NZâ€™S SCREEN PRODUCTION INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
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landing! More coverage of local films screening at NZIFF 2010: The Insatiable Moon, After the Waterfall, Gordonia, Russian Snark, & Wound
Plus: Antony Starr roles; initial reviews of NZFC review; & more
The world belongs to those who can mix their media. The big news in media is that traditional media alone no longer works. Proliferation of digital communication technologies has created a completely new media landscape and a new breed of professionals is needed to conquer it. The industry leading AUT Communication programmes equip graduates with an understanding of this new landscape and the ability to converge media to get a message across to maximum effect. This will be an asset highly sought after by the world’s progressive media organisations. To ﬁnd out more talk to us now. The eyes and ears of the world are open.
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0800 AUT UNI
The University for the changing world
4 Doug Coutts critiques NZ TV’s attempts at introspection;
Anthony Ellison delivers his valedictory cartoon to our doorstep in a burning paper-bag; Helen Martin sets the record straight – the sequel, James Bondi reports on how three Kiwi films have fared across the ditch; and Martin Rumsby profiles Naomi Lamb.
Enforcing your rights – part 1
Comparing apples with apples
Ng¯a Aho Whakaari column
In memoriam: Merata Mita 1942-2010
In memoriam: Pat Evison 1925-2010
Reviewing the review
Fighting for your legal rights in the screen industry is not as simple as just calling in the lawyers, as David McLaughlin explains.
20 Cover: Rawiri Paratene as Arthur, self-proclaimed Second Son of God, in feature The Insatiable Moon. Photo: Violaine Barrois. © The Insatiable Moon (NZ) Ltd.
Tim Thorpe on relative box office performance.
Tearepa Kahi shares memories of Merata Mita and reflects on her legacy.
Friends and colleagues pay tribute. Eulogy by Bill Sheat.
NZFC CEO Graeme Mason gives his initial reactions to the review of the Commission, plus a round-up of reaction from industry groups. Antony Starr on his roles in feature After the Waterfall, tele-movie Spies and Lies, and series Outrageous Fortune.
Digital filmmaking 19
Hold on, not so fast
Although digital formats continue to improve apace, they’ve yet to bury film yet. Peter Parnham talks format tradeoffs.
To Russia with Love
Mike Riddell on the post period of indie feature The Insatiable Moon, screens at the NZ International Film Festival in July. Liz DiFiore on taking Russian Snark – digital feature directorial debut of Stephen Sinclair and NZIFF selection – to the inaugural Moscow International Film Market.
26 Wounding with intent
Making Wound, David Blyth’s feature film comeback and NZIFF pick.
26 Documenting Gordonia
Tom Reilly on the technical aspects of his wild Westie doco, screening at NZIFF.
Volume 27, Number 7
Editor: Nick Grant (firstname.lastname@example.org) 027-810 0040 Contributors: Doug Coutts, Peter Parnham, Philip Wakefield Ad Manager: Kelly Lucas (email@example.com) 0-9-366 0443 Production Manager: Fran Marshall Designer: Cherie Tagaloa New Subscriptions: www.onfilm.co.nz/subscribe Subscriptions Enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org, 0-9-845 5114 Pre-press and Printers: Benefitz Onfilm is published 11 times a year by Mediaweb Limited, which also publishes The Data Book. Mediaweb Limited, PO Box 5544, Wellesley Street, Auckland 1141 Phone 09-845 5114, Fax 09-845 5116 Website: www.onfilm.co.nz
The contents of Onfilm are copyright and may not be reproduced without written permission. © 2010: Mediaweb Limited While Onfilm welcomes unsolicited contributions addressed to the editor, no responsibility can be accepted for their return unless accompanied by a stamped, addressed envelope. All letters addressed to Onfilm will be assumed to be intended for publication unless clearly marked “not for publication”.
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w e i v e t A priva
The thing that’s always put me off history, and the study of it, is that it’s largely the by doug coutts work of historians. Historians are those people who never played sport at school and stayed inside at lunchtime reading instead of going out to beat up third formers or chat up sixth form boys. (Some non-historians of my acquaintance managed both.) And after getting to university, historians concentrated on making their lives even more dull. The upside, though, is that history is the work of enthusiasts, of skilled practitioners, of people who know what they’re doing and, in spite of the previous paragraph, tend to present their work in an engaging and interesting way. And then their work falls into the hands of television makers. Uh oh. To be fair, there have been many successful and history-making history programmes over the years. There was the one David Attenborough commissioned to usher in colour at
the BBC. No, not Pot Black… Civilisation. Sheesh. Locally too, there have been some good ones. Who can forget the one with that bloke in the homespun jumper and boots striding about the Central Otago landscape? Me, obviously. Then there’s been that acclaimed series on the Maori Wars, and all the ones on other wars. In actual fact there’s a long list of successful historical programme making in New Zealand. Which means when it finally comes to documenting the history of itself in an engaging and interesting way, television should do a pretty good job. Not according to the four million or so experts who watched the various offerings to celebrate a half-century of local telly and were unimpressed. The state broadcaster’s flagship contribution has been widely and loudly discussed by people far better looking than me. But I disagree with them all – as a vehicle the quiz show was a great concept and quite possibly could have worked if more than two of the panellists had had IQs in triple figures, and thus been able to work out what lay beneath the flimsy premise. (Hint: not
Whose Line Is It Anyway?) Their other planned series – a trawl through the archives – received less publicity, possibly because the cognoscenti had better things to do on a Sunday than sit through an hour of Beauty and the Beast, University Challenge and Neville Purvis. But those who did discovered that some things were indeed as bad as we remembered, as patronising as we remembered or, in the case of Pete Sinclair, as truly as talented a presenter as we remembered. Then there was the hastily assembled tribute to 50 years of news, of which the less said the better – though even that would involve much more time than was spent on concept development by the production team. Wisely, given the network’s own chequered past, TV3 decided to pretend nothing was happening. The star of the moment was, of course, Cream TV’s tribute, ironically on a network that wasn’t around for most of the time period covered in the series. Although the usual suspects were trotted out once more, there were more than enough unusual ones to make it a series worth recording, for posterity
and perhaps later on avoiding the hefty fees charged by Archives for footage used in corporate videos. No history of television would be complete without mention of the Avalon TV Centre, especially now that it seems that Avalon itself is history. Or it will be, according to a journalist who got it from a trusted source and not just someone he slept with, once they find a buyer. The story has done the rounds before, so many times in fact that no one bothers to laugh at the “Studio 8 is ideally suited for a mushroom farm” joke. And anyway, who’d buy it? Probably only someone who wanted a purpose-built television centre ideally suited to public service broadcasting, and people like that are scarcer than the number of likely viewers, according to a recent gummint opinion poll. “We asked three cabinet ministers and a Treasury official if they thought it was worth spending money on making quality television. They all thought it wasn’t and one complained Gerry had eaten all the danish.” Look out the rest of Scandinavia.
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e t o n s Ed’ T
Anthony Ellison’s view
here are obviously some changes afoot around here, though no room in which to explicate them. The easy-to-spot evolution of the mag’s look is happening in tandem with a website upgrade, though this latter isn’t so obvious right now – rest assured, it’s in the process of getting a boot up the backend and should be ready for relaunch in a few weeks. (Sign up to free email updates to stay in touch with this and industry developments in general – an email to editor@onfilm. co.nz labelled “Updates please” will do the trick.) Sadly, after two decades of contributing to Onfilm, circumstances beyond his and our control have conspired to force Anthony Ellison to hand in his pencil, leaving one last set of ruffled feathers in his wake. I for one will miss his acerbic point of view. Promised this issue but deferred due to lack of space, tributes to Beverly Jean Morrison (aka Beaver); ditto our interview with 2009 industry champ Michael Stedman. Right, see you then, then. – Nick Grant
Er, she erred
ea culpa. I was so busy rounding on lazy reporters in my letter setting the record straight on Bastion Point: Day 507 [published in Onfilm’s June issue] that I neglected to add that Gerd Pohlmann shares the directing credits with Merata Mita and Leon Narbey. Apologies all round. – Helen Martin
AUCKLAND JULY 08 – 25 WELLINGTON JULY 16 – AUGUST 01 DUNEDIN JULY 23 – AUGUST 08 CHRISTCHURCH JULY 29 – AUGUST 15 PALMERSTON NORTH AUGUST 05 – 22 HAMILTON AUGUST 12 – 29 NAPIER AUGUST 18 – SEPTEMBER 05 TAURANGA AUGUST 26 – SEPTEMBER 08 NEW PLYMOUTH SEPTEMBER 02 – 15 NELSON SEPTEMBER 09 – 23 GREYMOUTH OCTOBER 04 – 10 MASTERTON OCTOBER 13 – 27 GISBORNE OCTOBER 28 – NOVEMBER 10 WHANGAREI NOVEMBER 04 – 17 KERIKERI NOVEMBER 11 – 24
h c t i D e h t s s o r Ac Our expat spy provides his idiosyncratic take on the Aussie film and television industry.
or a minute I thought I was queuing for Avatar at the Civic in Auckland. But no, by JAMES BONDI this was the afternoon of Sunday 6 June and I was at Sydney’s baroque State Theatre, 2000-seat main venue for the Sydney Film Festival. I was crammed into a throng of Kiwis – Maori and Pakeha of all ages, shapes and sizes – eagerly waiting to be let in to the first Sydney screening of Boy. Definitely not the same old festival crowd! The air was thuck wuth the familiar old accent. The film did not disappoint, with laughter rolling from the packed auditorium right from the early frames. Rapturous applause followed the screening and it was a pity that director Taika Waititi was unable to attend due to work commitments in the US. He would have been chuffed. The film is set for a general Australian release in August and word of mouth from the two Sydney Film Fest screenings should help to get good audiences – which will make it an Australasian movie. Also well received by festival audiences was Gaylene Preston’s Home by Christmas. Gaylene and her statuesque daughter Chelsie Preston-Crayford presented the film
and did the Q & A afterwards. Australasian star Tony Barry, unable to attend, had the audience chortling via a State Theatre mobile phone link: complex technology invented by Gaylene whereby the theatre microphone was held to the phone. Worked perfectly. *** The last NZ film released here was the comedy Separation City. A small art house release which brought dismal box office takings, in spite of some good publicity. One of its stars, Australasian actor Joel Edgerton, is currently featuring in a support role in Aussie movie Animal Kingdom. This gritty, suspenseful drama about the downfall of a crime family had a small release like the Kiwi flick but, as it took over $12,500 per screen on its opening weekend, it is now in wider distribution and has taken A$3.16 million in just four weeks on 78 screens. *** New South Wales is the poor cousin when it comes to offshore productions, X-Men Origins: Wolverine was the last to shoot there, and that was over two years ago. In an attempt to lure back more of the big budget overseas production,
the NSW government recently announced a one-off subsidy fund of A$25 million, and a further A$5 million towards local production. As a result, I take back some of the harsher words I may have said about various State government pollies: I loves youse all! However, I do point out that their largesse thrown at the film industry is nothing like the subsidies given to the racing industry or to their property developer mates. *** John Maynard, familiar to many of you for his work as a producer in NZ, has been appointed head of production at the Australian Film, TV and Radio School at Fox Studios. How lucky are the AFTRS students to have that access to one of the country’s most respected reel people? John has been the apostle of clever, hands-on distribution strategies with filmmakers doing it themselves, and getting good small films out under the radar – with some amazing results. He will have to adjust to a very slightly longer walk to work now. He’s been used to ambling to Arena’s long-time offices in Surry Hills, which has quietly overtaken Bondi and the Cross as the prime work location for fillum people.
W FT NZ
NZ film artists in brief – a series Naomi Lamb
aomi Lamb is a prolific intermedia artist who pursues her love of nature, music and cinema in various forms of installation, moving image, and synergistic live multimedia events. Her work has been shown in South Korea, Germany, Australia, and throughout New Zealand. Lamb also regularly performs as a VJ, remixing her previous video art projects with new footage, live at festivals, concerts, and other events. “The immediacy of projecting my work to thousands of happy and receptive people at dance parties is very satisfying and the technology in these environments enables a good delivery of my work.” And, of course, VJing also has the added bonus of being paid work. Having lived in Takaka, Nelson, Dunedin, Wanaka, Christchurch, and Wellington, Lamb believes her art is influenced by geography and technology. She views her VJ performances, for which she shoots original footage – including Pacific Storms at the Bundaberg Art Gallery in Australia and Red Cliffs at the Adam Art Gallery in Wellington – as live video art. Her film and video work includes The Wanderer (2006), Overview and Nature’s Law (both 2003), and she has performed at the Parihaka Peace Festival (2009), Canaan Downs Festival (2007-2008) The Gathering (20002001), Massive Summer Solstice, Massive Spring Equinox, Massive Winter Solstice (2000-2009), and the Kaikoura Roots Festival. (20012005). – by Martin Rumsby
“WIFT is an organisation I’m proud to support as a female producer.” ROBIN LAING
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w w w. w i f t n ew z e a l a n d . o r g . n z 6
Legal Enforcing your rights – part 1 Despite how it’s popularly portrayed on TV and in films, enforcing your legal rights in the screen industry is not as simple as just calling in the lawyers, as David McLaughlin explains.
n previous issues of Onfilm we’ve looked at the different ways legal protection is provided for the material created in the screen industry. We’ve discussed situation-specific contracts such as development agreements, as well as the very powerful role copyright plays in ensuring those who ‘create’ have clear rights and access to appropriate remedies to enforce these rights. However, there are unfortunately always going to be situations where this legal protection is not respected by some people. Rather than just looking at your strict legal rights, in this column and the next we’re also going to focus on determining the best practical approach to take in any situation. After all, the law doesn’t exist in a vacuum and in every case where someone’s rights have been infringed it is critical to look at the practical situation as well as the legal standing of both parties. Just because the law says you have certain rights does not mean that looking to enforce these rights to the strict letter of the law is always going to be the best option. In any situation, issues such as personal and business relationships, the monetary value of the issue at stake, and the time, emotional and financial resources you can devote to dealing with a breach of your rights should all play some role in determining the best way for you to proceed. If you feel that the rights you have in your work have been infringed or compromised by someone, whether we are talking about the TV format you have created, the script you have written, or the film you have made, your first step should always be to gather as
much information and evidence as you can without unnecessarily alerting the other party. If the other party becomes aware that you are on to them or trying to collect information that may incriminate them, then it is possible they will do all they can to destroy or conceal the very information you need to prove that your rights have been infringed. Sometimes thorough research can also even make you aware of infringing actions the other party is guilty of that you didn’t previously know about. Through gathering information and evidence you may also become aware that what has occurred is not in fact a breach of your rights. For example, you may discover more about the basis on which the party took the action you are concerned about, which makes it clear their actions do not infringe your rights. In last month’s edition of Onfilm, for instance, we looked at a couple of common clauses in screen industry contracts, ‘No Equitable Relief’ and ‘Waiver of Moral Rights’, both of which can serve to alter the rights you would otherwise have against someone for infringing your rights or breaching a contract. It is these kinds of details you want to take the time to unearth as part of your initial information gathering to be sure you have a true picture of the situation at hand, and of any impediments to you subsequently taking action. By way of further example, there has been information that has subsequently come to light in some of the many cases of copyright infringement in which we’ve represented aggrieved parties that has cleared the accused party of any wrongdoing. In almost all
If you feel that the rights you have in your work have been infringed, your first step should always be to gather as much information and evidence as you can without unnecessarily alerting the other party. of these cases this information could have been identified much earlier if a more thorough approach had been adopted by the aggrieved party to gathering all relevant information and evidence in the first instance, including from their own records. Another reason for gathering information without alerting the other party in these situations is that, if it does prove that the other party is not as guilty as you initially thought they were, you will have avoided the embarrassment and potential legal action against yourself that could arise if you had charged in on day one accusing the other party of everything under the sun. Unless the case is 100 percent black and white and you have an excellent working knowledge of the law in question, the second action we encourage people to take – once they have collected all the necessary background material and evidence – is to get some legal advice on the situation. This means you once again make very certain of your position before you take any action against the other party that
you may regret later. In the next issue of Onfilm we’ll continue to look at the best way to deal with infringements of your rights, including how best to make the first approach to the infringing party, as well as the kind of situation-specific factors you have to consider when deciding how far and hard you want to fight for your rights. • David McLaughlin (david@mclaughlinlaw. co.nz) is the principal of McLaughlin Law (www.mclaughlinlaw.co.nz). • Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide a general outline of the law on the subject matter. Further professional advice should be sought before any action is taken in relation to the matters described in the article.
