Dark mini-series exposure of town is good

Queenstown’s national and international marketing body has no worries about being represented negatively by the dark material of Jane Campion’s mini-series Top Of The Lake, which is currently airing worldwide.

Top Of The Lake was shot in Queenstown in the first half of 2012, and is now airing in the United States, Britain, Australia and New Zealand.

The seven-part television series centres on the disappearance of a pregnant 12-year-old, her drug-dealing psychopathic father and murderous brothers, a corrupt local police force, and a camp for sex-addicted older women led by an off-centre mystic.

High-profile US, British, Australian and New Zealand actors have brought the stark, edgy roles to life. Although efforts appear to have been made to disassociate Queenstown, references to it have been made.

However, Destination Queenstown chief executive Graham Budd said he had no worries that savvy audiences would get the impression Queenstown was a hotspot of nefarious dealings from watching the show.

“I think the reality is that people will understand the series is a piece of fiction, and this is probably helped because of its darkness, which makes it quite an extreme piece of fiction, and therefore I don’t see any risk to Queenstown’s reputation as a destination,” Budd said.

“On an up-side, Queenstown’s landscapes are shown off well and that was probably a key reason it was shot here.”

Head of Great Southern Television and Queenstown resident Phil Smith agreed.

“Single crime dramas are red hot in the UK with shows such as The Killing and The Bridge showing there is undoubtedly a large market for such content.

“Interestingly, Scandinavian crime drama has been a factor in the Nordic countries becoming the hip travel destination for well-heeled British travellers.

“If these things all line up, the TV series will be a massive marquee advertisement for our region on some of the biggest TV networks in the world.

“If people are hooked, there is every chance some will want to visit the locations, in a Lord of the Rings-style pilgrimage.”

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