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LIBERTINE PICTURES’ RED ROCKS GOES INTO PRODUCTION ON LOCATION IN WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND COMMISSIONED BY BYUtv (US) & SKY ORIGINALS NZ

Mystical live-action family series has engaged Wētā Workshop for Creature Effects, with WildBrain on board as distributor

 

Wellington, NZ – June 25, 2024 Libertine Pictures has commenced production on Red Rocks, a new live-action family adventure drama series for BYUtv (USA) and Sky (NZ), with global leader in kids’ and family entertainment WildBrain securing rest-of-world distribution rights.


A group of five people standing on large red-brown rocks looking directly at camera.

Adapted from Kiwi author Rachael King’s award-winning novel of the same name, Red Rocks follows 12-year-old Jake as he is drawn into a world of mythical creatures and adventure when he finds a sealskin hidden on the rocky shores of his father’s seaside home in Wellington, New Zealand. When unexpected dangers are unleashed, Jake is called upon to protect his family.

 

A family co-viewing series for kids 8-12, Red Rocks takes the Celtic myth of the selkies, or seal people, and transplants it into the landscape of Wellington’s wild south coast, throwing an ordinary boy into a life-changing adventure. The production team has engaged Oscar® and BAFTA-winning visual effects and props company Wētā Workshop to create animatronic seals for the series.

 

Set to deliver by the end of this year, the 8 x half-hour series is being filmed on location in the Wellington region and features NZ Television Award-winner Dominic Ona-Ariki (One Lane Bridge, The Commons, Savage), stage and screen veteran Jim Moriarty MNZM (Lee Tamahori’s Mahana, The Strength of Water, Vegas) and Phoenix Connolly (The Royal Treatment, The Brokenwood Mysteries, Evil Dead), with Zeta Sutherland (Power Rangers: Dino Fury, Shortland Street) as ‘Jessie’ and newcomer Korban Knock starring as ‘Jake’.

 


Executive Producer Richard Fletcher (Mystic, Under the Vines, Daffodils) commented: “We are thrilled to bring Rachael’s novel to the screen and have the opportunity to highlight Wellington’s wild and beautiful south coast. Red Rocks tackles themes of environmental concern, discovery of inner strength, understanding of family, and a sense of turangawaewae (belonging) in a relatable and entertaining way. Martha Hardy-Ward’s fantastic action-packed scripts are full of adventure, mystery, jeopardy, humour and mystical creatures.  Balancing relatable inner drama with exhilarating action and discovery, Red Rocks will resonate with parents and children alike.”


Andra Johnson Duke, Head of Content at BYUtv, said: “This beautiful new series is an exploration of mythical storytelling and interpersonal relationships that we’re confident will connect families with cultures and with each other. The original concept and unique setting will really set the show apart, and we’re grateful to be associated with Libertine Pictures and Sky New Zealand on such a creative and fulfilling project.”


Thomas Robins, Head of Sky Originals NZ said: “We have the A-team taking charge of this magnificent story. I can’t wait to see what magic Libertine conjures up and pops on our screens for families all around the world to enjoy. While Red Rocks is a New Zealand story, produced by excellent local talent, it is also a dream international collaboration between us (Sky New Zealand) the wonderful BYUtv, and the uber cool WildBrain. It’s been a joy to work on so far - there is a very exciting show heading our way!”



Katie Wilson, Vice President of Channels and Global Acquisitions at WildBrain, said: “There’s always international demand for relatable coming-of-age dramas that deliver something new. Red Rocks is compellingly fresh with its suspenseful storylines, faceted characters and interweaving of ancient folklore and selkies into real life dramas—all set against the stunning dramatic backdrop of New Zealand. It’s a captivating ride, sure to hook global audiences as we follow our protagonists on their exciting adventures.”


Jake Evill, Wētā Workshop Project Supervisor said: “It's fantastic to be a part of this home-grown production that supports local talent. Practical effects are our specialty, and we love working on projects like this where there was a true collaborative spirit and we felt really connected to the job.”


Red Rocks is helmed by Director/Producer David Stubbs (Mystic, Daffodils, Reservoir Hill) with Executive Producer Richard Fletcher. The series was developed for television by Martha Hardy-Ward (Reservoir Hill, Girl vs Boy, Mystic) who leads the writing team of Steph Matuku and Gavin McGibbon. The series is a Libertine Pictures production, co-commissioned by the US network BYUtv and Sky (New Zealand), with investment from NZ On Air and is distributed by WildBrain with the New Zealand Screen Production Rebate cash-flowed by Hinterland.


