Locals on parade: Celebrating a gold award for a Toyota ad are, from left, cast Tracy Cameron, Ted Lord and Tony Glynn, casting agent Jackie Gay and cast Dean Morganty and Jez Scott with his trusty steed, Sheriff


A TV vehicle ad shot on Queenstown Hill’s come up trumps for a number of locals.

Toyota New Zealand’s ‘Hilux Unbreakable Bond’ ad, showcasing a number of models, won gold in the casting category of the Australasian Writers and Art Directors Association’s latest awards which attracted entries throughout Asia-Pacific.

The ad, made by Saatchi & Saatchi NZ, was cast by Auckland-based Adrian Dentice with the help of local casting director Jackie Gay.

She worked closely with local talent agencies Monarch, Ican and Exposure, with the result that half the 12-strong cast were picked from Queenstown.

They included school bus driver Ted Lord, farmers Jez Scott and Tony Glynn, film industry worker Dean Morganty, pro mountain biker David McMillan and Ican owner Tracy Cameron.

More than 100 Queenstowners were auditioned along with more than 300 Aucklanders.

Among those auditioned were people Gay spotted while ‘‘street casting’’.

‘‘I stopped people at petrol stations, rocked up to hunters in carparks, put flyers on Toyotas up at skifields when I was snowboarding and even hit a few people up on chairlifts.

‘‘This region has so many authentic locals, so I even arranged a casting session at the Glenorchy pub, got locals to come down for a few beers and put them in front of a camera.

‘‘We had the support of our local GWD Toyota branch as we really wanted to find authentic
Toyota owners, and with their help we auditioned some of their customers as well.’’

Gay, an award-winning photographer who’s branched into casting and on-set stills photography for the film industry, says the Toyota award highlights the talent in this area.

‘‘With more film jobs coming in, this proves there is still ‘local’ gold in those Otago hills yet to be discovered.’’