SOUND DESIGN:

Great day!

An early start (after a 3am finish) to get up to Sandspit to meet water taxi to get us out to Moturekareka Island, shipwreck location #25… after shooting heaps of stills with my 5D and chewing through first drone battery, a yacht turned up which at first I cursed… But then realised it provided scale and proceeded to include it….

After exploring beaches up north, and lunch at the always great Leigh Sawmill we headed back to Auckland with a stop at a great urbex location!

Rapanui

My last morning in Taranaki woke to misty rain… but didn’t let that stop me! I drove to Rapanui and walked out to the beach thinking it was too wet to fly my drone, so shot some photos with my 5D but soon discovered that even though it was low tide, it was not low enough for me to be able to walk around the coast to the rock formations I had been told about… But I also noticed the mist & rain was very patchy and I could probably get a flight in between clouds…
Challenge accepted!

Flying further along to this one I was at the limit – mainly due to the drone being up & over/behind the first big rock outcrop… drone briefly disconnected a few times, but managed to shoot some stills & video… Just got back to the car as the rain arrived & really set in…

Magic locations – will be revisiting here in future sometime…

3 Sisters

Sounds a bit like the name of a craft beer…. but its a well known tourist stop not far from Mokau, which you can only reach at low tide… So twice I called past at low tide and there were so many tourists milling around I just couldn’t do it… So this afternoon I went back at high tide & flew there!

My DJI app said my drone was 700m away – I could still see it with my naked eye (as required by NZ drone laws) but I wasn’t keen to go any further… Especially due to this one pesky seagull that kept straffing me!

To get an idea of where I was, check the red dot (I carry that big red dot with me, cos I’m a pro)

A couple of times I have pushed my drone past its limits – first on my brothers farm, I flew about 1.2km away & still had full control… but another time, when following the little train in to the cave location (not inside the cave) deep in bush in Charleston, I got to the point where the drone disconnected and began its auto routine of flying back to its launch site… But of course as soon as it got back in range, I regained control & could carry on shooting…

But in both cases, had it landed where it lost signal I still could have retrieved it… But not so over the ocean, hence being a little conservative…

This is from same location looking North

And as always, local knowledge is invaluable. The beach house I am renting is owned by the neighbours and I had noticed all the great photos on the walls, so when we caught up for a chat this evening she tipped me off to an even better location than the 3 sisters, which I have driven past 3 or 4 times now without knowing about it!

Low tide tomorrow morning – bring it on!

Oakura Dawn

I had to cross this stream & walk about 15min up the beach to the shipwreck, but the dawn was so beautiful had to stop & shoot a bunch of photos…

Canon 5D3 and Zeiss ZE 18mm

One Thousand Ropes

ONE THOUSAND ROPES is the second feature film by Tusi Tamasese and as it has its NZ premiere this week, I thought I’d share a ‘Making Of’ video I captured during the recording of my score for the film. Full screen, with good speakers please!

It was such a pleasure collaborating with orchestrator & conductor Ewan Clark, music editor Chris Winter and the incredible musicians: Tudor Consort Choir, Aroha String Quartet along with Joan Perarnau Garriga Double Bass and Jeremy Fitzsimons Percussion.

Along with recording the musicians I also recorded some tones & textures from a part of my modular synth, Buchla Music Easel as well as some electric guitar… Great to hear the chapel resonating! We also did some worldizing of instruments such as the Celeste, the Una Corda piano and some of the granular textures I had created… I pursued this aspect purely on instinct, but in hindsight was so glad I did as it meant these sounds merged with the performers in the final mix, as we had access to the same room mics & acoustic of the beautiful sounding chapel…

A few people have asked me if I have plans to release the score and really I don’t… I have a theory that the main market for films scores is as temp music for use by music editors on other films and to be brutally frank, I loathe temp music. It is a film making technique (aka crutch) that needs to be taken out & shot. We used no temp music in One Thousand Ropes, and instead put resources into me starting early in the schedule. By the time we had a first test screening I had drafts of all cues, some of which formed the skeleton of the final cues and others which hit the cutting room floor but helped us find the right direction.

The trailer for the film

The stories they could tell….

Got to Oakura about 4pm so I went to refind the location of the shipwreck I want to shoot at dawn tomorrow (low tide is 9.55am) – last time I shot this wreck it was mid incoming-tide, so I’ve never actually seen it fully uncovered….

First i took one turn off too soon, discovered some new great locations, but had to retrace my steps & drive back out to the main road… And of course as soon as I reached the correct road, it was all familiar – ah yes THAT road!

But half way out to the coast I made a mental note of this incredible old tree, silhouetted against the afternoon sun… must stop on the way back & shoot some photos… & so I did….

I love old trees like these, tortured by the weather over many deacades…
but the wider shot revealed something else…

That appears to be an old chimney, presumably it would have reached to the roofline of a house…
What an incredible location for a house… Now its just ten or fifteen minutes rive from New Plymouth but back then…. who knows!?!

shot with Canon 5D3 and EF100-400L lens

Patea

Patea today!

Road Trip!

My agenda
– shooting 5 shipwreck locations
– chilling out at the beach at Mokau
– lots of field recording!
– junk store prop shopping
– attending premiere of One Thousand Ropes
– meeting & testing prototype content for an interactive sound project

 

My excess baggage
7 microphones (8040×2, 8050, 8020×2, 70×2)
2 recorders (788 and 702)
7 mic stands (2 nano, 5 mini nano)
3 digital cameras (5D3, 40Dir, a6300)
3 film cameras (XPAN TX2, Canon 1V, Contax T2)
3 tripods (Manfrotto)
5 full frame EF lenses (Zeiss 18, 21, 50, Canon 100-400, 100 macro)
3 crop sensor lenses (Canon 10-22 Efs, Zeiss 12mm, 16-70mm)
1 drone (DJI P3P)
1 laptop
2 hard drives
21 batteries
8 chargers
1 iPod full of tunes & audiobooks
1 deck chair

35mm film:
TMax100 x 13
TriX400 x 9
Velvia50 x 6
Ektar100 x 3

 

Cirkut Panoramic 6

Date: 1924
Ref: Pan-0473-F
Greymouth in 1924. Photograph taken by Robert Percy Moore.
Inscriptions: Photographer’s title on negative – bottom centre – Greymouth. N Z. 1924. No 3. 477
Quantity: 1 b&w original negative(s).
Physical Description: Panoramic negative 24.7 x 106.1 cm
Format: 1 b&w original negative(s), Negatives, Panoramic negative 24.7 x 106.1 cm

I know Greymouth well & this is a beautiful perspective of it…
Will try & find his vantage point next time I am there!

Greymouth. Ref: Pan-0473-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. records/22897848