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Video Tours producers win US award

North Shore video producers, New Zealand Video Tours Ltd, has won first place in the travel/transportation category of the US International Film and Video Festival awards.

Its winning production is the 2004 DVD version of its 20-year-old video “New Zealand from Coast to Coast”.

Producer, Bruce Reynolds, says the 95-minute programme allows viewers to see New Zealand region by region or as a whole.

Viewers can go straight to one of seven North Island and five South Island regions.

Special features include a slide show with 80 New Zealand scenes, archival film of Auckland and Christchurch from the early 1950s, a Maori crafts presentation and English subtitles.

The DVD shows more than the usual top tourism spots and activities, eg, Warbirds Over Wanaka, swimming with dolphins, an interview with the late artist Frederick Hunterwasser, underwater scenes at Milford Sound and gliding at Omarama.

The 2004 edition of the DVD took five months to produce and was released in February.

“Our aim was to produce a DVD souvenir offering more content, flexibility and interest than video ever could,” says Reynolds.

Video Tours worked with three-year-old company DVDesign Ltd that Reynolds has a 50 per cent stake in and operates with Jeremy Everett who is managing director. The business authors and encodes DVDs, and created the menus and interactivity and produced the DVD master for Coast to Coast.

Video Tours began producing and distributing souvenir videos in 1984 and now also makes CD-Roms and DVDs.

“The economic benefits of these products to New Zealand’s tourism industry is very significant, as each item purchased by a tourist is an advocate for the country when shown to friends at home,” Reynolds says.