Got a legal issue you’d like examined in an upcoming column? Then email David McLaughlin (firstname.lastname@example.org).
s t h g u o h t s ’ e p Thor Sound post
Comparing apples with apples
Adjusting for inflation and population growth is the only way to truly compare box office performance, argues Tim Thorpe.
ne of the questions people often ask is how to compare box office receipts for movies made now with those made any number of years ago. The answer is relatively simple – adjustments have to be made for the fact ticket prices are more expensive now and also for the fact that there are more people who can go to the movies if they want to. Essentially what this means is adjusting for inflation and population growth. The question has taken on prominence recently because of Boy’s golden run at the New Zealand box office ($8,964,174 as of 30 June), clearly taking out the title of the highest box office earner at the till since Roger Donaldson’s World’s Fastest Indian (released in 2005, it made $7.05 million). Adjust for inflation, however, and Boy comes in third behind Once Were Warriors (1994: $12.07 million) and Goodbye Pork Pie (1981: $8.93 million). Adjust for inflation and population* and it comes in fourth behind Once Were Warriors ($14.38 million), Goodbye Pork Pie ($12.15 million), and Footrot Flats: The Dog’s Tail (1986: $8.90 million). There is no doubt Boy will climb into second on the inflation-adjusted list and third on the inflation and population-adjusted list. However, there is equally no doubt it will not climb any further. What has consistently amazed me over the years I have been doing these numbers is just how strongly Once Were Warriors and Goodbye Pork Pie have performed. They stand out markedly in just the same way that Whale Rider stands out in terms of international box office receipts. There are some doubters (including the editor of Onfilm) who question the value of adjusting for population growth and suggest that the number of screens is also a factor. I agree that adjusting for population seems a little esoteric, but it is no less logical than adjusting for inflation – ie, both
ticket prices and population have gone up therefore adjustments need to be made. I am not so convinced about the number of screens, which is partly related to population anyway. There seems to be a thought that because there are more screens nowadays – including cellphones, PDAs and the internet – people don’t go to the cinema. Once again a simple glance at total annual box office receipts over the past few years indicates that the evidence doesn’t support this notion. While there has obviously been an explosion in the number of screens, box office receipts keep going up. Without having done any work in this area at all, it seems plausible that the increase in the number of screens means that more people are going to the cinema. More screens means viewers get to sample a movie (either as trailer or download) and then decide to go and see it at the cinema for the big-screen experience. As I write this article there has been a bit of fuss in the media because Boy can now be illegally downloaded online and there are also pirated DVDs available to buy. I don’t believe this will make much difference to Boy’s run at the box office, which is already starting to tail off. Conversely, the FIFA World Cup has certainly had an effect on box office receipts. Box office receipts are recorded in their own inflation series in official statistics. Every year since 1993 Statistics NZ has surveyed a number of cinemas from Invercargill to Whangarei (currently 26 in 15 centres) to work out ticket prices. They get prices covering age, time of day and day of the week from each cinema in their sample. Imagine that. A whole inflation chart devoted to cinema ticket prices. Makes you feel kind of special, doesn’t it. For anyone wanting to see the top 31 New Zealand films adjusted for inflation and population, these are listed on my website – www.thorpecon-
Supervising sound editor Justin Doyle on Manurewa’s (pictured) sound post process – a companion piece to Mike Westgate’s June issue piece about recording surround sound for the short that’s playing at the NZIFF.
sulting.co.nz – under Tips&Resources/ Statistics. My own definition of what is a New Zealand movie is where the intellectual property is held within New Zealand. This rules out The Piano and The Lord Of The Rings, but would include The Lovely Bones. Because I am not sure that everyone would agree, however, I have played it safe and not included box office figures for the latter. For the record, the lowest box office earner listed on the NZ Film Commission website is Luella Miller, an independent film that earned $717 in 2006. That is, of course, ignoring movies such as The Ferryman, which went straight to DVD. *All adjusted figures are correct to December 2009. • Thorpe’s thoughts is an occasional column by consultant Tim Thorpe (tim. email@example.com) on aspects of the NZ screen production industry.
ound post for Manurewa went well for us. The film contained a lot of material for us to cover as there was a good deal of action, characters, locations and vehicles in the film. Fortunately we had an excellent team on board and were able to divide the work load up quite nicely. Morgan Samuel supervised all the dialogue and made two trips to Auckland to record ADR. Stefanie Ng cut all the vehicles from material recorded for us by Sam [Peacocke] and Mike [Westgate]. Rowan Watson did a wonderful job on the ambiences and sound design, and I took care of hard fx and foley. As the four of us had worked together before in assistant roles on features here in Wellington, we were keen to put together a rich and detailed soundtrack of feature film standard. We were a little concerned about how wide we’d gone track-wise once it was all assembled but Tim at Park Road managed to power through our material in a focused three day mix. The soundtrack was largely shaped around an Aphex Twin music track that features in the robbery and end sequence of the film. This really set the tone for these sequences, and informed the rest of the film. Anything extraneous was pulled back and what remained hopefully strengthened the connection to what was happening on screen. Mike provided a good deal of location recordings that had been recorded in quad, both production audio and wild ambiences. The tone of these captured the essence of the locations and Sam was keen to keep their flavour in the final track. Rowan did a good job of working with these and embellishing them with more detail and depth as required.
Ng¯a Aho Whakaari column In the first of what will be a regular column from the national representative body for M¯aori working in film, video and television in NZ, chairperson Tearepa Kahi shares memories of Merata Mita and reflects on her legacy. Merata Mita in 1983’s Utu.
ust below Merata’s Coromandel whare is a gate with a big padlock. Beyond the big padlock is a windy dirt road, and at the end of the road is a pool of seawater, and inside that pool of seawater are heaps and heaps of kina! I had arrived with a friend for a weekend of writing with Merata. For many indigenous filmmakers around the world, such a weekend is part pilgrimage to Mecca, part initiation ceremony, part consultation with the Oracle at Delphi. She forgot her key to the padlock, perhaps she never had one, but she improvised a solution with such speed that it was plain to see she also didn’t need one. She provided the instructions and we provided the sweat. As we both staggered under the weight of the gate, now held in the air above shoulder height, allowing her to slip her Matariki (Subaru) Legacy underneath, it quickly dawned on my friend and I that we were in for a Mr Miyagi and Danielson “wax on, wax off” weekend. When we arrived to the water’s edge, the kina were in plain sight. The only problem with the picture was the nine degrees in the air. There was also a bit of hesitation on our part, due to the fact we travelled from Auckland with our pencils and note pads and scripts and gourmet coffee
and phone chargers and no togs. She dealt to the old, “But I’ve only got my undies” and “Pretty cold ya know” with “I was in there this morning” and “I’ve seen it all before.” When we emerged with purple lips and a single sack between us, she took a slow breath and looked at seagulls. Three hours later, when we emerged from the water with enough kina for her neighbours, and a few spines in the hand, she threw us a single towel. At Turangawaewae Marae, the kaumatua still talk about their memories of Merata, Annie [Collins] and a Steinbeck in a room below the Wharekai of Kimiora while making Mana Waka, but what she could do in a Wharekai with Seafood Chowder was equally magic – Mana Kaimoana? At some stage in the day, possibly around midnight, she asked me about my whaanau. The kina strategy is an ancient one – it’s well known that the eyes are the windows to the soul, but for Maaori, you speak from your puku. The more full the puku, the more truthful the koorero. When the sun rose, there wasn’t much more to share, just a bit to clean up. And when I arrived back to Auckland, I understood everything my main character’s arc didn’t have and desperately needed. During this past year, when I
caught up with Merata, she spent less time talking about film and more time holding my baby girl and having a koorero with my young fulla. She was, as always, telling me something important. When she left Orakei Marae for the last time on the 2nd of June, the sun rose beyond Moehau – just beyond where she lived, the door to the Wharenui opened, Geoff and Hepi entered, and a sun ray hit the back wall of Tumutumuwhenua and danced on top of her. Her whaanau and close friends picked up her coffin and we carried her to the hearse at the far end of the path. It was a long walk, and she found the light just right. ***
hen the Jackson/Court NZFC Review promotes the need for the NZFC to adopt a ‘talent partnership’ model and move away from an ‘arts patronage’ model, I nod. But when I reach the end of the report, I’m amazed by the complete omission of Maaori. In 2010, you could almost say that to write a report of such magnitude, breadth and over such a period of time, and yet to omit Maaori – either the word, the people or the principles – is a feat of a kind. And the decision to leave ‘Maaori’ to
a separate report is isolationist, tenuous and very revealing. As with most things these days, I often start with the question, “But what would Merata say?” But if I’m honest with myself, she’d simply say, “What are you all going to do?’ As the chairperson of Ng¯a Aho Whakaari, I’m happy to announce a regular contribution to Onfilm from now on in, of which this story of Merata and her kina is merely the start. Coming up next will be the unveiling of our new Ng¯a Aho Whakaari film strategy – He Ara ki te Paepae. Ara, hei ngaa marama e whai ake nei, ko te aranga teenei o ngaa koorero Maaori, take Maaori, uara Maaori hoki noo roto i te Ao Kiriata Maaori. Kaati. Naaku iti, Tearepa Kahi E Merata, taku kaahui whetuu o te atapoo, Apoopoo, ka whiti mai te raa, heoi, e kore te mahana e paa mai. Apoopoo, ka rere te puna o whatu, aa, e kore te puna e mimiti, e memeha. Apoopoo, ka oho au, ka aatiutiu, ka tiihoihoi, ka tikapa. Ko te hinapoouri teenei. Ko te hinapoouri teenei. • For further tributes to Merata Mita, see page 10.
m a i r o m In Me
Merata Mita 1942-2010
ate atu he toa, ara mai ra he toa Merata and I were fighting for the last three months. I was supposed to see her on the Monday after her screening at Māori Television and so I was preparing for a heated discussion. I spent two days prior figuring out my strategy. After many failed ideas I came up with this one. I was going to wrap my arms around her and tell her I missed her. I never got the chance. It mattered and it didn’t. In the 1970s Merata Mita went to war. Did the fighting ever stop for her? Probably not. The question we need to ask ourselves is how many of our leaders need to die before we get it, before our generation wakes up and acknowledges that we are living in someone else’s reality? Watch TVNZ and you’ll see what I mean. Because of the likes of Merata we have Māori Television, but still it’s as if we exist in a place somewhere outside of New Zealand. Merata could never get her head around why we were so unwilling to step outside of our comfort zones and take the bull by the horns. She never asked us to do what she hadn’t done herself. She often talked about the Aboriginal filmmaking community. The Aboriginal people of Australia have got it right. In their humble and uncompromising way they’ve managed to declare their presence. Rachel Perkins’ series on SBS, The First Australians, is a testament to this. It’s a seminal work told from, by and about the Aboriginal communities. Until recently Sally Riley drove Screen Australia’s Aboriginal Film Unit in a very uncompromising manner. She was determined that Aboriginal films would get made and they did. Rachel, Sally and editor Dena Kennedy came to Merata’s tangi to farewell her. Merata was a mentor at Sundance and was particularly close to Bird Runningwater. At Sundance they saw what it took some of us a long time to understand, that our Merata was a matakite. At her tangi her elders came to see her as thus, after an impassioned farewell from Cliff Curtis. They were right. Merata saw more clearly and more deeply than anyone else I have ever met. She looked beyond this realm and saw the mauri lying beneath every-
thing. If, like me, you were lucky enough to be one of those she blessed with this insight you would understand the spiritual transformation that takes place within. Bird Runningwater came to her tangi to say farewell and to acknowledge her mana as a wahine matakite. Since her return to us only three years ago she was constantly fielding phone calls from the Hawaiians. They wanted her to resume her post as a professor at Hawaii University. She was torn. There was work to do here and yet we moved too slowly for her. The Hawaiians moved at her pace, which to all intents and purposes was as fast as a speeding bullet. They understood that in their midst walked a fierce advocate and for that reason they threw around her
Alanis turns 78 in August. A few weeks ago Ella Henry and Rachel Wolfgramm applied for funding for an indigenous film symposium, with Merata as the keynote. Upon Merata’s passing Ella has decided to push ahead with the symposium as a tribute to her friend and mentor. It looks like Alanis will step into Merata’s shoes. I think Merata would be happy with this decision. Merata was proud of Taika Waititi and Cliff Curtis. At the premier of Boy in Waihau Bay, she sat proudly beside me as the film rolled down. She was proud because Taika didn’t hide the truth, he stood in front of the community after the film played down and stood by his vision. She loved courage, she loved truth and she found both these qualities in Taika and Cliff.
charged with the responsibility of funding the development of Māori feature films. For a brief period I had the honour of sitting across from Merata as a board member. On the day of her passing we were meeting and we were waiting for her. Sometimes, like many of us, I would drive the long drive to her house in the Coromandel. Once, she and I were in the same car; she was driving – like a lunatic I might add – and talking about the transit of Venus. According to Merata, the Coromandel is the best place in the world to watch this particular event. She talked about how Kupe found his way there and how centuries later Cook did as well, to watch the stars. She loved the kiwi and the plant life surrounding her house. She had a soft spot for the young hunters around the area who often stumbled up to her place with gifts, mostly freshly caught wild pigs or deer. That place of hers on the Coromandel was, other than the homes of her children, the safe zone for Merata. From there she could watch the stars and ponder the future. (The next transit is in 2012, in case you were wondering.) On the day she passed, she and I were supposed to meet and it was going to be a heated argument or more likely a frosty meeting. I was going to hug her and tell her I missed her. I never got the chance. It mattered because it would have been some sort of closure for me. It didn’t matter because words don’t matter, what matters is action. Our dearest Merata left behind enough people around the world and Aotearoa to pick up the challenge. Mate atu he toa, ara mai ra he toa. When one warrior falls, five others rise to take her place. – Kath Akuhata-Brown
Her OBE letter sat on her dining room table as if it were the power bill. Her house was not adorned with acknowledgements from institutions or festivals. Her work spoke for itself.
every resource she would need. Whereas some of our filmmakers would ring her up and demand she get in her car and drive across the country to them. One day I got hoha with this situation so without Merata knowing I rang these people up and told them to pull their heads in. Merata found out and berated me for upsetting them. The Hawaiians came to her tangi. She loved and respected Alanis Obomsowin, whom Merata described as the greatest documentarian in the world. Of Abenaki descent, Alanis has been at the forefront of indigenous film. Her credits include: Gene Boy Came Home (2007; director/writer/producer); Waban-Aki: People from Where the Sun Rises (2006; d/w/p); Sigwan (2005; d/w/p); Our Nationhood (2003; d/w/p); For John (2003; producer; dirrector Dale Montour); Is the Crown at War with Us? (2002; d/w/p) Rocks at Whiskey Trench (2000; d/w/p); Spudwrench – Kahnawake Man (1997; d/w/p); My Name is Kahentiiosta (1995; d/w/p) Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance (1993; d/w/p).
Merata worried about the women in our industry. She worried about the lack of support for films in Te Reo. Rather than angst she went out and produced Taku Rakau E!, a short film in Te Reo by a Tuhoe woman, Kararaina Rangihau. She began mentoring many young filmmakers some of whom are now concerned about where the support is going to come from for them. Sometimes I wonder if they paid any attention to her at all. She was appalled at the rate of child abuse and child deaths in Māori communities. Again, rather than talk about it, she went out and made a documentary about it. It was a rough cut of this documentary, Saving Grace, she was showing at Māori Television on the day she died. She, Barry Barclay, Tainui Stephens and others had a vision for a Māori organisation that would foster and develop a Māori film industry. Barry never lived to see it happen, but for a short time Merata did. She ushered in a new era of Māori filmmaking with the establishment of Te Paepae Ataata,
hat a privilege to have known such greatness. I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to not have her physically around anymore; the sadness is slowly dissipating and now my memories are rich with colour, a beautiful smile, a wisdom so rare, a laughter so pure, a heart so full of pride, and the most humble unassuming woman I have ever met. My working relationship with her only began a short time ago, but a personal obsession started the day I saw Bastion Point
Photos: John Miller
Merata Mita in 1982 (left and right), and (centre) in 1993.
Day 507. That film honestly made me want to be a filmmaker; I wondered in awe what kind of person has the guts and passion to do that. I finally met that person while working at Kiwa Media – I could hardly drum up a “kia ora”, I couldn’t believe who was standing in front of me. Geoff [Murphy] was with her, draped in his long tanned leather coat. Had I not known who he was I would have thought she had just saved a fulla off the street. To me she was the kind of person that saved others, in all sorts of ways. It was Merata I couldn’t stop sneaking a glance at, here she truly was in this office and here’s me fresh from university – cheers God, you really made my day! I never thought I would have the opportunity to work with her but the day she was telling me about a documentary she wanted to make in response to child abuse, and that I should produce it with her, there was no question in my mind – clear the calendar and yes please! It had been about eight years since I had first met her that day at Kiwa and she said she wanted to have fun, she liked having a laugh and thought we would work well together. This film, like everything she did, had a purpose. She said that every time she came home from Hawaii there would be another baby killed on the front pages of the newspaper. She needed, as an artist, to do something. As she wrote in the documentary proposal, this was going to possibly be the most important film of her career. I guess I just want to share a few memories that are fresh in my mind and perhaps memories that speak to her recent days. I loved the way she would walk into the office draped in lilac silk or lime green linen – colour was her thing; she would glow with confidence, knowledge and wisdom. Almost everything she ever said felt like it was loaded with a seed and she would watch and listen to the response… I can hear her now: did you get it? She was funny! Her little giggle, which would make her shoulders hunch up all cute and naughty, was so infectious. I remember saying to her, “Far out, you know everything about everyone”, to which she replied, “Geez girl where have you been?” I guess I wasn’t part of the cool club but sometimes I think she was just saying things to wind me up; I think she enjoyed the shocked look on
my face, it made her giggle even more. What I observed was a humble woman – she was never one to brag or let you know about her achievements. Her OBE letter sat on her dining room table as if it were the power bill. Behind that was a pile of congratulatory letters from dignitaries and the like but, just like the OBE, they didn’t make the 10 most important things to do today list. Her house was not adorned with acknowledgements from institutions or festivals. Her work spoke for itself. I did notice beautiful pictures of her mokopuna on the wall and one of Barry Barclay in her office, they were the only images hanging. Even her framed film posters and awards were just casually placed around the house, not on display in a way that would show off her career. A ‘show off’ she was not. She liked nice food and spoke highly of Hawaii and how good that diet was for her. She often talked about the Japanese food she enjoyed; finding the “real green tea” in Auckland wasn’t a chore, it was a little educational trip into the refined twig tea she was accustomed to. Along with pink rock salt that had medicinal properties, it was obvious she missed her other ‘home’. The only thing I found out she was scared of was mice. How did I find that out? “Hey are you scared of mice?” she asked? “No.” “Choice, can you go upstairs and check the traps then?” Even if I was just trying to be tough and cool in front of her I wasn’t gonna chicken out now. I think that is what she has left me with – don’t chicken out now! I am grateful for the short time I got to be in her presence, she left me with a lot to go forward with and I will forever be thankful. She left a lot for all of us… Don’t chicken out now! – Chelsea Winstanley
She was a woman with raven-like hair. She made movies just like a woman. She could out-talk, out-stare even the cockiest of men and She always had an eye for the budding young Māori women filmmakers – like you and me. Well hell – we aren’t so young anymore and the term ‘budding’ went out like a hiss and a roar back in the ’90s. Last time I
wrote something like this was for Tuaiwa Eva Rickard and Tungia Baker, so I best dedicate this to the children of Merata Mita – Rafer, Richard, Rhys, Awatea, Bob, and Hepi. One of our journeys with your mum Your mother took us to the Dole plantation when we attended the Hawaiian Film Festival — we were there for the world premiere of Te Rua, so of course Barry Barclay was there too. Leonie Pihama and myself had been shopping at the famous flea market in Oahu when we happened upon Merata and Geoff. They offered to take us back to their place for tea and, like any trip with Merata, things began to unfold. We gathered our cluster of plastic bags filled with US$5 t-shirts for the whanau and hopped in the back of their utility truck with Geoff’s son Miles and his girlfriend of the time. (Sorry I have forgotten her name – but no woman is invisible so we will call her Debbie – that rings a bell.) Merata wanted to show us something special. We had spent a bumpy 50 minutes of silence travelling through the Dole pineapple plantation, which was long, dusty and for miles (cos we were in the US) – all you could see out the back window of Geoff’s truck were pineapples growing out of the ground. All this time I thought they had grown on trees. And of course I wasn’t the only one who had thought that. Anyway, Geoff suddenly pulled off to the left and we clambered out of the back of the truck and dusted off our clothes. Merata had brought us to a small palmed off area of coconut trees that had massive rock formations, like they had been spat out of some volcano and stuck right in middle of a thousand acre pineapple plantation. As far as the eye could see in a 360degree span everything else was flat, brown and cultivated, and ‘plonked’ in the middle of nowhere was this oasis of Hawaiian heritage – it was the birthing place for the Hawaiian ariki; the Kings and Queens of a thousand years before. Merata had been given special clearance by the Hawaiian people to show her friends this spot. I almost called her Guide Merata, but thought better of it. One should not spoil the mood with random cheekiness, especially when she had selected you for this special viewing. She did not suffer fools, no matter who you were. There was a natural gateway of shrub
and rock where we took our shoes off and we entered the red ochre soiled earth of this sacred place. The light was falling quickly and the dark full clouds seemed to assemble at the pit stop Merata had chosen to share with us. She told us that the local Hawaiians had protested vehemently to stop Mr Dole clearing this sacred place to make way for the pineapples. This place was the birthing place of rangātira – you actually could see the imprint of female feet on the rocks where they, the pregnant chieftanesses, had chosen to squat to give birth. There were impressions of their backs in the rocks where some had leaned into when the time came to push. I kid you not, there was a rock for every birthing position – even one for having twins. An eerie feeling had come upon us that day and I felt that prickly feeling on the back of my neck. It was quiet and peaceful in this lessthan-an-acre section of trees and rocks – you could almost imagine the human cordon of people who surrounded the area to stop the bulldozers and you could hear the thundering clash of diesel engines against the chants of the people fighting for their ancient rite of passage of red earth. They had fought them off and won against the corporate might of the pineapple plantation owner. Merata celebrated this fact with us and I seem to recall she had filmed something on this very issue. I am not too sure. After this recollection by Merata, we left feeling the weight of the tapu we had experienced lift. We looked down to our feet and we saw that the red dust had clung almost annoyingly to the soles of our feet and it was very difficult to remove it. And then we noticed that the red earth only started and ended in the birthing area enclosure by the coconut palm trees – the pineapples that surrounded this sacred haven were growing in brown soil and not the ochre-red earth we had just walked through. Merata had noticed our observation and she smiled that knowing smile and said no more. We left in the back of Geoff’s truck with Miles and his girlfriend of the time – whose name for this story will be Debbie, as no woman is invisible. Kia ora Merata. – Sharon Aroha Hawke • For a professional biography of Merata Mita, see www.nzonscreen.com/person/ merata-mita
m a i r o m In Me
Pat Evison 1925-2010
Unfortunately the pressures of the course proved too great and she had to give up her job (she had moved from filing clerk to a job at the Old Vic). How to survive? Inia Te Wiata suggested she write to Peter Fraser, the New Zealand Prime Minister. She sought the advice of Sybil Thorndike, the grande dame of British theatre, who offered to write to Peter Fraser herself. The result was a government scholarship of £5 per week, plus the fees at the centre.
