Japanese film underway in Oamaru

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The filming of a movie about Fred Wada, a Japanese man who was brought up in America, started in the Victorian Precinct yesterday.

The film crew will be in Oamaru until Friday, recreating life from the 1940s and 50s.

The movie is based on the lead-up to the 1964 Olympics, in which Mr Wada was a key figure. He played a major role in helping allow Tokyo to host the Olympics, even though he lived in America, where he worked as a fruit and vegetable salesman.

He had a long association with the Olympics, having been involved with them since 1932.

N.Z. Network line producer Cameron Bennett said Oamaru was a great location for the film.

“It’s a good place for filming because of the old buildings, and because we can make it look like we have been to several different places.”

Mr Bennett said the Oamaru filming would take a few weeks to come together.

“Filming takes us all week. There won’t be a spare minute of us not filming so we need to be proactive with our time and make sure everything gets done, but we should be fine. Oamaru has plenty of good 1940s and 50s type settings,” he said.

The filming around Oamaru will feature mostly in the old precinct and on Itchen, Tyne and Tees streets, as well as at the Pen-y-bryn Lodge.

Filming has already taken place in Central Otago and further filming will be done in Christchurch.

A number of people from Oamaru have been enlisted as extras or crew members.

Location assistant Maddy Maxwell was pleased with the way the filming was progressing so far.

“It’s all coming together well,” she said.

By BRAYDEN LINDSAY

PHOTO: LINDA MCCARTHY – The Victorian Precinct was busy yesterday with a Japanese film crew busy on their first day of shooting in Oamaru. Dunedin family (above) Penny and Doug Kamo with daughter, Isla.
had roles in the film.