About the New Zealand Screen Production Grant

Mulan received the New Zealand Screen Production Grant – (International grant)

International Productions are eligible for a cash grant of 20% of Qualifying New Zealand Production Expenditure (QNZPE) with a 5% Uplift available for a smaller number of productions that are invited to apply and can demonstrate significant additional economic benefits to New Zealand. PDV Productions can access a grant of 20% of QNZPE up to QNZPE of $25 million, and 18% of QNZPE for QNZPE above $25 million. Full details can be found here.

Fast Facts

1,583 New Zealand crew

17 New Zealand cast

89% New Zealand cast and crew

36 New Zealand HODs

143 shooting days in New Zealand

49 sets built in New Zealand

About Mulan 

Acclaimed filmmaker Niki Caro brings the epic tale of China’s legendary warrior to life in Disney’s Mulan, in which a fearless young woman risks everything out of love for her family and her country to become one of the greatest warriors China has ever known. When the Emperor of China issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial Army to defend the country from Northern invaders, Hua Mulan, the eldest daughter of an honored warrior, steps in to take the place of her ailing father. Masquerading as a man, Hua Jun, she is tested every step of the way and must harness her inner-strength and embrace her true potential. It is an epic journey that will transform her into an honored warrior and earn her the respect of a grateful nation…and a proud father.

Mulan features a celebrated international cast that includes: Yifei Liu as Mulan; Donnie Yen as Commander Tung; Tzi Ma as Zhou, Jason Scott Lee as Böri Khan; Yoson An as Honghui; Ron Yuan as Sergeant Qiang; with Gong Li as Xianniang and Jet Li as the Emperor. The film is directed by Niki Caro from a screenplay by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver and Lauren Hynek and Elizabeth Martin, suggested by the narrative poem The Ballad of Mulan. The producers are Chris Bender, Jake Weiner and Jason Reed, with Bill Kong, Barrie M. Osborne, Tim Coddington and Mario Iscovich serving as executive producers.

 On Location in New Zealand

About 70 percent of the production took place in Auckland in 2018, with the remaining time spent on location in New Zealand’s South Island and China. Mulan was the first production to use the two state-of-the-art sound stages at Kumeu Film Studios in Auckland.

Disney's MULAN Photo: Film Frame

Over 400 Weta Digital staff worked on Mulan. Weta Digital helped realise Mulan’s journey through the creation of The Imperial City, a digital hawk, the witch’s magical powers and spectacular environments.

 The Imperial City, a bustling medieval metropolis and the location for most of the third act of the movie was developed using a new system for procedurally generating content based on data gathered in China.  For authenticity, historical research into medieval Chinese city planning and architecture was undertaken. Using the scans, like building blocks to create a huge variety of buildings, and then laying these out according to rules derived from historical research. The largest, most detailed scan ever done by Weta Digital.

More than 50 extras were scanned with a custom-built photogrammetry rig and used a new process to quickly turn them into animatable characters to populate the city. This allowed the team to use the beautiful costumes and make-up directly without having to re-create it themselves. The technology and research team developed new ways of rendering all those assets efficiently so a more realistic detail could be provided into the shots, making them truly come alive.

 Over 50 Weta Workshop staff worked on Mulan crafting :

Over 240 principal cast costumes

Over 4000 weapons

1,114 complete outfits

281 sets of armour

The Rebel Fleet partnering with New Zealand ISP Devoli created a guaranteed link from Kumeu Film Studios through to AWS in the US.   This enabled the delivering all colour graded dailies, editorial media and the Original Camera Media directly into the Cloud within 24 hours of the Camera turning over, transferring between 10-17 Terabytes per day, resulting in the Post Production immediately working on approvals, edits and VFX shots.

The Rebel Fleet also partnered with New Zealand based SAAS Dailies provider Moxion.io to roll out their 'Immediates' package enabling files to be uploaded directly from on-set available in Moxion. Immediate provided a continuous flow of takes from the cameras allowing users to receive a summary of the shots over a specified period.

Ariel supplied the Mulan production with their MARTTi all weather, cinema drone systems. These systems are designed and built in New Zealand using computer FEA, advanced composites and 3D printing to create cinema drones that are much lighter, quieter, faster and more weatherproof than anything else in the world.

The MARTTi drones were used on Mulan to carry Arri Alexa LF cinema cameras at over 100kph in locations as varied as White Island, Aoraki/Mt Cook, The Ahuriri Valley and the Stockton Coal Mine often working in bad weather.

Economic Benefits

The economic benefits to New Zealand spread across the country. Mulan was shot in Auckland and in the Waitaki and Mackenzie districts in the South Island, including Omarama's Clay Cliffs, Poolburn, Ida Valley and the Ahuriri Valley.

2,130 New Zealand vendors

NZ$9.9M spent on 45,981 nights of

NZ$1.3M spent on hire vehicles

NZ$2.5M spent on set decoration purchases

NZ$2.7M spent on wardrobe purchases & supplies

NZ$4.3M spent on armour and weapons

NZ$15.5K per day (approx.) catering for Main unit

NZ$6.9K per day (approx.) catering for 2nd unit

Disney's MULAN L to R: Yifei Liu (Mulan) on set with Director Niki Caro

Mulan debuts on Disney+ with Premier Access on 4 September 2020.