everal years ago when Pat asked me to speak at her funeral I was both flattered and apprehensive. How could I do justice to the career of this amazing actress? How could I be objective about her work when I was so enthusiastic about it? I knew it would require discipline to keep myself and my personal views out of this tribute. Let me take you on a journey through her acting career, on stage, on radio, in films, and on television. I want to start with a quotation from Bruce Mason: “I thought Pat Evison’s Winnie in Happy Days the finest event of New Zealand theatre… She has a face as mobile as Marceau’s, capable of registering every quirk, nuance and grimace. Her face, isolated by her stillness and her predicament, becomes the human landscape itself over which one travels, through bush, through briar, through parched wastes and into merciful clearings…”
at’s father was a Methodist Minister and her mother a Methodist Deaconess. The Methodist church of 80 years ago is not likely to have provided inspiration for the dramatic. Pat’s first encounter with something that might be described loosely as theatre was when she was a boarder at Solway College in Masterton during the 1930s. The school devised its own entertainment. As she put it, “Every Saturday night somebody put on a concert”; the pupils worked together devising the material, making the costumes and scenery – real do-it-yourself stuff. Most importantly, Pat discovered that she could hold an audience. But she believed then that she was destined to follow her sisters and to make music her life. She took cello lessons from Claude Tanner, who was to be a member of what we now call the NZSO. When she went to Victoria University she found little dramatic activity but she did play the cello for the student Extravaganza in 1941. Her main concern was that a drunken student would fall off the Opera House stage onto her and her cello. Such a fate did befall the double bassist. On stage was Bruce Mason doing a send up of Noel Coward, who had recently visited New Zealand. Twenty-five years later Bruce was to create the part of Miss Gilhooley in Awatea for Pat. It was while she was at Victoria that she gained her first experience in a radio production with what was then called the New Zealand Broadcasting Service. In 1945 she 12
Pat Evison as Phyllis Telford in Pukemanu.
earned 10 pounds 1 shilling and 8 pence from radio drama. After completing her BA she moved to Teachers Training College in Auckland where there was a thriving drama club, and this seems to be where her life long love of the theatre started to blossom. As well as student productions, she was involved in two plays presented by the impressario D.D. O’Connor – Cradle Song by Martinez Sierra and Dierdre of the Sorrows by W.B. Yeats, directed by and starring Maria Dronke from whom Pat had had lessons back in Wellington.
n early 1945 Pat applied for a British Council Scholarship to study methods of teaching drama in schools in the UK. She was turned down but she was determined to go overseas anyway. She paid her own fare to London with some help from her father. She had an introduction to Bill Jordan, the NZ High Commissioner in London and
an old friend of her father’s. He offered her a job in his office as a filing clerk. She went to a production at the Old Vic of Cyrano de Bergerac, starring Ralph Richardson, Margaret Leighton and Alec Guiness. In the programme she noticed an advertisement for the newly opened Old Vic Theatre Centre. She rang them up but there were no vacancies. She noted the names of the Directors of the Centre one of whom was Glen Byam Shaw. She found his address in the phone book and wrote to him. This led to an interview and she became number 21 in a class of 20. During this time she shared digs with two music students who had travelled to the UK with her on the Rimutaka. Regular visitors included music students Tony Vercoe and Inia Te Wiata. Through the course at the Centre Pat was able to work with or watch the work of some of the great directors of the time including Michel St.Denis, Peter Brook, Tyrone Guthrie, and George Devine.
at met and married Roger and they returned to Wellington, where Roger was able to take up a job that had been kept open for him with the City Engineer. Pat enrolled again at Victoria, which by then had a thriving drama club that she quickly became involved with. She directed two one act plays for the club: A Phoenix Too Frequent and Chekov’s The Wedding. In the cast of the latter was Roy Melford, who she knew as a sound effects man from radio productions. When he turned up late for two rehearsals, she sacked him and gave his part to me. Pat’s charm prevailed and Roy did a splendid job with music for Pat’s next production, Shakeapeare’s Coriolanus. During her first year back Pat was busy again at radio productions. In later years she confided in her family that she got a special satisfaction from radio drama. It enabled her to play roles she would have been physically unsuitable to play on the stage. In 1950 Pat and Roger moved to Hawkes Bay, drawn by a work opportunity for Roger. The five years spent in Hawkes Bay saw Pat busy with many productions for Napier Repertory, as well as assignments in many parts of the country for the New Zealand Drama Council. After their return to Wellington, caring for the three children slowed Pat’s theatrical activities down, although she made an impression in The Shifting Heart, an Australian play for Wellington Repertory Theatre. By this time television was starting and Pat was in the first New Zealand play to appear on the box, All Earth to Love. It was set in a NZ Railways refreshment room and Pat was one of the two waitresses behind the counter. In 1964 Pat was cast in a TV commercial for Surprise Peas. This became a source of embarrassment; even the children were teased at school. Pat rang Lever Brothers to ask the managing director to get it off the air but she never managed to get through Continued on page 15
w e i v r e Int
Reviewing the review
An interview with NZFC CEO Graeme Mason (pictured) about his initial reactions to the review of the Film Commission by Peter Jackson and David Court, conducted on 1 July, the day it was released.
Having taken up the role of CEO a little over a year ago, you’ve been in a position to sound out industry sentiment, so I presume there’s not a great deal filmmakers have expressed in the review that’s a great surprise to you. It’s true I was aware of some of the sentiment. The content obviously remains concerning though, because it’s very easy to get a bad reputation and it’s really hard work to correct it. We’re working at the moment to be as open as we can and I would hope a lot of the stuff that’s in here is no longer the case or the view; I really hope people are aware of all the work we’ve done over the past year and are still doing; that they feel it’s going in the right direction, even if they don’t feel we’re there yet. A key thing that has changed already is the chain of authority and accountability in terms of funding decisions now residing with the staff. Yes, we’ve done that. When I first arrived that was a thing I heard long and loud from the industry, and it’s in place because [chair] Patsy [Reddy] thought it through and agreed it was a good thing to do. Any other changes called for by the report you’d like to point out are already underway?
I would hope we’re being more open than perhaps was perceived during the report’s submission and interview process. Obviously we’ve now got a lot of staff turnover, which is something that’s commented on, and I think that’s all for the good. Escalator is another thing we’re doing that ties into the call for more active talent identification. Certainly to date the industry has been incredibly supportive of Escalator, particularly those people who have been on it [see page 29, for example] and I think it’s much more in line with what Peter and David are suggesting. We also announced this week that we’re doing low-budget shorts, which is another thing they suggest we should do in terms of younger people and training goals. What in the report do you feel you can embrace wholeheartedly? I can embrace absolutely wholeheartedly the desire to back talent to get better films made. And I totally take on board Peter’s idea that we need to allow for edgier, riskier stuff. I embrace backing talent, whether they be creative producers, directors, writers, but I expand it beyond that, because we work for the industry as a whole, so I also care about techos, actors, distribution, exhibitors, the whole thing. And it sounds a little glib, but in some ways the model they’re proposing is a very mini-major acquisitions or studio model, which is my background and so very much in my comfort zone. Is there anything in the report you find alarming? No – I obviously was not thrilled to read that people felt such horrible things about the Commission, even knowing they weren’t about me or my tenure here. It’s horrible to know people are that upset and angry. But on the whole I embrace it. I think it’s interesting, I think there are some real challenges there and there are some interesting schemes, I didn’t read anything that made me go, “Over my dead body.” There was none of that, which I had been fearful of. Of course, it sounds like I’m being a total suck-up, but the thing of it is, Peter’s unbelievably experienced in all aspects and facets of the film industry, and David has great theoretical and academic knowledge. So between them
I do think there’s stuff that, whether I agree with it long term or not – I mean, ask me again in six months but there’s nothing where I immediately went, “That’s not happening.” What process do you have in mind in terms of consulting with the industry on the way forward? The report’s been a while in coming, so let’s let it sink in with everyone. And then in a couple of weeks’ time, start sitting down with some key players, the guilds, and just sort of test it out. And I really hope Peter is around and able to have a chat with me and talk it through, because I think, beyond doing the review, his advice and experience is invaluable and I think we as a community should embrace that. One of the things I was really encouraged by in the report is that I read into it a real willingness on Peter’s part to engage not just with the Commission but with the industry, and I think that’s an enormous opportunity for what’s a really small country in the middle of nowhere. The more we can all pull together and work on things together, the better. And hands up – the Film Commission is like the lightening rod in the middle of the country, so we have to lead that. So once we’ve done that consultation, I’m assuming we and others will feed into the ministry for the minister to think about it. And I’ll certainly be going to our board to talk about some stuff that would involve changes in either strategy or operations, and our next board meeting is in early August. The ministry and minister, I know, are thinking in terms of 10-12 weeks. The minister has been quoted as saying to Onfilm that legislative change isn’t necessarily required by anything that’s in the report – and he’s the Attorney General, so he should know. [laughs] So that’s all a longwinded way of saying I would certainly like to see responses and changes coming out of us in six weeks. Something else the minister’s said is there won’t be any more funding to aid in adopting any of these recommendations, which presumably complicates matters a bit? Yeah, you know, that’s tricky. If you run through what the report says, it isn’t like they’re saying stop a function, so there’s no letting go of staff anywhere in order to increase headcount else-
where, like in development, for example. So that’s a challenge. Anything else you’d like to mention? I wonder if it’s worth saying I totally get the idea of, “Oh my god, red tape and bureaucracy drives me insane and it’s a creative industry,” as people said to Peter and David. But I also recognise we’re dealing with public money. There’s stuff we just have to do. You know, (1) there are rules it would take a government to alter, and (2) I just don’t see that the State Auditor would ever allow it. You know what I mean? That’s kind of a key thing for the industry to realise, and I hope they do. If they feel we’re hiding behind bureaucracy, call us on it, absolutely. But please recognise the world we have to operate in; the Film Commission is a public entity spending public money. So we must find a happy compromise but, absolutely, the fewer rules the better. The report does talk a great deal about how rules are the death of creativity. In the past I suspect the NZFC has sometimes used rules as a fig leaf to hide behind, rather than say, “You know what, we just don’t think your project is any good.” Of course, if you adopt that approach, then complaints will change from “Oh, look at all these hurdles I have to get over” to “They don’t recognise my genius!” Yes, if anything the report is talking about giving us more control: extend development staff and have more of them; develop fewer projects; take shorts away from EPs and bring that choice in-house. In which case, we will have chosen to turn down even more people. If we go down to having 40 or 50 features in development, well, okay, but we’re getting around three times that many applications each year. That said, it has seemed that some projects have been given tiny amounts in dribs and drabs – you know, just enough to keep people’s hopes alive. Whereas, while it might be harsh, it’d actually be much better if those false hopes were strangled in the crib. Look, when I was an acquisition guy, I would tell all my staff, “The best answer’s a ‘yes’, the second best answer’s a fast ‘no’. Let them either move on or prove me wrong. But they know my position, it’s clear.” And if that’s where we as an industry agree we want to go, then I can certainly live with that.
Round-up of responses to NZFC review I
n an industry that can be sharply divided on policy and funding questions, it’s noteworthy the reaction of key groups and players – not to mention the NZFC itself – to the NZ Commission Review has been generally positive so far. That said, responses to the report can frequently be seen to function as a kind of Rorschach test, with industry organisations heralding those aspects that most closely conform to their members’ views and desires. Producers organisation SPADA has declared itself “supportive of the overall direction of the review with regard to the Commission’s role in spotting and investing in filmmaking talent and retaining that talent in New Zealand”. Chief executive Penelope Borland expresses particular enthusiasm for such recommendations as the creation of “a box office incentive fund to reward success, a distribution fund to embolden distributors in their engagement with New Zealand films and connect them with audiences”, and a full equity partnership in films with a 50/50 recoupment split between production companies and the NZFC, with the commission’s share reverting to the producer after five years. In welcoming the report’s release, NZ Writers’ Guild executive director Steven Gannaway says it is “especially encouraging” it acknowledges that “more direct support of screenwriting talent is viewed as a vital component for a vibrant, stable, and productive NZ film industry” and voiced the hope that it prompts “real changes … that acknowledge the primacy of a great script in the film-making process. “One particularly positive step,” he says, “is the spotlight being put on removing the current rule for a producer to be attached at the very beginning of the script writing process.” Screen Directors Guild of New Zealand president Peter Bell, meanwhile, says that “as an organisation which represents directors and editors, we are particularly happy to note the central role which the review says must be placed on directors and storytellers in the industry”, while Women In Film & Television affirms it as “a vision for a responsive, flexible and collaborative organisation which many in the industry would love to work with, both as individuals and organisations”. NZ Equity’s Frances Walsh endorses the review’s observation that the NZFC has been orientated “towards producers, rather than directors, writers or actors” and that it needs to “be more talent-focused in its policies and practices”. “To this end,” she says, “Equity believes that the NZFC must … institute policies that ensure all its programmes maximise the professional development opportunities for all aspects of the industry, including performers … The faces, voices and performances of NZ
actors define the NZ content of film and television product of this country … Policies must therefore be put in place that ensure NZ employment is maximised on all projects supported by the NZFC, and all productions and production companies funded by NZFC meet appropriate minimum employment standards in engaging performers and crew on projects they fund, as occurs in other industries around the world.” Nga Aho Whakaari chairperson Tearepa Kahi calls the review “a powerful affirmation of ideas” that was clearly “conducted by a filmmaker who understands intimately the potential impact film has on our culture, why it needs to be preserved and why it needs to be improved”. Although he says the report contains “a long list of things to embrace, too many to mention”, he also points up a lack: “What is missing is the integration of findings and recommendations reached in the review of the Maori Responsiveness Strategy, which was released in October 2009”, an oversight he sees as symptomatic of “both an historic and ongoing problem, where a Maori paradigm of thought, response and contribution is treated separately, albeit with honourable intentions” (the Ministry for Culture and Heritage undertook to complete this aspect of the review in-house “to relieve pressure on the Jackson/Court review team”). Kahi also cautions that “current elements of progress and personnel change should not be a reason to dismiss the findings or to feel that issues therein have been addressed to meet a long term need”. This last comment is a reference to the widespread acknowledgement that certain key recommendations of the review – such as making the NZFC’s staff responsible for production funding decisions, rather than its board – had been anticipated and undertaken prior to its release, and that many anecdotal criticisms of the commission’s internal culture and operations are historical in nature and may not reflect the current reality. One senior industry member to make these points is South Pacific Pictures’ chief executive John Barnett, whose criticism of the commission helped prompt the review. Other key figures, such as Gaylene Preston and Vincent Ward, have pointed out that a lack of funding has been at the heart of many of the NZFC’s failings, a problem that Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Chris Finlayson has indicated won’t be alleviated any time soon. This reality prompted Ward to announce, several days after the review’s release, that he would “probably” be leaving NZ for Australia, citing recent difficulty in getting funding support from the NZFC, which he regards as having a focus on developing new talent at the expense of experienced filmmakers.