For further information:

 

NZ Media contact: Tamar Münch

E: tamar@thepublicgood.co.nz | M: +64 21 659 349

 

International Media contact: Aimée Norman at Liberi Consulting, external PR for WildBrain

E: aimee@libericonsulting.com  | M +44 (0) 7957 564 050


About Libertine Pictures


Libertine Pictures is an independent film and television production company founded in 2013, based in New Zealand and led by accomplished producer Richard Fletcher and internationally-acclaimed writer Neil Cross.

 

Libertine produces bold and compelling feature films, documentaries and television drama. It works with established storytellers and filmmakers and nurtures emerging talent.

 

The company’s most recent productions include three series of the award-winning family mystery adventure Mystic for BBC and TVNZ and Under the Vines, a six-part romantic comedy starring Rebecca Gibney (Wanted, Packed to the Rafters, Winter) and Charles Edwards (Amazon Studios’ Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, The Terror, Downton Abbey) produced with Perpetual Media for AMC Networks’ Acorn TV and TVNZ. The third season of Under the Vines is set for premiere in 2024.

 

Libertine’s aim is to inspire, challenge and innovate. It is passionate about bringing powerful and distinctive stories to the screen.

 

About WildBrain


At WildBrain we inspire imaginations through the wonder of storytelling. As a leader in 360° franchise management, we are experts in content creation, audience engagement and global licensing, cultivating and growing love for our own and partner brands with kids and families around the world. With approximately 13,000 half-hours of filmed entertainment in our library—one of the world’s most extensive—we are home to such treasured franchises as Peanuts, Teletubbies, Strawberry Shortcake, Yo Gabba Gabba!, Caillou, Inspector Gadget and Degrassi. WildBrain’s mission is to create exceptional entertainment experiences that captivate and delight fans both young and young at heart.

 

Our studios produce such award-winning series as The Snoopy Show; Snoopy in Space; Strawberry Shortcake: Berry in the Big City; Sonic Prime; Chip and Potato; Teletubbies Let’s Go! and many more. Enjoyed in more than 150 countries on over 500 platforms, our content is everywhere kids and families view entertainment, including YouTube, where our network has garnered over 1 trillion minutes of watch time. Our television group owns and operates some of Canada’s most-viewed family entertainment channels. WildBrain CPLG, our leading consumer-products and location-based entertainment agency, represents our owned and partner properties in every major territory worldwide. 

 

WildBrain is headquartered in Canada with offices worldwide and trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: WILD).


About BYUtv


BYUtv provides families more than 2,000 hours of uplifting and compelling programming they can enjoy together. The network's content is trusted, contemporary and clean, yet clever and sophisticated enough to inspire children and parents alike. BYUtv's diverse portfolio of original, co-produced and acquired content includes scripted and unscripted dramas and comedies, competition shows, concert specials and 700+ hours of live HD collegiate sports.

 

BYUtv is available in approximately 40 million homes in every state of the country on DISH Network, DirecTV and more than 130 major cable systems. A digital pioneer, BYUtv was the first U.S. television network to stream all its content live and free of charge over the internet. Today, BYUtv has more than two million YouTube subscribers and two billion views and is available live and on-demand on multiple digital platforms at no cost, including Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Xbox, Windows, digital apps for iOS and Android, and BYUtv.org.

 

Based in Provo, Utah, BYUtv is part of BYU Broadcasting, which is owned by Brigham Young University.


About Sky New Zealand Originals


Sky is New Zealand’s leading entertainment company and home to the best and broadest choice in live sport, movies, shows, documentaries and news. Sky offers a suite of viewing choices to suit every New Zealander, whether it’s through the Sky Box and companion app Sky Go for premium direct-to-home customers, its streaming services Sky Sport Now for sport and Neon for movies and entertainment, or free-to-air on Sky Open.


About Wētā Workshop


Wētā Workshop brings imaginary worlds to life by delivering concept design, physical effects, collectibles, immersive visitor experiences and games to the world’s entertainment and creative industries.

 

Established by Richard Taylor and Tania Rodger in 1987, Wētā Workshop is best known for their screen work on The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Avatar, and Dune, immersive visitor experiences, Gallipoli: The Scale of our War, Expo 2020 Dubai’s Mobility Pavilion and Wētā Workshop Unleashed. Based in Wellington, New Zealand, Wētā Workshop’s ground-breaking work has earned them multiple international awards. 

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