It Came From the Swamp!

Its also been pointed out to me that the collection of Hamilton Short Films festival entitled “It Came From the Swamp: Short Films From the Waikato” starts its tour of New Zealand next week.

As you can tell from the title, it’s a collection of seven locally made films. Among them is Spit-takes, a short film I made (or at least finished) specifically for this festival.

Others included are Betty Banned Sweets which I mentioned earlier today, Meat, which I helped out on, but mostly hung around and smoked cigarettes with the cast and crew. Dawn Tuffery’s Swing which is a pretty damn cool animated short. Retribution and Clean As A Whistle are the only ones that I haven’t seen. Oh and of course Dark Priest which I still hold high as one of the best student short film to have been made in the Waikato.

So yeah, It Came From the Swamp. Playing next Tuesday 8pm at Victoria Cinemas, the dates for the other areas around New Zealand can be found at or I could post them here… nah… too lazy and have blogged more than enough today I think.

This One is Mostly About My Friends

Back. Got to see a model over the weekend crying her eyes out. Was a wonderful mixture of gross tears and model hotness. Awesome.

Also figured out a bill payment I made a week ago went into the wrong account, so this week will be the hunting down of the misplaced money and whining a lot about it. Not so awesome.

The short film I worked on “Betty Banned Sweets” just had a really nice write up on it in this weeks edition of The Listener (page 46). It’s a really nice write up with lots of praise for the director Micelle and for the main actor, my good friend Matt and thats definitely awesome. I haven’t been kept in the loop on the films progress, but according to the article, it’s soon to be playing in the Show Me Shorts festival that’ll be screening up and down the country from Thrusday through till January. The article can be viewed here, but you need to be a subscriber to read the whole thing unfortunately. And more details on the festival can be seen here.

Speaking of other festivals, my friend Fin’s short film “Killing Time” is playing as part of the Manukau film festival this Thursday. So if your in the area and you’ve got nothing to do, go see it and support awesome. His blog is also something that’s become a regular read for me. He does a much better job of updating his and keep up to date with various news and other weird internet stuff he comes across. Bookmark his site here.

And while my friend Dom has recently lost his show on Alt due to management doing what they usually do of fucking up stuff. He’s now once again a member of the dangerous group that is motorists in Auckland and no longer has to ride public transport like the hobo he secretly wishes he could be. Just thought I’d point that out for the hell of it.

Jibba Jabba

Well the cold snap is over and I’m drinking some lovely red wine right now when I should really be getting some rest for this weekend.

Have to wake up at 8-9ish and make my way to Pukekoe to do a talk/help out with some school kids, I’m not even sure what exactly I’m meant to do, but its on the way to Auckland as thats where I’ll be for the film fest of course. Lots to see this weekend and hopefully I’ll make it to them all.

Meanwhile there seems to be a lot of people I know flying away this week. My mum took off to visit family and have a holiday, my brother should be back from his jazz band tour in Tonga (I think thats where he went), one I know is headed to the states, one I think is heading back from the states soon, another two are headed to Thailand and one will keep going to Europe and I think I’m forgetting some others, but can’t remember who or where anymore. Random.

But anyway, the Cinematography prize from the 48 competition arrived this week and its a neat little 3CCD HD camera that records straight to an SD card and also has a portable 40Gb hard drive that you can transfer stuff to and copy to a computer later, which is pretty cool, but the camera is a little difficult to manage on a ‘pro’ scale of manual focus, which makes it more of a home handicam that shoots in hi-def, but its still a neat very tiny gadget that will hopfully become useful to something in the not too distant future.

But anyway, this’ll be a nice getaway for a while watching movies and catching up with friends this weekend, so here goes with the fun. Once I get some sleep, man I’ve got to learn to go to bed earlier.

In the meantime, check out this sweet random video called Jedi Gym. It’s amusing, but if you watch the whole thing, it has a great payoff that I think is great.

Film Festival 08 Yayness

Made a last minute decision on Friday night to go to a kind of triple birthday party in Auckland. Had loads of booze and fun and got to hang out with some totally awesome people as always.

One thing I forgot though was to pick up a copy of the international film festival booklet while I was up there. Every year now for… I dunno… seven? eight years now, I’ve kept one and it’s great. For now I’m just going through the website which is a little more tedious process, but already I’m seeing a lot of films I’m so keen to see.

Top of them would probably be the redux of Wong Kar Wai’s Ashes of Time, which no doubt will kick ass with the big screen of sexy Christopher Doyle cinematography and the hotness of Tony Leung, Maggie Cheung and Leslie Cheung. Oh and Brigitte Lin and Carina Lau. Fuck it, it’s just more sexy Chungking Express times awesome on the big screen. I can’t wait.