m a i r o m e M n I to him. The commercial even cost her work. Bruce Mason wanted her to be in The Evening Paper but the broadcasting people said, “We can’t use her. Her face is associated with Surprise Peas.”
he opening of Downstage provided Pat with the role of a lifetime. Martyn Sanderson asked her to play the role of Winnie in Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days. She had taken master classes with Paul Baker, a visiting professor of drama from a Texas university and director of the Dallas Theatre Centre. Under him she had worked on Ionesco’s The Chairs. This gave her the technique and confidence to do Winnie. This was hugely successful and was revived 10 years later at Downstage. My late wife and I had seen most of the great actors of the second half of the 20th century – Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud, Ralph Richardson, Albert Finney, Christopher Plummer, Julie Harris, Lynn and Vanessa Redgrave, and Ian McKellen. We both considered Pat’s performance of Winnie as the peak of our lifetime of theatre-going. She was to repeat the role in Christchurch and Palmerston North, and she was invited by Paul Baker to perform at the Dallas Theatre Centre but funding difficulties at the US end saw the venture abandoned, much to Pat’s disappointment. Pat’s professional career was now really underway and two seasons of plays at Downstage followed. More TV work included a comedy series called In View of the Circumstances, with accomplished comedy performers Roger Hall, Grant Tilly, Ken Blackburn, and Joe Musaphia. Then came Pukemanu, set in a mythical timber-milling town. Pat played Phyllis Telford, the local storekeeper. In Pat’s own words, “Pukemanu changed my life. I was no longer a private person but was recognised from one end of the country to the other as ‘Mrs Pukemanu’”. She regarded the decision not to make a third series as “the stupidest decision Those People Up There ever made”.
here being no third series of Pukemanu, Pat was free to agree to a proposal from Brian Bell to travel to Australia to play the lead in Pig in a Poke, a TV film he was making for the ABC. This was followed immediately by another production, They Don’t Clap Losers. In 1975 Pat won a Best Actress Logie Award for her work in Pig in a Poke. Offers of work in Australia rolled in. Pat acquired an agent in Australia, June Cann, who kept Pat busy in a succession of Australian TV series, plays and films. Over many years Pat played a rich variety of roles in Australia: in The Flying Doctors she was in the pivotal part of Violet Carnegie, the local storekeeper; in Prisoner: Cell Block H she was Jessie Windom, an ex-prostitute; in the feature film Tim (based on a novel by Colleen McCullough, with whom she became great friends), she was the mother of Tim, who was described by the author as “not quite the full quid”. Tim was played
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by a then unknown actor, Mel Gibson. Her character had to die of a heart attack and she researched details by lurking around the admission area of the North Shore Hospital, which was across the street from where she was staying, and asking ambulance drivers what heart patients looked like. In Ring Round The Moon in Adelaide she was Madame Desmermortes; in O’Casey’s Juno and the Paycock she was Juno for the Melbourne Theatre Company.
ack in New Zealand, she was Faith, the local headmistress, in the long running Close to Home. What started out showing once a week became twice, and then five nights a week. Towards the end, management imposed changes which she objected to without success. “Those People Up There” who had stopped Pukemanu were up to their old tricks; Close to Home folded. In Lettuce and Lovage at the Circa, she was Lottie Schoen, opposite Alice Fraser, whose step grandfather had arranged that £5 per week. In feature film The Silent One she played the part of a Polynesian woman. It is only when you look back that you begin to appreciate the range of roles she played. I don’t think we made as much use of this amazing actress as we should have. Some say she was difficult to work with. Others attribute that to her determination to achieve the very best. She did just that.
n 1998 Pat published her autobiography Happy Days in Muckle Flugga. Muckle Flugga may be traceable back to her Scottish mother – there really is such a place. I saw it a couple of weeks back on Sky TV, but it was only when I was putting this tribute together that it dawned on me that the Happy Days of the title came from Samuel Beckett. Pat ends her autobiography with a quote from Winnie: “That is what I find so wonderful, that not a day goes by – to speak in the old style – hardly a day – without an addition to one’s knowledge however trifling, the addition I mean, provided one takes the pains. And if for some strange reason no further pains are possible, why then just close the eyes – and wait for the day to come – the happy day to come when flesh melts at so many degrees and the night of the moon has so many hours.” Pat’s concluding words are, “I am so lucky to have lived most of my life in the sun, and I have no fear of the night of the moon. Happy Days indeed!” Happy Days indeed. Thank you Pat, for sharing your life and your talent with us. CURTAIN. – Bill Sheat (delivered as the eulogy at Pat Evison’s funeral) • For more on Pat Evision, see www. nzonscreen.com/person/pat-evison
w e i v r Inte
Starr turns Antony Starr talks about his roles in three projects coming to a screen near you – the leads in feature film After the Waterfall and tele-movie Spies and Lies, and the reprise of Outrageous Fortune twins Van and Jethro West in the beloved series’ sixth and final season.
I’m under the impression After the Waterfall was quite an unusual situation in that you were essentially attached to the project for some years? Yeah, around about five years. It came off the back of my supporting role in In My Father’s Den – [director] Simone [Horrocks] and [IMFD producer] Trevor [Haysom] started working together and Trevor said, “Oh you might want to look at this guy.” I remember meeting with them, around the time of the beginning of the first series of Outrageous Fortune, and it was like they were talking about someone else, to be honest. I didn’t have any kids and it didn’t really enter my head that I could be doing a father role, so it felt quite alien at that point. But Simone and I just kept back-andforth, back-and-forth – she’d been working on it for a few years by then, so the script already had a lot of going for it; it already had a well set soul, if you like, but it just needed fine-tuning, it needed the layers adjusted. And that developed into what was a really open relationship, with her giving me drafts and me giving feedback, some of which she took on board, some of which she didn’t. Because of that level of open collaboration, we got a lot more out of the lightening-flash of a five week shoot we had than we would have if it was like most other projects, where they write it and then try and stuff the parts with playdough actors. And I’m not saying that’s the wrong way to do it, but it definitely doesn’t allow for the relationship between the actor and the script and the role to grow in negotiation with the director. It was such a hands-on experience, it was great. I wish more projects were set up like this, but it does take trust right off the bat – she had faith in me thanks to something she saw in me, and she stuck with that. In turn, that made me want to give everything I could. Hopefully people appreciate the result. It’s based on a novel The Paraffin Child by UK writer Stephen Blanchard. Did 16
you refer to the book on a regular basis throughout the process? In actual fact I haven’t read it. I was going to – I got a ball of fear in my gut about doing the role and I was like, “Ah, what can I do? I’ve gotta do something!” So I got the book and was all set to start reading it, and with impeccable timing Simone called me: “What are you doing?” Trying to impress her I said, “I’m just about to sit down and read The Paraffin Child,” and she said, “Don’t! Whatever you do, don’t do that, because what we’re doing is slightly different and I don’t want you to be influenced by it; I want you to take ownership of what we’ve got.” That was no doubt a good choice – it’s always a delicate balance between being true to the source material and having the licence to make something that’s inspired by it. And she’d obviously thoroughly digested the book, so she didn’t need me to do that, she needed me to digest what she’d put on the page without any preconceptions. So what’s the film about? It involves a missing child, the subtleties of relationships, betrayal, self-loathing... Which sounds pretty heavy, but it was really important that it wasn’t an example of that cliché – which I don’t agree with anyway, actually – that New Zealand films are depressing a lot of the time. We wanted to make sure that while it might go deep and it might go hard emotionally, it ended with a hopeful question. But I find it quite difficult to try and sum up what it’s about in a sentence or two, because it’s not a plot driven piece, it’s a character study in a lot of ways… I’m proud to be part of it – it definitely tries to communicate something to the audience. And I’m really proud of everyone involved because, while I wouldn’t say it was underfunded, it was thinly funded, like so many NZ films. So nobody who came on was doing it for the money, they were there because there was something they responded to in the script and they wanted to be part
of it, and everyone gave 150% of their time and energy and resources. And that starts from the top – Simone really set the tone in that respect. So yeah, like any saccharine interview with an actor, I’ve only got good things to say about everyone. [laughs] You mentioned the idea of playing a father gave you pause, so how did you get into that parental headspace? I’ve got the good fortune to have four nieces now, one of whom was shaping up to potentially be used in the film, but then it got stuck in development for a couple more years [laughs] and that window closed. But we did a lot of research – Simone had amassed this big file of any documentation she could find about missing children and parents living with the loss of the child, and she dumped that in my lap and said, “Here’s something to get you going.” Which is what I was looking for. The important thing for me to realise as well – which it took me a while to get to because I was so terrified about the role – was that not all parents are good parents. I didn’t have to be playing ‘super dad’, so long as there was an evident relationship with the kid. And you see that in the film – there’s some pretty clumsy parenting in it, which is really real, you know; a lot of people aren’t built to be parents. I bought that up with Simone and she was, “Yeah, that’s cool, explore that.” And that became a part of the way we approached it – he’s a good dad and loving and all that, but not necessarily following Plunket guidelines too well. But you know, as I say, I’ve got four nieces and so I’m around parents and children a lot, and I’ve got parents myself, which was helpful, and a lot of my friends started having kids too. So I had a lot of examples to draw on. And when we were casting the little girl, Sally [Stockwell, who plays Starr’s screen wife] and I sat and played with the kids for an hour and found out whether there was any chemistry. The
girl who was cast, Georgia Wightman, we instantly had a little connection with her, and we met her a few more times before the shoot, so there was already a relationship in place… On the shoot we tried to limit the amount of ‘on-set parenting’, because the tendency when you get a kid on set is that everyone wants to make them welcome and so everyone makes such a fuss that the kid becomes incredibly self-aware and it has the opposite effect – they become uncomfortable and unmanageable, really. So we tried to keep it as much as possible to Simone and me or whichever other actor was working with her, and to keep the direction to a minimum and just try and coax a performance out of her. Simone wanted to get something that was real, she didn’t want scripted moments, so a lot of it with little Georgia was improvised; we’d see where she was going and work with that. She was only on set for a few days but I think they’ve stitched together a good series of moments. She’s a gorgeous kid, so you don’t need that much to go, “Oh, we will miss her!” [laughs] She’s pretty miss-able. So when was the shoot? Right in the middle of winter, last year – almost exactly a year ago. It was absolutely arctic swimming in that waterfall – it was staggeringly cold. You know, we hiked up through the mud with hotwater bottles, and there was a heated shower to try and get everything back to normal, but jesus… How about the shooting sequence? You presumably had to shoot the later parts of the film in which you’re sporting a beard first? Yeah, we started with the beard – the first three weeks of the shoot, I think, were with beard, and then we had one day that was really crucial because once the beard was gone, it was gone, there wouldn’t be any pickups. So the shaving of the beard was quite a precious little moment, one way or another. We had three levels of growth – there was the beard, there was perfectly clean shaven, and then there was one or two days’ stubble – and they all had to happen in one day. So in the morning we shot a scene with full beard, then I went to the trailer and we confirmed with everyone – we had about 15 “yes, okays” – and I finally shaved it off. Then at the end of the day, no matter how I held my breath I couldn’t force out any stubble, so we applied the makeup girl’s equivalent of a bit of burnt cork to my face for some instant stubble for the last shot of the day. So the beard was quite a finely tuned operation – it almost became another character; it had its own call time and all sorts of things… Spies and Lies [a 90-minute South Pacific Pictures television drama] was a rather different experience, I take it? Yeah, that was a totally different experience.
I had a run of work where we finished series five of Outrageous and I was going to take a bit of time off and start prepping Waterfall. We had a month before pre-production and I took a few days off, but then I started feeling guilty and came back and started building the character properly. So I did Waterfall, had another three days off, and then we started prepping for Spies and Lies. So there wasn’t a lot of time in-between. But it went great – there were a lot of people from Outrageous Fortune on the crew and it was fantastic to work with them on something so different – it’s a period piece, so art department, wardrobe, makeup, everyone got to do something totally different, and really play, in a way. That was really nice. I already had a relationship with director Simon Bennett, having worked together for years on Outrageous, so we hit the ground running. And it’s a really interesting story – a little fleck of New Zealand history that nobody seems to know about. Basically it’s about a petty crim called Syd Ross who, while in prison in the early ’40s, cooked up this hoax about a Nazi spy ring in NZ that he claimed he could infiltrate if he had a car and lots of money. And the government went for it, because it coincided with a spy ring being broken in Australia a few days before Ross wrangled an interview with the prime minister – it wasn’t public knowledge, so they thought it must be true; they bit completely and funded him, gave him a car and petrol vouchers and he went on a joy ride around the country for two or three months. There was maybe one article about it in The Truth, but it got hushed up because it was a massive embarrassment to the government. So it was fantastic to be part of that – Hugh Price had written a book about it [The Plot to Subvert Wartime New Zealand], so we had that to draw on, but we also had licence to flesh out our characters too. So were there any particular issues in playing a character from a different time period? It was interesting – they used to have what they referred to as ‘received pronunciation’, that Philip Sherry newsreader kind of accent, and we did a lot of research into that. I listened to tapes of NZ soldiers from the time and, while some of them did speak with that RP thing, there were a lot of people who had quite thick New Zealand accents but with a slightly different vocabulary. So I figured that as long as the words on the page fit, we could work around that. And being that the character was a petty crim, and kinda lower class, that influenced what I did with the accent quite a lot – I kept it fairly neutral and let the characters around me take the heat as far as accent was concerned, because it was more appropriate for them to have that more upper crust inflection going on. In saying that, from the book it’s
clear he was really articulate and he wrote and read very well. His father was quite learned and valued reading and writing, so he did have that gift of the gab, and he was a pretty sharp, intelligent kind of guy as well. So that influenced what we did as well; tried to break the rhythms of what he was doing, keep the mind ticking over. It was really fun from that point of view, playing someone who’s always coming up with a new angle and on his toes the whole time. It must have been a real change of pace too. Ah, it was surreal. It was the perfect antidote – After the Waterfall is an emotional, weighty sort of piece, whereas Spies and Lies kinda dances along, so it was a really nice thing to come onto off the back of Waterfall. And we had so much fun on set. Simon is also a really collaborative director and he gave us a lot of rope to really experiment with character and try different things. And that’s a really good way to work too – that shoot was four weeks, so again quite a tight time-frame, and it was great to have that flexibility on set and be able to bounce off each other and try ideas out. Presumably going from a serious role to a lighter one wasn’t a huge ask, given you’re well practised playing light and shade more or less at the same time, thanks to your dual roles on Outrageous Fortune. Absolutely, and that’s one of the benefits for me of Outrageous – I realised pretty quickly that, given the total difference between the characters, it was an opportunity for me to get so much more out of the experience than if I was playing one character. Again, thankfully, I’ve been lucky enough to work with people who have given me the room to experiment and be really loose in developing these characters and keeping everything fresh. I mean, we turned up on set the first day and we had back-to-back double scenes with me and me. And [director] Mark Beesley pretty much pointed to an area in this service station we were filming in and said, “There you go, that’s your stage – what’ve you got?” He really made me take ownership of what I was doing. And because, again, I was terrified, I’d done a huge amount of prep work, and it worked really well, so that became a sort of template for the other directors… As a technical exercise I learnt a
Role call: Antony Starr as Outrageous Fortune’s Van and Jethro West (far left top & bottom), After the Waterfall’s John (above top) and Spies and Lies’ Syd Ross (above).
huge amount, from having to do all the green screening, working with doubles – I would be tweaking what the double was doing to make sure he was doing what I wanted for the reverse performance – and having to go away and structure scenes between the twins from both sides; it was amazing. It was also a double-edged sword – I mean, I got to do twice as much work as well. In the end we had to sit down and talk about how to manage it with the writers – at one point we looked at the schedule for the next block and, if you highlighted everything I was in, you would have had a totally yellow page. And Rachel [Lang] and James [Griffin] were really accommodating about adjusting it. We tried to structure it, like, heavy block/light block, heavy block/ light block, but you know, sometimes, writers and their great ideas – they couldn’t possibly do without both characters, so … [laughs] But yeah, it became a consideration to avoid burning me out and take care of “Princess Starr” – up to a point. [laughs] So I look back on it and, while it was a lot of work, it was just gold; to have the opportunity to play such chalk and cheese characters for an ongoing period of time and to put them through their paces in all sorts of different situations. Yeah, a good gig… • After the Waterfall is screening at the NZ International Film Festivals – see www.nzff. co.nz for more info. • Outrageous Fortune’s final season begins 8:30pm, 13 July on TV3. • Spies and Lies is expected to screen on TV One in the next few months. • For Starr discussing more of his roles, see www.onfilm.co.nz.
