SAE Auckland Opens New Film Facility


24 Nov 2016




SAE Auckland Opens New Film Facility

24 Nov 2016

SAE Creative Media Institute Auckland has opened the doors to its brand new film facilities in the basement of 18 Heather Street in Parnell – Studio 18


The official opening of Studio 18 was held on October 12, with SAE supporters and stakeholders, alumnae and key members of the education, film and audio industries joining SAE staff and students to celebrate the launch of the state-of-the-art film studios.

Maori advisor and academic board member, Robert Pouwhare, led the attendees in a karakia and mihi to bless the new space.

Michael Miller, head of the film department, organised for New Zealand’s only DeLorean “time machine” (a replica of the sports car used in the Back to the Future movie franchise) to appear at the opening, in which thrilled guests were able to have their photo taken against the green screen.  Tours of the new space were held throughout the evening, and speeches were given by Michael Miller and SAE film student Nicole Chen.

Studio 18 features world-class film production and post-production facilities, and will be the heart and hub of SAE’s film degree and diploma students’ film-making activity.

SAE was awarded NZQA accreditation to run its Bachelor of Film Arts in 2015 and immediately set out to find a suitable facility for this new film degree.

SAE’s audio engineering studios have been located on the ground floor of 18 Heather Street since 1989, so when the basement floor of the building became available late 2015, it was deemed the perfect space for the new film amenities.

SAE took over the lease in March 2016 and immediately started the design and build of a spacious new film studio, complete with green screen, a “hangout space” for students (that doubles as a film set), and a large classroom.

The studio is outfitted as a multifunctional space for rehearsing, shooting, auditioning and green-screening, and studio lighting has been designed to reflect industry practice.

Three Black Magic Ursa cameras have been newly-purchased, which the degree students will use both in the studio and out on location.

The design and fit-out of Studio 18 was done by entertainment lighting specialists Kenderdine, and the building work was undertaken by Positive Property over three months.

Campus manager Dr Suzette Major says that SAE is thrilled with the final result, and the new film degree students are excited and inspired by the space.

“Studio 18 is a great example of the practical, hands-on training that SAE offers. Our students learn in studios, not lecture halls. And I am thrilled that SAE Auckland now has a film studio that parallels industry standards.  Our film degree and diploma students are ecstatic.”


For further information contact:

Olivia McPherson

SAE New Zealand

M: (+64) 21 87 97 64