NZFF2014_05 Boyhood

I won’t say too much about this film, BOYHOOD by Richard Linklater, other than that I enjoyed it. I’ve read rave reviews about it and I don’t really have any criticism of the film but I suspect your relationship to it is very much dependent on your stage in life, attitudes to family, life experience etc…

It is a great concept/premise & I really enjoyed how seamless the time jumps were – a few times I realised about 2 cuts after the time jump that one had just gone past… I very much appreciated that this & many other aspects of the film were not overhyped…

Spaceship ambiences

Need to relax? or focus/study without the real world interfering? Try these:

some back story here and a youtube playlist here

Scattered Light 135


shot on 6th Match 2011 in Savai’i, Samoa with Canon 7D and EFs10-22 lens

NZFF2014_04 Everything We Loved

Everything We Loved is a feature film written & directed by Max Curry and tonight it has its premiere in Auckland at the NZ Film Festival. But in a first for the film industry in New Zealand, it is also available simultaneously via Video on Demand, so you can stage your own premiere at home, or wherever you are. Check out the trailer:

The film was one of four created last year via the NZ Film Commissions Escalator scheme, which is for film projects that can be realised for a total budget of NZ$250k. Such constraints would crush some peoples ideas, but any time someone rains on that particular parade I always ask if they have seen the excellent film TAPE which was released in 2001 and shot in a single hotel room. Have you seen it?

While it contained only three actors (admittedly very, very good actors/stars) that wasn’t what made it brilliant, it just provided a little familarity. What made it great was the concept & the story. If you haven’t seen TAPE then you really must, just so you have a point of reference as to what is possible. I firmly believe that had that trio of great actors not been available, an equally great film would have been made with three complete unknowns who were up to the task… It isn’t the technology that enables great ideas – it is great ideas that enable technology (TAPE would have been shot on DV, the ‘first (supposed) digital revolution’) Without great ideas technology is about as much use a tinfoil hat, which might appear ‘great’ for a brief fleeting moment, but…

Anyway, the point is constraints are only a creative negative factor if you don’t understand them. Give Michael Bay $250k and I doubt he would get out of bed (and frankly who cares) But this project has a lot of heart & also poses ethical & human questions that are very, very difficult to answer should you find yourself anywhere near such territory. The ideas behind it & the core team are what made me join the impossible task of realising a feature film project made for less than the likely cost of a months worth of coffee for the Hobbit crew…

And succeed the film does. As with TAPE constraining the core cast to three people was a smart move, presuming they could get the casting right, VERY right ( & they did, Sia Trokenheim is heart breakingly brilliant, and makes her later role in TVs Step Dad seem like complete nonsense) But writing the film around one of those cast being 5 years old is also very, very brave and reflects directly on how grounded the director is.

Delivering a score for a film with such budgetary constraints was a secondary conversation. First I had to be 100% clear I was the right person to even try, and that the expectation was realistic and achievable. Thankfully we were all on the same page from the outset, and despite sitting with my fingers crossed all through my first run through of draft cues, Max liked what he heard & was an open minded collaborator & very clear with his direction.

In a funny way today feels a little like the future. As an entree before the virtual premiere I watched two great works by Ryoichi Kurokawa that I discovered today & had never seen before, at a new platform for video art:

In the end I don’t think anyone who actually matters wants to support piracy, but it is up to the content creators to support platforms that provide equally convenient modes of delivery. And today I got to enjoy two!



Ryoichi Kurokawa: Ground


(best watched full screen in a darkened room)


Scattered Light 134

Little Huia

Little Huia

Little Huia

Shot in pre-dawn Kaikoura at 5.50am on 27th April 2008 with Canon 7D, EFs10-22 lens (and undiagnosed glandular fever while on a South Island road trip!)


NZFF2014_03 Particle Fever

holy sh+t! what a way to spend a Sunday morning

mind blown!


That large hadron collider…. totally freaking amazing what it is they are actually aiming to do with it, like I understand one iota of it… but this documentary did a great job of making the heavy weight physics concepts accessible, as well as providing a fascinating window into the lives & characters of such amazing people who devote their lives to pursuing such esoteric science. And as a film it also packed an emotional punch that put a tear in my eye, about the same time it did the same for Mr Higgs.

Really a fascinating journey across the years of development, testing, failures & successes… and it beautifully illustrates the worldwide collaboration involved which transcends borders and politics. I also really appreciated the parallels a number of scientists in the film made between science & art. And having now had a small glimpse of the scale & nature of the data they are collecting, the idea of an artist like Ryoji Ikeda being artist in residence at CERN for two years is equally mind blowing. I cannot wait to experience what he will create, with access to such phenomenal data! The animation & infographic work in the film by MK12 was excellent – essential at times for exposition but brilliant when used to portray internal thought processes of such genius scientists.

MK12 | Particle Fever Animation/VFX Reel from MK12 on Vimeo.

I didn’t know this before seeing the film but it was edited by Walter Murch (could there be a better person for this film!) as well as re-recording mixer. The soundtrack did not really hold any surprises, nor did it need to – at times I felt the score was a tad loud/over bearing but given the grand nature of this incredible machine & its purpose, that may well just have been perfectly appropriate & I should sit further from the screen next time.

Great on the big screen but will also make an excellent DVD/BluRay experience, highly reccomended!