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Hold on, not so fast Although digital formats continue to improve apace, they haven’t managed to bury film yet. Peter Parnham talks to a trio of filmmakers about the tradeoffs involved in choosing what to shoot with.
ilm is refusing to die, even though digital camera evangelists have prepared the eulogies – and in some cases already delivered them. Certainly, film no longer completely dominates the image capture field as it once did – long since abandoned by every-day television, even prestige TV dramas use digital cameras these days. However, of the nine New Zealand features with a presence at Cannes this year, five were shot on film, and one was a mixture of film and digital. How can this be when digital is cheaper and looks just as good? Something doesn’t add up (or doesn’t add up yet), at least for the producers of two thirds of these big screen movies.
f the NZ movies at Cannes, Boy is the hot property, already eclipsing other record-breaking Kiwi classics at the box office [see also Tim Thorpe’s opinion piece re: box office figures on page 8]. It was shot on film and used a film-based approach to post-production. Producer Ainsley Gardner knows perfectly well that a digital shoot would lift film stock constraints, and that a digital post workflow streamlines the process. However, her experience is that digital technology doesn’t change the fundamental economics of making a theatrical release feature, meaning they could make a choice to shoot film or digital according to the look it would provide. “We look at tests of digital every time we do a movie and it doesn’t do it better. That is the reason we still shoot film,” she says. “Unless there was a huge benefit to us, either process-wise or cost-wise, why would we deviate from the best? “We’re pretty committed to it, and I’ve talked to the people at Park Road Post Production to say, ‘You’ve got to keep your machines dusted off and your people up to speed, because we’re not going to stop shooting on film.’” Digital camera makers look to 35mm film as the gold standard when it comes to shooting – as one DP privately puts it, all digital is still trying to be film. There is a good reason. Clean 35mm motion picture film looks pretty good – if shown printed directly off the camera negative and projected in a nice preview theatre by a properly set up projector. It is those rather ideal conditions under which the DP, director and producer sit down to evaluate and
compare the two mediums (unlike the average New Zealand punter, who encounters second generation, dirty, faded second-hand prints and dim screens). Although it’s getting to be a close contest, the sure way of making something look like film is obvious: shoot on film. “It’s not that I’m against digital,” says Gardner. “I’ve watched many films that are shot on digital and are incredibly beautiful and cinematic. It doesn’t bother me that they’re shot on digital. But if you have the ability to shoot film, and a desire to shoot film, it certainly is that extra percent more beautiful. I think it’s lucky that [director] Taika [Waititi], and [DP] Adam [Clark] and I all can see that – although I don’t notice it in a cinema.” Whether or not a film or digital camera is used, post-production is almost always a digital process, and the cost of a digital intermediate (DI) and the scan back to film for 35mm prints, has added costs to feature film budgets, offsetting any savings from using digital cameras. This is one reason why feature producers give different answers if you ask them if digital is cheaper – it depends if you add up the impact of digital technology on the whole filmmaking process, or treat digital post-production as a given and just compare costs of the shooting stage. Boy bucked the DI trend and used traditional post-production and colour grading processes. It is an approach that may become more difficult in the future. “The big concern for us will be that there aren’t many people left in New Zealand cutting negatives – for Boy we used the Wellington-based guys, who had to get back up to speed on it,” says Gardner. “As digital becomes more and more the norm, it will affect our ability to do it the alternative way.”
or Mathew Metcalfe, digital shooting is already the norm. He’s producer of Love Birds, another feature in the 2010 Kiwi Cannes group, and qualifies as an early adopter of digital for his use of the Panavision Genesis on The Ferryman back in 2006 (2008’s Dean Spanley was shot on the ARRI D-20, while Love Birds also used the Genesis). “I like digital, I wouldn’t have shot three features on it if I didn’t like it,” he says. “But you’ve got to weigh it up, it’s definitely not a given. Film is the grand old lady, film is great. You can
do a lot of great things with it, and I’m sure I’ll use it again. It’s just that there are very, very sound reasons for using digital as well. “Certain projects are better suited to digital over others, and you can shoot digital and film on the same project to solve some of the issues that you might have. I think the biggest problem of film is that it’s just so expensive by comparison. “It’s also an artistic decision, because if you save hundreds of thousands of dollars [by using digital], that’s a lot of art department, that’s another shoot week, that’s a lot of sound mix. “That’s where the battle lies.”
hese kinds of battles are not unique to Cannes-sized features. But if you fund your filmmaking out of your own pocket, it’s not much of a fight. Digital cameras eliminate the cost of film stock and processing, while perfectly adequate digital edit suites have found their way into spare bedrooms. In short, digital technology enables your production to get off the ground. Ross Turley sees himself as typical example of a person who is making a digital film because it’s the only way that a film would get made. Turley, 34, served as DP for Jake, a self-funded feature by collaborative group Hybrid Motion Pictures. Turley reels off a list of five different equipment companies which supplied RED cameras to the five-month shoot that was squeezed in around paid-job commitments. The film will be entered into festivals and they want it to act as a stepping stone to bigger, brighter, better movies – “Movies with a budget,” hopes Turley. But when they do get to spend other people’s money on a bigger film, they will be better prepared. “It was the first time for everyone – the producing, directing, shooting – and we just learnt so much, it was really valuable. We started totally rough, and by the end of it we were getting more and more polished. Everybody was honing their skills and becoming better at what they were doing.” But if the cost barrier to making these kinds of movies was lowered by digital cameras – especially the comparatively cheap RED cameras – it has recently been lowered again, this time by DSLRs. DSLR stands for digital single lens reflex camera, the kind of camera that professional still photographers
use these days instead of 35mm still cameras. If your DP starts going on about a 5D or a 7D they are talking about two of the DSLR models from Canon that have done a lot to spark the craze. (Online you can find examples of Hollywood DPs and directors apparently swooning over these cameras; meanwhile, Onfilm’s April and May issues covered two recent NZ films that have used them). These camera kits start at $4000 or so (not to rent, but to buy), will record full HD video and, because they have large sensors, you can get a shallow depth of field similar to 35mm movie cameras. This effect is beloved by DPs because the subject can be dramatically separated from a soft focus background, giving a ‘big screen’ look. When they first came out the cameras gave limited control when shooting video, and in any case they didn’t shoot at the right frame rates. A download or two of firmware over the past few months has fixed all that. That doesn’t make them operator friendly because they don’t have normal viewfinders (the ordinary still photo viewfinder doesn’t work in video mode), but they are the smallest and cheapest way to get a cinematic image. But that didn’t make them right for Turley, who says a DSLR shoot wasn’t an option at the time. “The problem with a DSLR is having to use stills lenses. They’re slower [need more light] and pulling focus on them would have been tough – it was hard enough on the RED already I was using untrained focus puller crews, so we were setting up a lot of shots to work within our limitations. Putting that extra limitation on us, the whole film would have looked soft.” He says DSLRs modified to accept movie lenses, starting to appear at some Auckland rental houses, will make the system more useable in the field and an option for his future projects. But the highly compressed video data that comes out DSLR cameras will still be a quality issue when it comes to grading and post. “The codec [compression format] needs to be improved, but that’s happening, I’m sure that will happen,” he says. If and when it does, and if the evangelists are right, Metcalfe will be able to consider the camera/art department trade-off afresh, while filmmakers like Turley will also re-consider their trade-offs.
Moon rise The third instalment of writer/producer Mike Riddell’s account of making indie feature The Insatiable Moon, focusing on the film’s post-production period as well as securing a spot in the NZ International Film Festival and a NZ distributor.
Photo: Violaine Barrois
t’s 3am, and UK producer Pip Piper and I are side by side sweeping the hall following the wrap party. That’s what low-budget filmmaking means. It’s been a great night, and astonishingly there’s booze left over. Some of the older hands are talking about it as one of the best wrap parties they’ve been to. Just making it to a wrap party is achievement enough for the producers. One day earlier we called quits on the shoot, about four hours ahead of schedule. Hats off to associate producer Anton Steel, who managed to shoe-horn a feature film into five weeks. As things stand, we’re still waiting for the accounts to be sorted to know how much debt we might be in. A few days later it becomes apparent that we’ve finished on budget. The age of miracles is still with us.
t’s a week before Christmas, and we all head in our separate directions with the usual sense of nostalgia and promises to stay in touch. The final threads of goss about who’s having it off with whom are broken. In the back of my car is a hard drive that contains a backup of the roughly 2000 hours of filming. Strange to think how that small box can hold so much dreaming. That’s what we’re left with: memories and a heap of data. Apart from director Rosemary Riddell, who has managed to contract shingles as a lasting legacy. From here on in, our mission is to transform all that digital debris into something magical that will attract audiences. Whatever we think we may have
hoovered up thus far, now everything is post. While the rest of us are nursing hangovers and recovering from other varieties of seasonal over-indulgence, editor Paul Maxwell has entered the editing cave. There in the dark solitude, he continues what he has already begun; assembling images into a narrative thread. With generosity from Grant Baker, managing partner of Images & Sound, Paul contemplates the Avid with all the focus of a medieval mystic. He’s constructing what he refuses to term a ‘rough cut’, insisting that it’s a first assembly, with nothing rough about it. Paul describes himself as the ombudsman for the audience, and takes the role very seriously. He constantly champions the storyline, disregarding the plaintive cries from those of us who have more esoteric reasons for wanting to include material. With his history of sound production, Paul also manages to come up with an impressive temp track. We begin preparations for screenings of our work in progress – one in Auckland and one in Birmingham. In the meantime, the beautiful and talented Violaine Barrois, stills photographer and designer, has returned to France and is designing our poster. And the film website is up and running.
o it is that on a morning in March, a mixed group of cast, crew, friends, investors, and industry professionals turn up at the Academy Cinema. Owner
John Davies is there to open up for us. He panics when he discovers there are 170 of us attending – he’d thought maybe 20. Our EP Tim Sanders makes an introduction, and then we’re under way. How astonishing to see something which only lingered in the imagination being played out on the big screen; albeit in an ungraded, roughly mixed, lengthy version with the lip synch slowly drifting throughout. The captive audience is enthusiastic; laughing and crying on all the right cues. We receive plenty of backslapping afterward – but best not to get too excited among friends. Insurance broker Paul Weir, who has handled a film or two, tells us that it’s the best film he’s been associated with for 30 years. But just to keep our feet on the ground, a potential distributor opines that the film will never find a market, because mental health is too grim a subject. Nevertheless, the audience test cards we distributed come back with universally positive reviews. Most encouragingly, the simultaneous screening in the UK has gone superbly, with loads of sycophantic praise. Although we had told anyone who would listen that this is an international feature film, the Birmingham screening is the first genuine test of whether such a local Kiwi story will play in other cultures. It does. I may not have mentioned that even though we finished shooting on budget, there’s very little left for post. We’re counting on the quality of the film to
attract that money. Screening the first assembly is among other things a blatant plug for more funds. Within two weeks of the screening, the basic minimum is in place, and we’re ready to go. The other hope – to pick up a distribution deal from the invitees – doesn’t eventuate. We send out screeners to various interested parties, and fret. When it comes to distribution deals in NZ, they’re as rare as magnanimous agents (Karen Kay is one). Our gloom gathers when we show the film to family members, one of whom promptly falls asleep.
hen in early April comes one of those breaks that change the course of history (well, our history anyway). Bill Gosden, after watching a screener, invites The Insatiable Moon to premiere at the Auckland International Film Festival. We’re ecstatic that Bill, a minor deity in the celestial world of film kaumatuas, should like our film. Several things now fall into place – we have a premiere, a potential audience, and we can unlock some NZFC post-production funding. The good news continues. Kelly Rogers from Rialto Distribution likes the film and wants to talk distribution deals with us. He compares it to As It Is in Heaven, one of my favourite movies. The possibility of finding a distributor is further cause for celebration – but brings to the surface a small knuckle of anxiety that the producers have been worrying away at.
????? Digital filmmaking
Should we go play in the wide world of film commerce, or stay true to high principles of independence and thereby preserve our cinematic cherry? Our good friends Sumner and Tom Burstyn are in the midst of self-distributing their beautiful film This Way of Life, and making a hugely successful job of it. They suggest we might try it. Several weeks of angsting ensue. One of our criteria has been to find a distributor who really believes in the film. We don’t want it to be a once-overlightly kind of handling. I meet with Kelly Rogers and, when he mentions in passing that he had tears in his eyes while viewing the screener, it’s the tipping point. What’s more, he seems to understand what the film is about and how it should be marketed. We liaise with former head of sales for NZFC, Lindsay Shelton, as a behind-the-scenes consultant. He’s a font of wisdom and a real gent to deal with. Cautiously, step-by-step, we tease out with Rialto the makings of a deal memo. Eventually the time arrives to either make a deposit or get off the crapper. We sign.
ow we have a festival premiere, and a distribution deal covering NZ with an option on Australia. Ordinarily, this would be sufficient to attract substantial post-production funding from the NZFC. We now have evidence of solid market support for our film, which seems to be the baseline the Commission is working from these days. There’s just one problem. The NZFC staff don’t like our film. To be fair to them, they’ve been solidly consistent. They didn’t like it during the many years of development, they didn’t like it when we applied for production funding, and they don’t like it now that we’ve made it. There’s no accounting for taste. In the end, they make their calls and live by them. In fact the Commission is so convinced the movie is no good they ring Rialto to inquire whether it could be true that a distribution deal is progressing – a rather blatant breach of privacy legislation. They meet some incredulity of a different sort when Rialto suggests Moon is better than a lot of the stuff NZFC has been supporting in recent times. What to make of all this? I guess that having made their call, the Commission need to be sure we don’t show them up
by succeeding. They hope we will fall by the wayside, and are embarrassed that we keep on getting to our feet again and staggering along. Ian Mune, an outspoken critic of NZFC policy over many years, sees this as just another example of NZ films being made despite the Commission rather than with their support. I’m philosophical about it. We’re a casualty of a particular genre-based approach to filmmaking that has an inherent bias against originality. Ian Mune castigates it. “This is a completely negative, destructive system – anti any kind of New Zealand cinema. All the values of narrative development, construction and characterisation are based on foreign [American and English] ideas and traditions. “A nation thinking its own thoughts, having its own values and being true to its own character will create not only its own language, but also its own forms. The fact that this language and these forms are unique does not make them, ipso facto, incomprehensible to the rest of the world. After all, we understand stories from America, France, Germany, England, Sweden, Brazil, Iran, and many other countries. In fact, we understand them better when they are being true to themselves than when they are trying to emulate America.” Never mind. Peter Jackson, who began his career with rejection from the Film Commission, is now heading a review of the very same body. It may be that to slip out of favour is a badge of honour. I wear it as such and become surprisingly sanguine about the difficult decisions NZFC is forced to make. There are good people there caught between a rock and a hard place. The better news is that featuring at the NZ Film Festival means a pretty much automatic post-production grant. We’re not too proud to take that and add it to our meagre budget. We are eligible to apply for even more money. However, we’ve missed the application deadline, they think the film doesn’t work, any money would be a recoupable loan, and they want editorial control. That sounds inviting, in a Tui billboard kind of way.
Images & Sounds, it’s a giddy round of activity. We lock pictures, cutting seven minutes and receiving grief therapy for the loss. Then it’s ADR, foley, grading, vfx, music mix, and film mix. Miraculously, we’ve got by without the need for pickups. All of this on the kind of budget bigger films would use for entertainment. It doesn’t allow for print to film, as we had hoped. We have to drop a song because we can’t afford it. With the help of Images, we’re cutting corners wherever we can without sacrificing the quality of the film. Once again the generosity of people who feel some connection to the project is striking. Delivery date is 25 June, just a few weeks before the Auckland festival opens. No sweat. The obstacles we’ve overcome in the past eight years provide a certain level of gung ho confidence. On the long journey you learn that there’s not many problems that can’t be solved with a little creativity and perseverance. As you read this, The Insatiable Moon is about to premiere, with republishing of the original novel by HarperCollins to coincide.
inema is a mongrel; a half-breed with incompatible parents. It’s the unlucky child of the congress between art and commerce. The artists among us complain at the myopic concentration on bums and popcorn. The funders scratch their heads at films that they see as products of narcissistic self-indulgence with no thought given to audience. Constantly the entire cinematic venture is in danger of tipping one way or the other – into calculated exploitation or impenetrable, patronising drivel. Currently we’re on a blockbuster jag, which is good for mega-budget monsters out of Hollywood. Not so good for
low-budget independents that seek to speak with a unique voice. The bottom line is and always has been audience. It costs money to make a film, no matter how noble its theme. Someone has to pay for it. Every filmmaker must win an audience. It can be done through recycling what has worked in the past, or through leading an audience into new territory. The studios monopolise the former approach, the indies vie for the latter. There’s no doubt which camp The Insatiable Moon is in. We’re opening a door and inviting people into a world most have never experienced. Whether audiences are willing to enter that world or not will prove to be the determining factor in evaluating it. For us, that remains to be revealed. It will come down to a number of factors, but chief among them is how well we’ve told the story. Any original venture requires a vision that inspires. It demands courage, selfbelief, obdurate determination, perseverance and focus. In the realm of film it also means a village of supporters and participants who bring their own talents and resources to forge vision into reality. The final arbiters and participants are the audience. We are the recipients of huge contributions from funders, crew, cast, technicians and assorted believers who have given to a project that began in 2002. There have been detractors and naysayers – among them the body that has statutory responsibility for promoting NZ stories on screen. But the final chapter in the long saga will be written by those who sit quietly, waiting for the main feature to begin. • The Insatiable Moon will premiere at Sky City Casino Theatre on the evening of Saturday 17th July, as a special event in the New Zealand International Film Festival.
t’s all systems go in post. Composer Neville Copland is slaving over a hot Logic Studio, producing beautiful sounds. He’s persuaded Richard Nunns to come and add his magic. Back at
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To Russia with Love Producer Liz DiFiore on taking Russian Snark, veteran writer Stephen Sinclair’s feature film directorial debut, to the inaugural Moscow International Film Market in June, prior to its Southern Hemisphere debut at the NZ International Film Festival in Auckland in July.
Road Post Production gathers all the digital sound and picture elements. In my absence Stephen and DOP Steven Latty will be in attendance to oversee the final post. My partner Kevin takes me to the airport and puts me on the plane for my 30-hour trip to Moscow. The extra 10 kilos of baggage the obliging folks at Emirates have offered enables me to include some collateral from Sandra Clark at Film New Zealand – marketing material to promote NZ film.
ne of the people I talk to about our distribution plans for Russian Snark is Michael Wrenn, who is currently setting up a boutique distribution arm of Curious Films with Matt Noonan. He has recently received an invitation to the first Moscow International Film Market (June 18-20), to be held at the Radisson Slavyanskaya Hotel on the banks of the Moscow River, and suggests it might be worthwhile us presenting our film there. As he says, “You’ve got to start somewhere!” I’ve always felt there was a place for our film in Mother Russia due to the Russian content, so I express my interest to the market organisers, who send me an invitation to attend. Formal invite in hand, I explore the hotel and flight situation, apply for a visa and plan my approach. With a free trade agreement imminent between Russia and NZ (we’re the first country in the world to take this step with Russia), there are bound to be opportunities for us! And I am fascinated by this huge country that has only recently become welcoming western travellers.
ey, I love these airbuses – on Emirates even economy feels comfortable. There’s modern décor and a feeling of spaciousness and quality, nothing like the cattle-car Boeing experience… At 5.30am the Emirates Terminal in Dubai is packed to the gills – thousands of people of every ethnicity are busy making purchases in this monumental shopping mall. Having slept a bit on my 14-hour flight from Sydney, I’m up to doing a bit of shopping of my own.
cquiring the visa involves a fair amount of argy-bargy – I have to pre-book pricey, non-refundable accommodation, and present documentation of flights and insurance, letters of accreditation and telexes from Moscow. But there’s time as long as I make no error on the application. Simultaneously a plethora of marketing materials are being assembled, including posters, flyers and handouts designed by Luke Pittar, along with a website built by his partner Emma Knight, and a front and end title animation made by her brother Sam Knight. It’s a family affair!