Others of note so far are Stephen Chow’s new CJ7, Gondry’s Be Kind Rewind, Miike’s Sukiyaki Western Django and the amazing ensemble awesome of To Each His Own Cinema. Others of interest are the Evangelion redux, awesomeness of The Adventures of Robin Hood, Patti Smith doco, new Vincent Ward film, King of Kong doco and Anita O’Day doco. Come to think of it, I’ve got a lot of docos in mind this year, something different, but the full planning can be made once I get one of those damn programs.

Well, in the meantime here’s the mentalness of a reporter arrested for the murders he’s actually been reporting on here.

And a musician named Tywanna Jo Baskette whom I’m growing more and more fonder of her music as I listen to it here.

Technology Hates Me

What a week. Been working a nauseating amount of hours recently cause I’m going to need the extra cash once I start working on this upcoming wintec shoot next month. Why do I allow my time and precious energy to be used on so many other people’s projects? Meh, guess I’m just a delicous whore like that.

Today was a bit of the worst where a long shift, was nicely rewarded with a trip to the liquor store and a stop off at friend Ross’ house, but upon leaving, I discovered that my car once again conspires against me and decided to first decide that the battery was flat, and then not flat and then turn back on the alarm system which it turned off a couple of months ago, thus immobolising my car with an immoboliser I did not even know existed until this very evening. Which all resulted in me waiting on the roadside for an ungodly ammount of time for the AA fella to turn up.

But been watching a large quantity of films again, which I’m happy to say relishing in doing so once more. That, as opposed to watching them as a chore. Those last two sentences rhymed. It’s way past my bedtime. Let’s hope I don’t keep rhyming no more.

Okay, that was a little wierd. I do need sleep, but I’ve also got to prepare for my class tomorrow, a rehearsal for a scene and two film festival movies to watch. Yes, the Hamilton run has finally started and it’s a very sexy line up. Much to look forward to.


Currently working on Paul Barlow’s Orb of Ra youtube series as part DOP, part actor. The thing about this particular gig is that we’re filming in full frame 4:3 aspect ratio. And I hate that ratio with a passion. It makes the composition of shots really hard to get right and again, with limited lighting and stuff, it’s a tough stretch. But I’m getting there.

Still not completely happy with what I’ve done so far, but we’ll see how it turns out in the end. Problem most of all with this shoot is the fact that I’m not going to be there for all of it and having to act as well could possibly throw me off in either role. But it’s a new interesting challenge to get past and it’ll be fun.

This weekend I’ll be making a late entry into the viewing of the film festival. Already missed a few films I’ve wanted to see, but I’ll do the mega catching up real soon. Plus, there are still a few interesting one’s that’ll be in the Hamilton run that I can possibly afford to miss in Auckland. But drinks on when I’m up there.

Oooh, and posters for Stardust have started turning up online. The international one is fairly nifty, though it feels like it should be a spot more up to awesome. Hoping too much for the movie itself? Let’s hope the hell not.

And for the gaming geek and fans of awesome, here’s a video sent by Cam that makes me soil myself with simple delight.

Zombie Chris

Work, work, work. Right in the middle of my third weekend of overnight video store work, which means I’ve depressingly been having little of a social life, but I tell myself I’m doing these shifts so I’ll have ridiculous amounts of money to whore myself out to the Film Festival in Auckland. Next weekend will have me up there for a few days, scheduled the hell out to watch a lot of movies in a row. Plus drinking. Can’t forget that.

Anyway, with a new semester of uni just started up and plenty of fresh new students to pass down my knowledge and wisdom and to corrupt at the same time, I’ve also been right into the planning stages of another short film from wintec. This time with the more prestigious role of DOP and I’m gonna go all out to make this one both pretty and very fleshed out in its thinking of how the shots are composed, which means lots of storyboarding, shotlists, colour palettes and general filming dogmas to adhere to. Which is just gonna be fun.

Actually, I’ve been a little too focused on such things, I’ve slightly miscalculated my schedule and have to go to another shoot in five hours to also DP on. Better get some sleep from now till then, so here are some fun links…

Article on a man robbing a bank disguised as a tree can be read here.

And one on giant badgers terrorising an Iraqi port city to be read here.

Hilarity all around.

One Of Those Days I Can’t Be Bothered to Think Up A Title For A Post

So where the hell have I been? Everytime I wake up in the morning, I ask myself that same question. Usually followed by what the hell is a traffic cone, orange wig, empty cases of import beer and one pissed off monkey doing in my room? But enough about how I cured cancer, on with the update…

The deadly life threatening flu that I contracted has all but gone and has dropped down to orange alert, annoying tickling cough. Would have been over it faster, but have been keeping myself way too busy, mostly with video store work and helping out on a wintec short film, which has been interesting to say the least. Lots of very cool gear being used and at one point, there was a 30 ft crane on set that had me changing my pants several times from pure delight. But the set is on a farm that was at first stinking to high heaven of sheep shit and now after some wonderful winter weather, reduced to a mud field of very squishy proportions. Its not so bad, but for some reason, walking around the dark at night, the constant squishing sounds of the mud just gets to me, even though no said liquids are in contact with my person. Washing machine is getting its run for its money though.

