door. I guess when Renaissence was here with Xena etc. we were at least shooting it here.
    There are a number of NZ fanstasy authors however, and anecdotally it sounds like their stuff does get optioned – overseas of course. We were working with a local author a few years ago on a great fanstasy story, it was shaping up to be something that could be done on the cheap(er).

    • genrenz July 10, 2011 at 8:06 am

      Thats certainly a point, but thats why I included authors as fantasy writing doesn’t have an up front production cost. Also, I have seen and been involved in a number od New Zealand projects with fantasy elements, and the fact that there isn’t a strong internet presence is probably a reflection of creators’ recognition that there isn’t a New Zealand market larg eenough to promote specific genre fare too, so everyone is looking to the world market.

      But without a level of grass roots support and infrastructure, individuals in all fields are doomed to recreate the wheel when building a career, and then move elsewhere to a larger centre of production. A bit if patriotism and talent development in multiple arenas could go a long way to helping our creative industries in general.

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