Package deal: Liz DiFiore promotes Russian Snark, Godzone Pictures and the NZ screen industry at the Moscow International Film Market.
Post-production – made possible with support from the NZFC and the Screen Innovation Fund – is underway, with composers David Long and Stephen Gallagher putting the finishing touches to the music, while sound designer Tim Prebble and his team prepare for the final mix. Peter Salmon helps out with a revamped Godzone website and new business cards, with a logo designed by Sam. Doug Dillaman, who has a demanding day job (as do they all!) is furiously cutting our teaser trailer at night so it’s ready
in time; Alastair Tye-Samson of Images & Sound patiently handcrafts our titles and credit roller. Meanwhile, back at the office Boram Yi, Wendy McCracken, Rachel Choy, and Sarah Jones are contacting all the participants at MIFM to set up meetings, as well as filling hand stencilled bags with NZ trinkets for us to give away. Rachel’s friend Jeremy Gardner – a whiz at Photoshop – creates our DVD cover using Luke’s images. Images & Sound work on ADR, EDL outputs and other items, while in Wellington Park
arrive in Moscow (MOCKBA) midafternoon, relieved to find all my luggage has made it. My visa passes muster, and my fragile tube of posters has lost one end but is otherwise pretty well intact. At the exit I am greeted by Gina, sent by the market organisers to shepherd me from airport to city. I follow her turquoise skirt through the crowds and out into the grey and rainy car park, where our taxi man pulls up in an unmarked Lexus. The driving is fast and spontaneous – cars accelerating and making arbitrary stops with alarming frequency. Our driver has to swerve and brake to accommodate the erratic driving of his fellow motorists. He turns to me after a particularly hairy moment and says with a cheeky grin, “Welcome to Moscow!” He has a great hand-burnt CD collection of hot Russian numbers that he insists we sing along to, with the odd ’60s US pop song thrown in for good measure. The motorway is lined with tall, thin birch trees, which give way to large, austere, grey concrete apartment blocks.
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Digital filmmaking Russian droll: Russian Snark tells the story of Misha (Stephen Papps, left), a once celebrated Russian filmmaker fallen on hard times, who sails to New Zealand in a tiny lifeboat with his wife Nadia (Elena Stejko, opposite) in search of a more appreciative audience. High jinks and melancholy ensue. “At its heart the film is about the artistic process, how obsessive and alienating it can become, and its destructive impact on relationships,” says writer/director Stephen Sinclair. The film was shot on a Varicam (definitely not pictured left) supplied by Niche Cameras.
Photo: Steve Latty
Old Soviet murals, several stories high, adorn many of the older buildings we pass, and I already feel challenged by my inability to read Cyrillic.
make use of the time catching up on my emails and attending to a dozen different issues that have arisen during post-production.
y hotel room is on the eighth and top floor; it’s non-smoking with a view of the river and huge Kievskaya railway station next door. I look out on the steady stream of people racing back and forth to the trains below, as I get my head around being on the other side of the world. By 8pm I’m fast asleep … until 3am when my body decides it’s time to get up. With unlimited free Wi-Fi, I
he day before the market, Alla and Amelia – new friends from NZ who have just relocated in Moscow – meet me at the hotel and we set up the booth. It’s two-by-three metres with two walls to feature our great posters and photos from the film, and one wall showcasing Film NZ production services. With chairs, tables, a 21-inch flat screen TV and DVD player, we are ready for business!
he next morning, MIFM begins. It’s Friday and the market is pretty well attended. About 40% of exhibitors representing product are Russian, with the balance Chinese, Japanese, Indian, French, Brazilian, Kiwi, and several North American companies – Media 8, Magnolia and Cinetel from the US, and Cinema Vault from Canada. Most have an established trading history in this part of the world. Screenings are underway for the exhibitors presenting films at the market. They’re held in a 500-seat theatre or one of several smaller conference rooms. Most distributors are too busy to attend screenings for more than 5-10 minutes, so audience numbers are not high. I’m relieved our work-in-progress DVD will not be screening in the 500seat theatre! It will screen on Sunday afternoon, when the market is nearly over and there won’t be much competition for other events. In the meantime I make good use of our trailer – it’s short and sweet, which proves to be a great tool. (See it at www.russiansnark.com.)
At the Co-production Forum, which opens the market, potential partners include representatives from Bavaria Film, Sony Pictures Entertainment (Russia), Riga Motion Pictures Studio, Barrandov Studio, Central Partnership (Russia), and Russian World Studio. There are lively discussions on how to build successful relationships. The Forum also focuses on international distribution opportunities for the Russian film industry, which have traditionally been limited to local distribution. Annual box office forecast for the entire CIS (the Commonwealth of Independent States, made up of the former Soviet Republics) is US$1.15 billion from both local and international productions (US product accounting for most of this). The Market coincides with the 32nd Moscow International Film Festival, and the organisers provide shuttles to and from the cinemas, where 85 films are showing, including retrospectives from Kurasawa, Sergio Leone, Claude Chabrol, and Luc Besson. Also ‘Epic
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Films about Great War’ including Das Boot, Bridge Over the River Kwai and Tora, Tora, Tora, along with Socialist avant-garde films, Chinese cinema, and a selection of short films. There are premieres, experimental films and films in competition. The only Antipodean films on offer are Bran Nue Dae (2009), and Bad Boy Bubby (1993)!
ay two of the market focuses on film production financing, the role of public funds in the mix, and strategies to secure investment. Speakers present business models for co-productions with the Hollywood majors, along with Brazil, Russia, India, and China. One tenuous Kiwi connection is Harris Tulchin, a US entertainment lawyer who has recently completed shooting a film with Lee Tamahori at the helm called The Devil’s Double. It’s based on the real story about the man forced to double as Saddam Hussein’s son. This is a Belgian/Netherlands coproduction filmed in Malta … On day three of the market there are presentations from Eurimages, and the European Film Foundations of France, Genova-Liguria, Germany, Moscow, St Petersburg, and the Tver
Region – commissions all vying for productions to shoot in their territories. Clearly there’s a lot of competition between the various entities for the production dollar.
or me the market is intermittently busy – mostly during the lunch and tea breaks, when the participants swarm out of the conference for some sustenance. By day two I realise that, although I am making connections, there are so many diversions that it’s going to be difficult to create a profile in the market. I begin engaging people in conversation more proactively, and start to generate some real interest in our film. Everyone is crammed into a relatively small space, which makes it easy to connect and reconnect with people. I manage to meet all the people I added to the list I made in NZ, and I find the after-hour functions (including a festival-sponsored boat ride along the Moscow River) provide casual opportunities to network. By the end of the market I have substantially increased my contacts in this part of the world, as well as the wider international film community. While I’ve made no sales, there’s been
lots of interest in our film, and the wider opportunities presented by NZ’s filmmaking expertise for NZ and international projects. While it will take time, a good start has been made in raising the profile of Russian Snark on the international stage. I’m not heading home just yet; I have several meetings arranged for the week following the market. One is with an art house film distribution company that also makes its own product. It’s based at the original, prestigious Moscow Film Studio, which currently houses 10 independent production companies and a staff of 1500. To get in you need your passport and an invitation or lodged appointment. I wait with a group of Russian teenagers (extras perhaps?) in the austere waiting room until I am escorted up to my meeting. The producer has an awareness of New Zealand through the success of Lord Of The Rings, and wants to talk about co-production opportunities and the realities of shooting in New Zealand. We agree to keep in touch… • Russian Snark screens at the New Zealand International Film Festival in Auckland on 20 and 22 July. See www.nzff.co.nz for more info.
Photo: Nick Monks
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Wounding with intent Writer-director David Blyth and producer Andrew Beattie discuss making Wound, Blyth’s feature film comeback, which is screening as part of the Incredibly Strange sidebar at the NZ International Film Festivals. How did the two of you team up – presumably a mutual appreciation of prosthetic effects played a part? Andrew Beattie: That’s not far off the mark. David and I met through a mutual friend, Ant Timpson, who had passed on my name to David. I’d worked with Ant before, and he knows I’m always open to getting involved in edgy projects. Because of my previous life as a prosthetic make-up artist, David met with me to discuss my possible involvement in his new film. I wasn’t really interested in doing an ultra-low budget film in an effects capacity, but I was interested in producing. David was up for this, essentially getting a two-for-one deal. How long was your shoot period? David Blyth: The shoot period was throughout the first month of this year, finishing at 3am on 31 January. AB: We prepped for two weeks, shot for a week, then the shooting crew stood down for a week while we prepped, and we shot for another week. Thirteen days in all. It was extremely tight, but essential on our limited budget. What did you shoot the film on? DB: We had a great DOP, Marc Mateo, who suggested right from the outset to go HD with Prime lens, and to use the Canon 5D as the principal camera, with the Sony EX3 as our second HD camera. I’m very pleased with the Canon look: great blacks… It has a larger aperture than the RED camera and is way more portable. How long was your post-production period? DB: Post production was principally finished in 12 weeks, editor Samantha Sperlich cut the film as we shot, so within a week of finishing shooting we had a full rough assembly. Through Samantha we connected up with Picture Talk, a post-production
Let it bleed: Wound’s lead Kate O’Rourke, who is described by Ant Timpson, selector of the films in the NZIFF’s Incredibly Strange sidebar, as giving “a ferocious, brave performance [that] centres the film as all around spirals into dementia and viscera”.
facility with Graeme Elliott and Eddie Larsen. They both really got behind Wound and did a fantastic job with editing, colour grading and so on. What have you found most challenging about making Wound? AB: Lack of time and money! We always knew we were attempting something bordering on insane: no money, no time, so many inexperienced crew, and pushing actors to their limits. It became necessary to adopt a ‘go for broke’ attitude. It was sometimes a real challenge to avoid adopting a siege mentality. DB: Getting the sound mix right was the most challenging aspect of production – it’s what lifts a film out of its low budget status and gives it clarity. What have you found most enjoyable? DB: Working with the cast and, in particular, leading lady Kate O’Rourke, an actor of great dedication and commitment, who brought a level of intensity in performance that was a truly magical experience for me. Also being able to work with Ian Mune, who I have always admired but never had the opportunity to cast before, was a rewarding experi-
ence. Campbell Cooley and Te Kaea Beri both excelled in their roles as well, contributing much to their characters. AB: Working with David, and creating something truly unique. I think everyone in the industry should do at least one ultra-low film in his or her career – it’s a hell of a thing to do. For those of us who consider it a vocation, it’s a great reminder of why we do it. I’m also a fan of horror films and alternative cinema, so this made sense to me. The ongoing rise in digital format standards, along with the parallel fall in price, means it’s becoming increasingly possible to make films like Wound without recourse to traditional funding routes. Is this a model of filmmaking you’ll choose to pursue in future, and what advice would you give fellow filmmakers who are considering such a path? DB: The low-budget indie model of filmmaking using the new digital technology is liberating and I am definitely looking at making more films in this way. I also highly recommend it to other upcoming filmmakers who don’t have the credits to secure major funding. However, there are limitations to how
many favours you can call in from suppliers and crew. AB: I’m not sure that I’d make another film for this low a budget again, only because I don’t think the industry – crew and suppliers – can absorb the costs for us indefinitely. We experienced incredible generosity, but that will wear thin pretty quickly. I guess if I were to give anyone any advice, it would be to scale your idea to your budget. Keep it contained locationwise. I’d suggest not shooting at night too much – it’s expensive and time consuming. Make sure your crew understands clearly what they’re getting themselves into – this isn’t a traditional model of filmmaking, and it’s not for folks with delicate dispositions. And make sure you spend as much time thinking about sound as you do picture! What’s your pitch to potential audience members at the NZ International Film Festival? DB: My pitch is that Wound is an opportunity to see a genuine NZ indie film that hasn’t been made through the nanny state funding system, with its endless script committees, taxpayerdollar concerns and hidden agendas. The film is a truly original story that deals with topics and themes that are deeply ingrained in the Kiwi psyche. It has a freshness and energy that looks at New Zealand and ourselves in a completely new way – it’s aimed at a younger audience (18-30 year-olds) and delivers some visual surprises. Since the Montreal Fantasia Festival and London’s FrightFest have announced Wound in their screening line ups, the film has generated a large amount of interest from other festivals and distribution companies worldwide. I have a sales agent to coordinate all this activity and expect some offers on territories soon. • For more on the making of Wound, see www. onfilm.co.nz.
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Documenting Looking for spare parts for his car, Tom Reilly stumbled on a subject demanding to be made into a doco – the battle against bureaucracy of the secret Westie kingdom of ‘Gordonia’, a refuge for British car wrecks and a ragtag gang of social outcasts. Reilly discusses the technical aspects of making the film, which is screening at the NZ International Film Festivals.
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You were a one-man band for the shoot. How did this affect your approach and the kind of gear you used? For the first couple of years [of shooting for the doco] I had my claymation studio just down the road from the property. My friend Barry had a new camera and wanted to help so he let me borrow it. I’d rock on up the road every few weeks to catch up with Graham and the guys. They were really wary at first and I had to be careful where I pointed the lens. But because it was just me by myself they pretty soon got used to the sight of me and let me tag along. Working solo meant I could leap into a car full of people without having to worry where we’d fit a camera man and soundie. And if something exciting was happening I could drop the animating and race up there with the camera rolling at the drop of a hat. I could also get much more intimate stuff when there was just me and the subjects alone together without lights and booms in their faces. I just used a camera-mounted shot gun mic. Of course, vision and sound quality suffered terribly but I was lucky enough to be working with material that suited a low-fi aesthetic.
stills camera I was animating with. So there are several pivotal moments I captured with the video function on that. One night the phone rang at 2am and the workshop building was on fire. All I had was my son’s camcorder so I strapped that over one shoulder, the stills camera over the other and off I went into the night. If you had started shooting yesterday as opposed to years ago, what would your camera of choice be? If I were to start over… I’d take a look at the new HD version of the same Canon XL. Maybe a 5D or 7D to use alongside it. I’ve been directing some shows for Screentime with the XD and Letus that are looking fantastic, but I don’t know if I could wrangle one of those solo. To be honest, though, I’d get a little more help and advice before starting this time. How long did the shoot period last? Well, I started in 2003 and I was shooting the last couple of scenic shots two weeks ago so I guess seven years. But there were long stretches of time between bursts of shooting. I got $24,000 from the Screen Innovation Production Fund about halfway through, which allowed me to get the rest of the footage I needed and follow Graham to court for the big showdown. Presumably a consequence of the drawn out shoot is that you ended up with an intimidating mass of footage. ..? Sixty-seven one-hour DV tapes and about 100 gigabytes worth of AVI files off the stills camera. Plenty.
Protecting his patch: (far left) Graham Gordon, the owner of the Waitakere Ranges property dubbed ‘Gordonia’, which attracted the disapproving attention of the Waitakere City Council and led to years of bureaucratic battling – a conflict that filmmaker Tom Reilly (left) reckoned was an irresistible subject for a doco. (Turns out he’s right.)
Gordonia What did the post production process involve for you? A lot of digitising and logging to start with. Then I got stuck into cutting. It was both exciting and exhausting working without an editor. I talked to a couple of editors in the early stages but it was just too much work to expect someone to take on given the amount of footage and lack of budget. I got the cut down to two hours after seven months but I’d blown all my fuses. I was worn out and had lost focus, so I gave up for several months. I have to thank Briar March for pushing me to keep going with it. I eventually called Philly de Lacey at Screentime who’d always liked it and she hooked me up with editor Roger Yeaxlee. How long did post last? After Roger came on board it all happened pretty fast (relatively speaking). Roger started cutting at the start of March this year. Nanette Miles and Toybox generously helped me with a grade in the Resolve, and Nigel mixed the sound at Sale Street Studios. The rawness of the images and sound caused a few gasps of horror here and there but it came up surprisingly well, with the right people putting it through the right systems. What’s your pitch to the fest audience as to why Gordonia should be on their fest list? You will be entertained. You’ll be transported to another world full of characters and sights you didn’t know existed. You’ll laugh, you’ll be shocked and you may even cry. These characters are living right under our noses here in New Zealand, and this is a rare and precious insight into their subculture. It also opens up a lot of discussions around how nasty things can get if you find yourself on the wrong side of local government.
To change subjects with an unseemly graunching of gears… You, Wayne Gordon and Tom Hern are one of the 12 teams of filmmakers who made the initial cut of the NZFC’s Escalator initiative, attended the scheme’s “boot camp” and now have three months to make a full production financing application to an industry panel. You’ve said it “seems to be a pretty damn amazing scheme” – what have you found most valuable about the process thus far? The NZFC’s attitude. There are some really good people working there at the moment who are passionate about film and supporting filmmakers. It’s really the first time since I got into directing 10 years ago that I’ve felt the Commission has engaged with me as an individual rather than as a statistic. The scheme is actively geared against the drawn-out development that can suck the life out of an idea. And they’ve made it clear that they will be very hands off once the funding has been approved. There’s a new sense of trust there; that we know what we’re doing and it’s our responsibility to make a good film that will sink or swim according to its own merit. Paul Swadel has been quite open about the fact they’re still laying the tracks as the train moves along them. Yes, it is still a scheme with criteria into which we have to fit ourselves and our projects, but even Peter Jackson has noted that it’s very much a step in the right direction. It’s been a very encouraging process so far and I’m actually getting quite excited about the prospect of working with the current NZFC regime. (Is regime the right word?) • Gordonia premieres in Auckland at the Academy at 6pm 19 July, and screens again at 11:15am on 20 July and 1:30pm on 24 July; it also screens as part of the fest’s Christchurch leg at Regent on Worcester at 4pm, 13 August and 4.30pm, 14 August.
