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Wellywood sign a ‘try hard’ says Mallard

May 21st, 2011 Top News


TRACY WATKINS

A computer-designed photo of the Wellywood sign on the Miramar hill.

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The Wellywood sign is going to be built but that hasn’t stopped Labour MP Trevor Mallard labelling it a “try hard” and stupid.

Mallard, the Hutt South MP, said he was a huge fan of the Wellington film industry but “one of our strengths is our originality and this is a pale imitation of the Hollywood sign which makes us look like try-hards”.

He was amazed that the sign had been resurrected after so much controversy the first time around.

“Frankly I don’t think we need a sign,” Mallard said, adding that a giant weta, symbolising Peter Jackson’s Weta workshop, would be far preferable.

The 3.5-metre high and 28m wide sign, however, will be built alongside the hillside next to the Miramar Cutting.

The Wellywood sign has copped a fair share of criticism with the Dominion Post today quoting veteran Wellington film director Geoff Murphy as saying: “I think it’s f….g stupid. It is copying a foreign, bulls..t glamour idea and it’s the pits of what people can aspire to.”

A branding expert called the sign crass, said it could hurt Wellington’s image, and marked it as a city of try-hard followers.

Wellington International Airport, which owns the site, originally announced plans for the sign last March. It prompted multimedia company Skull and Bones to set up a site where thousands of people created their own, often uncomplimentary, signs.

The backlash was such that the airport put the Wellywood idea on hold as it considered other options posted on its Facebook page.

Chief executive Steve Fitzgerald said yesterday that the Wellywood option was easily the best.

“When we judged them against the things we were trying to achieve – to celebrate the film industry, making it clear it was in Wellington, and making it globally relevant – Wellywood was the clear No 1.”

-Stuff and Dominion Post

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