Best part about this is the fact that to both of our surprises, my friend Rob who disappeared from my life years ago to Wellington, turned up out of the blue for this film and he’s awesome and reads this blog. But yeah, its an interesting shoot and only being a helping hand on this one, it’s always still facinating to me to watch how other people’s productions run. Especially the other low budget stuff, its almost overkill how professional this shoot is, there are a couple of industry professionals here and the set ups are being rigged in a very industry professional manner and that on the level of this kind of production is making for facinating sideline viewing for me. Details another time no doubt.

At the same time, I’ve been juggling my work and pulled off the ridiculous amount of hours at the video store this weekend (28ish in 48 hours), but meh I say. Worst off is the fact I have a couple of corporate videos that need cutting and the deadline is only a few days away and the time to do so is getting tight. Oh and forgot to mention earlier, but the damn computer with Pictures of You on it is now sitting in my room waiting for me to start chopping into it as well, that’s my job on it now, but that’ll have to wait just a bit longer as I vainly attempt to clear up my workload.

Also to mention, I finally got myself a copy of Auckland’s international film festival booklet and as thought, the list is sweet. Already planned several times to just go up and watch as much cool stuff as possible. One particular weekend has about nine films pencilled in as “yeah, I’d really like to go to this one and that one and oh, this one will be cool” blah, blah, blah. Fact that I’m working this year will probably mean I’ll be seening more festival films in Auckland than I did last year when I was living there. Go figure.

Oh yeah, and the national winner of the 48 Hour competition was announced tonight. Hamilton’s entry didn’t win and to my disappointment, Lemonade Coup didn’t get Cinematography (though they still get a nice panasonic dvx102… dastards), but it was a very interesting line-up of finalists. Auckland’s finalist was a surprising winner and it’ll be interesting to see how it actually compares to their finalists. My bet was on the Christchurch entry that come in second and was just great, but in the end, Lease, one of Peter Jackon’s wild card entries took the top spot.

Now its off to some much needed sleep, been getting so little in the past week, and that’s not gonna let up for a few more days, so here is two highly amusing videos of street magic and stuff.

Bring Out Yer Dead

Been cripplingly sick with the flu for the last few days and feeling like a totally unmotivated dead member of society. One night had me going with restless sleep and occasional vomiting, but I’m now through the worst of it, so happy fun times lie ahead of me. Only major victim was my room that turned into a sea of snot filled tissues and mugs filled with leftover soup, tea and other congealed liquids that were beneficial to my well being.

In saying that, here comes the happy fun times of knowing that the schedule for this year’s international film festival is out. I’ve been having issues with the site today, probably because of the new design and some obvious bugs going on with its layout, but not before catching a glimps of at least a few films of worthy note… David Lynch’s Inland Empire is topping the charts, so is Satoshi Kon’s Paparika, Ghibli’s Tales from the Earthsea, Hezrog’s Rescue Dawn, Tekkonkinkreet and the indulgently fun looking Daywatch. No doubt there are a lot more, but having such issues with the site at the moment, I can’t really see the whole list. But hopefully it’ll fix up soon, or even better, someone in Auckland can be a good sport and send me a few copies of the booklets as opposed to be being a selfish biach (you know how you are you whore).

Other than that, I really have nothing much else to report, so it’s off to bed with me and if luck is going my way, I’ll be well enough to go join in on the festivities for Shirow’s birthday party. But until then, here is more examples of the awesomeness that is the Japanese and human tetris. I miss that Naoki bastard.

Snakes in the Grass Beneath Our Feet, Rain in the Clouds Above

Got some filming of Spit-Takes done yesterday evening and photography is now about 45% complete. Tried to do a few more shots today or at least some for The Montage, but no one was available at any point for some strange reason. Stupid guerrilla film making.

But with some luck, the majority of filming will be done by the end of this week with just the montage to finish off. Editing shall be started soon, with hopefully not much disorganised footage to plough through. I’m quite happy with how its turning out so far and if done in time, it’ll be most worthy of submitting into film festivals around the place.

Here’s just how classy we are…

On another note, big congrats to Joe and Marama on their recent betrothal. I’ve had a long day of not doing much and things not all going to plan, but coming home to read this news of theirs made me warm and fuzzy inside.

And I was gonna write up some other stuff, but I just got a phone call from Director Ben and a rather big problem in the Pictures of You editing has just occurred and I must be off.