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• Trailer: www.gordonia.info See also www.onfilm.co.nz for more on the making of Gordonia. www.onfilm.co.nz
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FILM POST PRODUCTION POLES APART 16mm short prod co The Film School dir Jan Kleinhiens writer Hayden Armstrong prod John Reid exec prod Tommy Honey asso prod Alison Langdon DP Anjali Mehta prod mgr Sophie Gregory prod des Larissa McMillan prod coord Sophie Gergory prod assts Fraser Howse, Olga Durban prod runner Emma Dougherty 1AD Luke Ruscoe 2AD Lila Reibel loc mgr Shane Catherall, Lance Uluilelata cam op Shane Catherall cam asst Tom McHattie grip Daniela Conforte gaffer Hayden Armstrong b/boy Royce Goddard snd rec Roland Taylor boom op Nils Macfarlane cont Marian Angeles props Alex Tuapola w/robe Casey Baldwin unit Symon Choveaux making of Sharan Subbaraaj cast Nathan Green, Alison Walls, Stacey Dalziel, Kam Turner, Sarah Lineham, Daisy Henderson, Jay Neilson, Kent Lambert, Blythe Pistole, Rick Norton
STOLEN 90min telefeature prod co SPP exec prods John Barnett, Chris Bailey prod Chris Hampson line prod Carmen J Leonard writer Tim Balme prod mgr Sharron Jackson prod coord Linda Fenwick prod sec Jayna Kesha runner Ant Davies dir Britta Johnstone acct Lee-Ann Hasson asst acct Sheree Silver 1AD Shane Warren 2AD Sean Mobbs 3AD Kate Hargreaves script sup Sarah Brinsdon loc mgr Benny Tatton loc asst Rick Waite unit mgr Paul Fleming unit asst Dominic Stones DP Marty Smith gaffer Antony Waterhouse key grip Gary Illingworth asst grip Conrad Hoskins snd rec Myk Farmer prod des Clayton Ercolano art dept coord Lia Neilson set dresser Christiaan Ercolano art dir Craig Wilson s/by props Amy Bridson art asst Tasha Lang construct mgr Brian Robertson carps Reg Ferguson, Neil Murray, Terry Morris cost des Katrina Hodge cost des asst Rewa Lewis cost buyr Sally-Ann Mullin cost dress Petra Verweij cost s/by Carmel Rata m/up des Kevin Dufty key m/up art Jo Fountain catering Rock Salt Catering cast dir Christina Asher safety Lifeguard & Safety stunt coord Mark Harris ed Allanah Milne post prod sup Grant Baker post prod coord Gwen McDonnell snd post prod Steve Finnigan pub Tamar Munch pub asst Lucy Ewen stills Jae Frew cast Scott Wills, Miriama Smith, Nick Blake, George Henare, Jezella Gilbert, Mark Ruka, Maria Walker, Peter Hambleton, Jason Hoyte, Phil Brown, Fraser Brown, Miriama McDowell, Stephen Lovatt, Roz Turnbmuull, Bonnie Soper, Mabel Wharekawa-Burt, Te Waimarie Kessell, Rickylee Russell-Waipuka, Mark Clare, Rachelle Duncan, Mathew Monro, Danielle Church, William Walker, Roy Snow, Jarod Rawiri, Mick Innes, Gordon Toi, Geoffrey Snell, Raiken Saint Hala, Melanie Jones, Will Wallace
prod Tommy Honey asso prod Alison Langdon DP Daniela Conforte prod mgr Luke Ruscoe prod des Larissa McMillan prod coord Sophie Gregory prod assts Fraser Howse, Lila Reibel prod runner Casey Baldwin 1AD Sophie Gregory 2AD Chris O’Riley loc mgr Shane Catherall, Marian Angeles cam op Royce Goddard cam asst Anjali Mehta grip Alex Tuapola gaffer Robert Fitzgerald b/boy Sharan Subbaraaj snd rec Hayden Armstrong boom op Shane Catherall cont Jan Kleinhiens props Tom McHattie w/robe Olga Durban unit Nils Macfarlane making of Symon Choveaux cast Robert Tripe, Martine Michelle, Theo Taylor, James Blake, Augustin Caravello, Stella Reid, Chris Dawson, Renee Sheridan, Claire Kirby, Kayla Britton, Sarah McGreechan
YOUNG PREY 16mm short prod co The Film School dir Nils Macfarlane writer Sophie Gregory prod John Reid exec prod Tommy Honey asso prod Alison Langdon DP Sharan Subbaraaj prod mgr Luke Ruscoe prod des Larissa McMillan prod coord Sophie Gergory prod assts Fraser Howse, Marian Angeles prod runner Alex Tuapola 1AD Lance Uluielata 2AD Tom McHattie loc mgrs Shane Catherall, Sophie Gregory cam op Robert Fitzgerald cam asst Royce Goddard grip Jan Kleinhiens gaffer Shane Catherall b/boy Daniela Conforte snd rec Fraser Howse boom op Lance O’Riley cont Emma Dougherty props Lila Reibel w/robe Anjali Mehta unit Casey Baldwin making of Roland Taylor cast Dra McKay, Hudson Mills, Petra Donnison, Steven Ray, Kara Danielle, Johnny Eagle, Pavel Kvatch, Vere Hamson Tindale, Kassie McLuskie
IN RELEASE BE CAREFUL... 12min short prod co Shoot First Productions writer/ dir/prod Alan Brash co-prod Maile Daugherty DP Daniel Wagner prod des Brent Hargreaves 1AD Tony Forster 2AD Mina Jafari 3ADs Sam Collie, Karl Sheridan prod mgr Hannah Jones prod coord Bevin Rijkaart loc mgr/unit mgr Clinton Bowerman conts Naomi Bowden, Nicola Castle cost des Natalija Kucija m/up/ hair Celeste Strewe set dresser Ethan MontgomeryWilliams stby props Jade Irons cam op Roko Babich f/ pullers Jonny Yarrell, Kent Belcher, Matt Hunt 2nd asst cam Lance Guthrie stdcm op Rhys Duncan snd rec Gabriel Muller boom op Will Krippner gaffer Spencer Locke-Bonney b/boy Matt Harte lx assts Fred Muller, Junior Tuamoepeau ed Nicola Smith cmpsr Rhombus Productions snd post prod Matt Aickin, Ant Nevison post prod images Paul Lear, Brenton Cumberpatch, Alastair Tye Sampson asst ed Daniel Struthers stunt coord Campbell Rouselle PA Steven Baker cast Craig Hall, Lisa Chappell, Lynette Forday, Narelle Ahrens, Mike Edward
key grips Kevin Donovan, Chris Rawiri, Jim Rowe grip assts Lincoln Phillips, Winnie Harris cost des Cathy Pope cost consult Deirdre McKessar add cost des Sox Teng stdby w/robe Amber Rhodes, Andrea Matysik w/ robe asst Daniel Voyton sfx m/up Hayley Marlow m/ up Samantha Cairnes-Morrison m/up assts Yolander Bartham, Luana Millar, Kym Stevenson, Elizabeth Canales-Ron safety/marine coords Scene Safe, Rob Gibson, Marty Clist, Richard Reynolds stunt coord Tim Wong boat wranglers Curtis Akitt, Sam Cometti unit mgr Paul James unit assts Hamish Mason, Amy Russo, Michael Wylan caterers Platters Catering stills Geoff Short, Olga Panassenko, Nick Monks, Sasha Stejko, Liz DiFiore casting Christina Asher loc Rebecca de Beer Lamont, Petrina D’Rozario loc assts Mark Wigglesworth, Jane Bucknell post prod Images and Sound ed Wayne Cook, Paul Maxwell post prod ed assts Nick Hopkins, Gary Young post prod sup Grant Baker epk cam ops Nick Hopkins, Liz DiFiore, David Munro, Hamish Coleman-Ross cams Niche Cameras
THE INSATIABLE MOON Feature drama prod cos Holy Bucket Productions, Blue Hippo Media exec prods Tim Sanders, David Ball prods Mike Riddell, Pip Piper, Rob Taylor asso prods Tom Burstyn, Anton Steel dir Rosemary Riddell writer Mike Riddell DP Tom Burstyn line prod Maile Daugherty prod acct Naomi Bowden prod assts Jen Wood, Richelle Jackson 1AD Fraser Ross 2AD Steve Khrone 3ADs Henry Jian, Deborah Pope ed Paul Maxwell ed assts Kerri Roggio, Ygnacio Cervio strybd Gair Cook prod des Brent Hargreaves art assts Sarah Beale, Lizzie McGowan B cam dir Anton Steel B cam DP Dave Cawley f/puller Sean Loftin cam asst Lisa Moore cost des Chantelle Gerrard w/robe assts Wendy Bradford, Genista Jurgens, Alex Roberson, Lihn Pham grip Todd Nevill gaffer JD Freedman b/boy Paul Abbot 3 elec Paul Waystaff snd Craig Perry boom op Sam McDonald, Simon Morrow script sup Zohra Trinder catering Les Yule catering asst Polly Riddell loc mgr Troy StantonKerr m/up sup Vanessa Hurley m/up asst Skye Clark p/grphr Violaine Barrois asst p/grphr Steve Powell unit Jonothan Parkes, Robbie Parkes epk/doco dir Magdalene Laas epk/doco cam Angela Gray, Lisa Moore data mgr Sam Genders runners Jarrod Nitschke, Jonathan Newton, Lydia Stott, Stephanie Brauer pub Gareth Higgins post prod Images & Sound mgr Maile Daugherty sup Stephanie Chung snd post prod Steve Finnigan vid Paul Lear cmpsr Neville Copland cast Rawiri Paratene, Sara Wiseman, Ian Mune, Greg Johnson, Don Linden, Ray Woolf, Mick Innes, Bruce Phillips, Grant McFarland, Rob McCully, Sophie Hakaraia, Sarah Valentine, Jimmy Vraniqi, Elliot Yule, Lee Tuson, John Leigh, Andrea Kelland, Laurel Devenie, Matthew Chamberlain, Phil Peleton, Teresa Woodham, Vicky Yiannoutsos, Tim Beveridge, Sophie Fromont, Alice Fromont, Callum Stembridge, Sarah James, Johnny Angel, Sarah Somerville, Andrew Beattie
THE FALL GUYS Feature prod co Certain Scenes Productions writer/ dir Scott Boswell prod Rhys Cain co prod Derryn Beath 1AD Daniel Beeching 3AD Jae Walford art dir Domini Calder DP Phillip Jackson snd David Byrne cost Caroline Mitchell prod mgr Caroline Mitchell cont Glenn Horan prod assts Anita James, Jayson Simpson, Rhonda Corbett, Susanne Kemp, Jo Crowle stills Derryn Beath, Gina Jessop m/up Idette Braan, Glenys John, Kate Caughlin cam asst Jacob Slovak lx assts Nic Candy, Phil Hines key grip Daniel Camp casting Tim Schijf, Fraser Ross unit Louise Boswell stunts Ike Hamon cast Ryan O’Kane, Dane Dawson, Kyle Pryor, Paul Glover, Zoe Cramond, Amy Louise Waller, Snowy Housley, David Viskovich, Crystal Vickers, Anna Smith, Mike Lowe, Geoff Ong, Anson Yang, Richard Lambeth, Darryl Archer, Matt MacDougall
THE FLAT 16mm short prod co The Film School dir Emma Dougherty writer Jan Kleinhiens prod John Reid exec
80min feature prod co Godzone Snark Productions prod Liz DiFiore dir/writer Stephen Sinclair 1ADs Tony Forster, Annie Frear 2AD Katja Studer 3ADs Mina Jafari, Reuben King prod mgrs Alex Campbell, Angela da Silva prod coord Angela da Silva prod sec Sarah Vercoe prod acct Angela Hicks prod assts Kayleigh Sheekey, Elle Clarke, Pascal Perrin, Soraya Pearl Jolly, Rachel Choy, Sarah Jones, Wendy McCracken prod runners Michael Grainger, Rory Howard, Donna McCarthy, Natalie Frigault, David Capstick, Kelly Lyndon, Mark Wigglesworth, Fletcher Selaries, Kermath Davies, Michael Tunbridge, Belinda Hart, Juliette Williams audio Ande Shurr boom ops Matt Daniel, Jeremy Lawry prod des Lyn Bergquist, James Solomon set dec Adria Morgan stdby props Piripi Taratoa art assts Richard Cooke, Michael Williams art runners Pieta Heynon, Dominique Calder DP Steve Latty cam assts Kent Belcher, Rajiv Raj, Alex MacDonald, Martino Frongia, Matt Hart, Nick Hayward, Alex Campbell vid splts Zohra Trinder, Pepe Ramos cont Kat Phyn, Awanui Simich-Pene, Nikki Castle gaffer James “Splash” Lainchbury lx assts Lance Daley, Felipe Moreno-Laidlaw
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Television pre PRODUCTION 50 YEARS OF TELEVISION prod co TVNZ Prod Unit prod unit mgr Tina McLaren prod Gavin Wood line prod Deb Cope rsrch Rachael Hennessey prod coord Fiona McCallum prod asst Rebecca Morrison rsrch Rachael Hennessey
GO GIRLS 3 13x60min drama/comedy series prod co SPP exec prods John Barnett, Rachel Lang, Gavin Strawhan prods Chris Bailey, Britta Johnstone writers Gavin Strawhan, Rachel Lang, Kate McDermott strylners Jodie Molloy, Laura Hill line prod Sharron Jackson prod mgr Linda Fenwick script sups Aria Harrison, Lisa Cook dirs Peter Burger, Angela Bloomfield, John Laing, Josh Frizzell prod
coord Michelle Leaity asst prod coord Laura Thavat script/extra coord Sarah Banasiak runner Lance McMinn acct Susie Butler asst acct Elisha Calvert prod des Gary Mackay art dept coord Cathy Adams art dirs Paul Murphy, Emily Harris s/by props Owen Ashton art dept assts AJ Thompson, Aria Hirzel Horn set dec Angeline Loo construct man Chris Halligan carps John Towe, Terry Lewell, Steve Wilson, Eric Boyle, Bedwyr Davies 1ADs Rod Smith, Sarah Miln, Mark Harlen 2ADs Paddy Compter, Katrien Lemmens, Fiona Macmillan 3AD Esther Clewlow DP DJ Stipsen A cam op Dave Cameron f/pull Bradley Willemse cam asst Sam Mathews snd rec Richard Flynn boom op Matt Cuirc snd trainee Adnan Taumoepeau cast dir Christina Asher catering Rock Salt comp Jonathan Bree cost des Sarah Voon cost coords Sarah Jones, Lucy McLay cost buys Sophie Tripp, Jasmine Edgar cost dress Natalie Keane cost s/by Sophie Mills, Amber Rhodes, Ciara Dickens s/by assts Adair Rattray, Shona Lee eds Mark Taylor, Jochen Fitzherbert, Lisa Hough asst ed Julian Karehana gaffer John Bell b/boy Chris McAllister gen ops Tere Cherrington, Christian Dunn lx asst Ewan Hall key grip Tommy Park loc mgr Jacob McIntyre loc coord Natasha Gill loc asst Nina Bartlett m/up des Dannelle Satherley key m/up art Deb Clarke m/up/hair arts Shannon Sinton, Matt Huckstep m/up trainee Kendal Ferguson post prod sup Grant Baker post prod coord Stephanie Chung images eng Alan Kidd snd post prod Steve Finnigan pub Tamar Munch pub asst Lucy Ewen safety Lifeguard & Safety stunt coord Mark Harris unit mgr Ben Dun unit asst Josh Dun swing drive cap Ben Dun cast Jay Ryan, Alix Bushnell, Bronwyn Turei, Esther Stephens, Matt Whelan, Tania Nolan
GRASS ROOTS RUGBY – TE WHUTUPAORO-A-ROHE 50min weekly provincial rugby prod co Maori TV exec prod Eruera Morgan prod Graham Veitch Television
MEET THE LOCALS: CONSERVATION WEEK SPECIAL 1x28min family wildlife one off production prod co TVNZ Prod Unit TVNZ n/work exec Philippa Mossman exec prod Tina McLaren prod mgr/res Stewart Jones pres James Reardon
IN PRODUCTION AKO 50x26mins Māori language learning series aimed at intermediate to advanced speakers prod co Māori TV exec prod Eruera Morgan prod Jeni-Leigh Walker asst prod Pānia Papa dir Greg Mayor rsrch Lewis Whaitiri, Jade Maipi
ATTITUDE - 6 40x30min disability focused magazine prog prod co Attitude Pictures (formerly RSVP Productions) prod Robyn Scott-Vincent dirs Emma Williams, Ramon TeWake, Nicola Salmond, Richard Riddiford line prod Robyn Barker prod acct Jane Cotter prod assts Sue Wales-Earl music coord Kristy Munro rsrch Emma Williams, Tanya Black, Dan Buckingham, Curtis Palmer cam Greg Parker, Ben Ruffell snd Wendy Adams, Eugene Arts, Daniel Loughnan gfx Brandspank eds Attitude Pictures, Simon Hyland, Jai Waite, Peter Roberts, Bill Toepfer online ed Simon Hyland cam/ ed trainee Levi Beamish snd TVNZ, Simon Weir, John Prinsloo reporters Curtis Palmer, Tanya Black, Dan Buckingham, Kristy Munro
AUTAIA 30x26 min Māori language, youth careers show prod co Maori TV exec prod Carol Hirschfeld prod Mechele Harron pres Tupoutama Paki dir Robynleigh Emery, Paora Ratahi prod co Anahera Parata prod mgr Trudy Steele snr prod mgr Sandra Richmond
BOIL UP 30x26mins studio panel sports show exec prod Carol Hirschfeld prod Te Arahi Maipi dir Mahanga Pihama prod mgr Kym Morgan prod asst Kahukore Bell snr prod mgr Sandra Richmond
CLASH OF THE CONTINENTS 2x60mins HD doco prod co NHNZ (03 479 9799) commission NGC US & Int’l exec prod Andrew Waterworth prod mgrs Christina Gerrie, Kavita Chopra prod/dir Mike Ibeji asso prod Michael O’Neill rsrch Nigel Dunstone cam Peter Thorn, Mike Single vfx WETA Workshops NZ snd op Tim Brott eds Kirk Kirkland, Tibor Riddering post prod Stu Moffatt, Frank Lodge mus David Hewson narr Paterson Joseph
HIP HOP CENTRAL 13x26mins youth hip hop competition prod co Maori Television prod Skye Stirling dir Lanita Ririnui-Walker, Damien Rangi pres Skye Stirling, Pieter Tuhoro, prod mgr Trudy Steele, snr prod mgr Sandra Richmond
HOMAI TE PAKIPAKI
Stirling cam Curtis Rodda, China liaison Lauren Wang gfx Donald Ferns, David Batson, Kei Kasai eds Nicola Smith, Jason Horner vid post Stu Moffatt, Frank Lodge snd post Stacey Hertnon
MEGASTRUCTURES: DUBAI RACECOURSE 60min HD doco prod co NHNZ (03 479 9799) commissioned by NGCI exec prod John Hyde prod/dir Mike O’Neill, Giles Pike prod mgr Suzanne Lloyd loc mgr Mark Orton cam Giles Pike ed Doug Dillaman mus Leyton post prod Stacey Hertnon, Stu Moffatt, Frank Lodge
NGA IWI WHAKAPONO prod Toi Iti rsrch/pres Ruia Aperahama snr prod mgr Sandra Richmond
SCU – SERIOUS CRASH UNIT prod co Greenstone Pictures ho prod Andrea Lamb prod Sarah Kinniburgh, Tash Christie prod mgr Kylie Henderson prod asst Simon Faets fund TVNZ
20x90min Heats & 2x90min Semi-finals, 1x2hr Grand Final. Live, interactive, karaoke series showcasing everyday NZers. prod Erina Tamepo pres Matai Smith assoc prods Piripi Menary, Michele Bristow dir Greg Mayor prod mgr Shirley Allan set des Coylehall net exec Carol Hirschfeld snr prod mgr Sandra Richmond
SECRETS OF THE GHOST ARMY
prod co Greenstone Pictures ho prod Andrea Lamb prod Sarah Kinniburgh rsrchr Kathryn McMillan prod mgr Alix Wilson prod asst Simon Faets dirs Megan Jones, Lee Baker fund TVNZ
3x60mins HD doco prod co NHNZ co pro NG Wild exec prod John Hyde sup prod Leo Faber prod asst Gavin Walburgh field dir Max Quinn rsrchr Adam Barnett prod mgr Suzanne Lloyd prod coord Nikki Stirling cam Bo Dreisig u/water cam asst Chris Sammut dive eng Jaap Barendrecht u/water cam Richard Fitzpatrick pres Richard Fitzpatrick, Jamie Seymour
JAM SESSION 20x26mins youth basketball show following the Breakers prod co Mäori TV exec prod Eruera Morgan prod/ pres Te Arahi Maipi dir Kereti Rautangata reporter Delaney Puata-Chaney prod mgr Kym Morgan prod co Kahukore Bell
JURASSIC CSI 6x60min doco prod co NHNZ (www.nhnz.tv) commission for NGC US & Int’l exec prod Andrew Waterworth series prod Pip Gilmour writer Steven Zorn prod mgr Lisa Chatfield prod coord Nikki Stirling field prod Sally Williams rsrch Kate Bradbury scientist Dr Phil Manning post prod/dirs Craig Gaudion, Ian McGee, John Ruthven, David Huntley, Sally Williams ed Chris Tegg, Marilyn Copland, Carol Slatkin, Karen Jackson, Sandy Pantall vfx arts PixelDust Studios music Lenny Williams, Chris Biondo snd post Errol Samuelson, Merv Aitchison, vid post Stu Moffatt, Frank Lodge narr Paterson Joseph
KAITIAKI 3 13x26min doco series prod co Kiwa Media prod Rhonda Kite
KETE ARONUI 8 13x26min doco series prod co Kiwa Media prod Rhonda Kite
LIFE FORCE (Mutant Planet for Discovery) 6x60min HD doco prod co NHNZ (03 479 9799) co prod NHK Discovery (Science and APL) France 5 exec prod Andrew Waterworth( NHNZ) Shin Murata (NHK) series prod Judith Curran sup prod Peter Hayden asso prod Brant Backlund ep prod/dir Satoshi Okabe, Masahiro Hayakawa, Brant Backlund, Rory McGuinness rsrch Nigel Dunstone, Sarah Cowhey cam Mike Single, Rory McGuinness, Peter Nearhos, Andrew Penniket, Scott Mouat, Lindsey Davidson snd Bryce Grunden, Mervyn Aitchison, Daniel Wardrop, Adrian Kubala dir Rod Morris eds Cameron Crawford, Adam Baines, Ceilia Offwood mus Trevor Coleman narr Anthony Call script ed Steve Zorn cgi Weta Productions cgi fx sup Kylie Robinson Don Ferns asst prod mgr Dayle Spavins prod mgr Glenda Norris snd mix Errol Samuelson, Stacey Hertnon vid post Stu Moffat, Frank Lodge
MEGASTRUCTURE: CHINA’S SMART TOWER 1x60min doco prod co NHNZ (03 479 9799) co prod NGCI exec prod Andrew Waterworth prod Jayashree Panjabi prod mgr Suzanne Lloyd prod coord Nikki
1x60min HD doco prod co NHNZ co pro NGCI, WNET exec prod Andrew Waterworth prod/dir Steve Talley China prod Lauren Wang, Felix Feng cam Scott Preston snd Brent Nazaroff rsrchr Katie Brockie prod mgr Suzanne Lloyd
SUPER CITY 6x23min prod co Super Fumes prod Carthew Neal exec prods Carthew Neal, Madeleine Sami consult prod Paul Horan writers Madeleine Sami, Thomas Sainsbury dir Taika Waititi line pro Leanne Saunders prod coord Chelsea Francis prod asst Gilly Luxton prod acc Diane Illingworth casual prod asst Patricia Phelan 1AD Hamish Gough 3AD/unit Roberto Nascimento dir asst Prue Clarke loc mgrs Richard Mills, Martin Hale DP Jake Bryant cam op Johnny Renata cam asst Ciaran Riddell snd Colleen Brennan m/up des Dianne Ensor m/up art loc Anna Dewitt m/up art Miranda Ramen m/up asst Abigail (Abby) Poynter cos des Larissa Lofley w/robe asst Hannah-Lee Turner art dir Dion Boothby art dpt asst Lisa Dunn ed Cushla Dillion ed asst Dione Chard safety Scene Safe post fac Toybox - Olin Turrall, Trinette Norton ntwrk exec Rachel Jean lawyer Matt Emery cast Madeleine Sami, Rose McIver, Jessica JoyWood, Calvin Tuteao, Mick Innes, Gillian Baxter, Rachel House, Nikki Siulepa, Fiona Edgar, Yvette Parsons thanks South Seas Film School w/robe intrn Lennie Galloway, Jorge Alfaro, Genevieve Driver art intrn Kristy Wallace, Anna Cecelia Rowe
TALES FROM TE PAPA 50x interstitials prod Gary Scott dir Dan Henry prod mgr/writer Heather Cottam cam David Paul, Mathew Knight, Warren Bradshaw snd Chris Hiles, Grant Lawry ed Gretchen Petersen n/wrk Philippa Mossman prod co Gibson Group
THE ALMIGHTY JOHNSONS 10x60min drama/comedy series prod co SPP exec prods John Barnett, Chris Bailey, James Griffin, Rachel Lang prod Simon Bennett line prod Carmen J Leonard writers James Griffin, Rachel Lang, Tim Balme, Maxine Fleming script ed James Griffin dirs Mark Beesley, Murray Keane prod mgr Tina Archibald prod co Natalia Perese prod sec Jayna Kesha runner Ant Davies script co Nicki Cookson acct Lee-Ann Hasson asst acct Sheree Silver 1ADs Shane Warren, Gene Keelan 2ADs Kylie McCaw, Sarah Rose 3AD Kate Hargreaves script sups Lisa Cook, Gabrielle Lynch loc mgr Benny Tatton loc asst Rick Waite unit mgr Paul Fleming unit asst Dominic Stones DP Marty Smith cam op Oliver Jones A cam asst Anna Steedman B cam asst Alyssa Kath cam asst Jacob Slovak gaffer Antony Waterhouse b/ boy Trent Rapana gen op Reuben Morrison lx asst Andy South key grip Gary Illingworth asst grip Conrad Hoskins snd rec Myk Farmer boom op Eoin Cox snd asst Steven Harris prod des Clayton Ercolano art dept
coord Lia Neilson art dirs Liz Thompson-Nevitt, Matt Cornelius set dress Christiaan Ercolano prop s/bys Sam Evans, Amy Bridson art dept asst Tasha Lang construct mgr Brian Robertson set builds Reg Ferguson, Terry Morris, Neil Murray, Peter Carter, Brendan Relf cost des Katrina Hodge cost des asst Rewa Lewis cost buy Sally-Ann Mullin cost dress Petra Verweij cost s/bys Ylona McGinity, Hannah Woods m/up des Kevin Dufty m/up arts Jacqui Leung, Jo Fountain, Amy McLennan cast dir Annabel Lomas safety Lifeguard & Safety/Willy Heatley stunts Mark Harris post prod sup Grant Baker snd post sup Steve Finnigan eds Bryan Shaw, Nicola Smith, Eric de Beus asst ed Anu Webster vfx Peter McCully/Albedo VFX catering Rock Salt pub Tamar Munch pub asst Lucy Ewen stills Jae Frew cast Emmett Skilton, Tim Balme, Dean O’Gorman, Jared Turner, Roz Turnbull, Ben Barrington, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Hayden Frost, Fern Sutherland, Alison Bruce, Rachel Nash, Michelle Langstone, Eve Gordon
THE COURT REPORT 15x30min TVNZ7 exec prod Gary Scott prod Sofia Wenborn pres Greg King ed Raewyn Humphries n/wrk Philippa Mossman prod co Gibson Group
THE DETECTIVES 3x60min doco prod co Gibson Group prod Alex Clark exec prod Gary Scott dir Dan Henry prod mgr Wayne Biggs rsrchr Sarah Boddy DP David Paul snd Chris Hiles, Hammond Peek ed Paul Sutorious n/wrk exec Jude Callen n/wrk TVNZ
THE ERIN SIMPSON SHOW 30min weekday youth show prod co Whitebait-TV pres Erin Simpson cmdy duo Will Alexander, Dan Costello reporters Jane De Jong, Kimberley Crossman, Katy Thomas, Issac Ross, Chang Hung prod asst Tim Moreton dir asst Jenny Murray post dir Maryanne Twentyman dir Rob McLaughlin prod mgr Sharyn Mattison asso prod Kate Roberts prod Emma Gribble exec prod Janine Morrell-Gunn n/work exec Philippa Mossman
WILLIE JACKSON’S NEWSBITES prod co Mäori TV net exec Carol Hirschfeld ed prod Finlay MacDonald prod Erina Tamepo pres Willie Jackson studio dir Ariki Spooner ed Lisa Holder writer/pres Toi Kai Rakau Iti writer/field dir Tipare Iti compile dir/ writer Paul Casserly ed William Roberts crew Simon Ellis, John McNicholas prod coord Tamara Azizian snr prod mgr Sandra Richmond
POST PRODUCTION ERUPTION 1x90min telefeature prod co Gibson Group tv3 ntwk exec Rachel Jean prod Dave Gibson writer Graeme Tetley dir Danny Mulheron ed Greg Daniels vfx John Strang spx Media Missions, Karl Chisholm, Mike Latham bus affairs Victoria Spackman cast Mark Mitchinson, Nicole Kawana, Billie Holland, Andy Wong, Catherine Lee, Ally Xue, Anapela Polataivao, Tempest Pange, Jeremiah Iupeli, Andrew Beattie, Te Kohe Tuhaka
MARAE DIY 7 7x30mins prod co Screentime exec prods Philly de Lacey, John Keir prod Lornelle Henry dirs Greg Mayor, Rahera Herewini, Hori Aihene, Whetu Fala, Matt Sumich prod mgr Richard Mills prod coord Anna vonTunzelmann, Neil James eds Rahera Herewini, Tara Durrant presntrs Te Ori Paki, David Clayton-Greene, Monty Ritai, Aroha Hathaway
OUTRAGEOUS FORTUNE 18x60min drama/comedy prod co SPP exec prods Simon Bennett, John Barnett, James Griffin, Rachel Lang, Chris Bailey prod John Laing co prod Carmen J Leonard co creators James Griffin, Rachel Lang writers James Griffin, Rachel Lang, Tim Balme, Maxine Fleming, Fiona Samuel, Jan Prettejohns script ed Rachel Lang prod acct Lee-Ann Hasson post prod sup Grant Baker snd post sup Steve Finnigan eds Allanah Milne, Bryan Shaw comp Joel Haines pub Tamar Münch pub asst Lucy Ewen cast Robyn Malcolm, Antony Starr, Siobhan Marshall, Antonia Prebble, Kirk Torrance, Frank Whitten, Tammy Davis, Nicole Whippy, Craig Hall, Shane Cortese
PHUNK NATION 13x30min reality show brdcst Mäori TV prod co
Omnicron Productions exec prod Ondrej Havas dir Lisa Morrison prod mgr Natalie Frigault eds Chris Davis, Eddie Burrow
RIVERS WITH CRAIG POTTON 5x60mins factual/entertainment prod co SPP exec prod John Barnett hof factual prog Sam Blackley prod mgr Juliet Condon rsrch Gemma Murcott dirs Stephen McQuillan, Leon Sefton, Mitchell Hawkes DPs Bevan Crothers, Drew Sturge snd ops Matt Heine, Jeremy Lawry prod assts Hayley Thom, Stephanie Blake pres Craig Potton post prod dir Peter Allison eds Josie Haines, Ken Sparks
SAVING GRACE 1x90min doco prod co Ora Digital, StanStrong prods Merata Mita, Cliff Curtis, Chelsea Winstanley dir Merata Mita pres Cliff Curtis prod mgr Desray Armstrong prod asst Tweddie Waititi rsrch Merata Mita te reo Mäori Hone Kaa fund Te Māngai Pāho, NZOA, Maori TV brdcst Mäori TV
THIS IS NOT MY LIFE 13x60min drama prod co GRST exec prods Gavin Strawhan, Rachel Lang, Steven O’Meagher, Tim White prod Tim Sanders asso prod Polly Fryer line prod Liz DiFiore dirs Robert Sarkies, Peter Salmon writers Gavin Strawhan, Rachel Lang, Peter Cox prod coord Lisa Findlay asst prod coord Roisin Scully prod secs Sarah-Jane Vercoe, Zohra Trinder prod asst Sarah Banasiak prod runners Kimberly Hogan, Andy Brown acct Fa Suluvave acct assts Rachel Campbell, Stephanie Robinson post prod acct Kathy Corbett 1ADs Sarah Miln, Mark Harlen 2ADs Fiona Macmillan, Kate Hargreaves 3AD Esther Clewlow prod/cost des Tracey Collins art dept coord Kirsty Van de Greer art dirs Davin Voot, Patrick Walker set drssr/byr Anita Dempsey set dec Milton Candish art dept runner Tom Willis painter Marcus Winton prp/mkr Rhys Owen stby prp Sinclair Lonsdale art assts Ollie Southwall, Owen Ashton med adv Monnina Doran gfx des Lisa Rushworth DPs Andy Commis, Tom Burstyn cam op Grant Adams 1ACs Kirsten Green, Jason CooperWhite, Peter Cunningham, Johnny Yarell data wrang Kent Belcher 2AC Dusty Millar cast Neill Rea cast asst Bryan Coll chaprns Lana Davies, Sandy Cook caterers Luscious Catering constr Two Construct asst cost des Sian Evans cost byr Emma Aubin asst cost byr Lily Janes cost stby Kate Laver, Pip O’Brien asst cost stby Kat Fatu, Amanda Jelicich-Kane cost runner Anna Boyd cost asst Amber Rhodes, Miranda Penny mach Janine Harvey, Rosemary Gough pttrn cttr Marion Olsen key grip Kevin Donovan b/boy grips Jim Rowe, Chris Rawiri gaffer Grant McKinnon gaffer b/boy Brian Laird lx asst Jodie Sutherland, Russell Lloyd gene op Steve Joyce loc Robin Murphy loc asst Rick Waite, Kinder Te Moana loc PA Hendrick Gavelle, Tafela Matefo unit mgr Paul Fleming unit asst Dominic Stones, Mike Turner swng drvr coord Corey Blackgrove m/up/hair sup Vanessa Hurley key hair/m/up Stefan Knight hair/m/up Hannah Wilson eds Paul Maxwell, Jochen Fitzherbert ed asst Nicki Dreyer post prod Images & Sound post prod sup Grant Baker post prod coord Gwen McDonnell safety sups Willy Heatly, Danny Tenheuval, Nick Fryer, Shane Armitage, Damian Molloy, Jeff Hales script sups Kath Thomas, Jackie Sullivan snd rec Dave Hurley boom op Sam Spicer snd asst Alice Davies sfx coord Jason Durey sfx tech Mike Cahill still p/ grphers Kirsty Griffin, Matt Klitscher stnts coord Paul Shapcott vfx Albedo vfx sup Peter McCully vfx coord Maile Daugherty snr compositer Dan Packer insrt coord Stephanie Robinson insrt DP Cristobal Lobos cmpsr Don McGlashan
XENO 1x60min doco prod co PRN prods/dirs Malcolm Hall, Paul Trotman cam Michael McLeod ed Josie Haines
IN RELEASE HAUMANU 7x26min music doco prod co StanStrong prod Desray Armstrong dir Chelsea Winstanley prod mgr Suze Srpek prod asst Bonnie Frires res/pres James Webster te reo Mäori Ratu Tibble cam Grant McKinnon snd Frank Phipps, Brent Iremonger eds Joe Jowitt, Aaron Dolbel snd post Phillip Woollams, Joe Baxendale fund Te Māngai Pāho brdcst Mäori TV
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