Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Interactive Narrative

When I first started making documentaries I was aware of the vast amount of research and interview material that never makes it to the final edit. The left-over material has value for other researchers and also just as a document to the process of documentary filmmaking itself. This in itself, could become a new form of interactive narrative in documentary filmmaking which i'm interested in exploring further.

When I start my PhD later this year I hope to explore new ways to preserve and document the documentary process through this blog and also look at new ways to present background material that could be useful to others interested in the subject.

The first part though is to focus on completing my unfinished films - it seems that every filmmaker i know has a box of tapes or film still to be here goes - my new mission is to work on 'completion' of those unfinished projects.

My current project on Gordon Crook is progressing well - but i have a much older project i'm also working on about my favourite nz poet, Hone Tuhware...some of his work and interviews are on NZ On Screen.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

A Body of Work

When you think about the work you've done over your life, its interesting to look back at the patterns that keep reoccuring - its encouraging to know that despite the roller coast ride of life, that creative work remains consistent....especially with documentary filmmaking - it's an innate interest in other peoples life stories that keep you interested in making films, telling stories and constructing narratives around writing, poetry, art, and life.
Working with my brother - it's also about reflecting my life in his life and so the conversation is not just as an onlooker - but seeing life history through someone elses eyes...its' revealing and disconcerting at the same time..but never dull. Especially my brother - who has lived an artists life as a poet, a publisher of other peoples work and an occasional artist himself. He continues to inspire me with his own work and now in his pursuit of a PhD about women writers in NZ from the thirties to 1970 often neglected period in our literary history.
The Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop, Mikes publishing company, in association with HEADWORX, Mark Pirie's publishing company, just completed a winter reading series...which culminated in Mike reading his own work after beautiful readings by Bill Dacker from Dunedin and then a rare treat to hear poems by Marilyn Duckworth followed by a duet by her and her partner, Nelson Wattie - who together read love poems by Alistair Campbell to his wife in a recent publication "It's Love...isn't it?"....a poignant and loving memory to her....and between them also.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Lunch with Gordon

Went to visit artist Gordon Crook today. He made Mary Jane and I a gorgeous lunch and we spent the afternoon looking at photographs of him in London in the forties and fifties, talking about life and art and philosophy. A gorgeous afternoon.

Now I have my homework to do as I explore the many facets of Gordons life as an artist and a teacher. He moved to New Zealand in 1971, a time of great conservatism in New Zealand society which was a culture shock to step into from the hub of London life. He has never returned. He has just finished a show at the Mary Newton gallery, White Crocus and is working on another big show in Christchurch for next year.

In the meantime, we're talking and filming along the way.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Tasting the Words

I've started working on an unfinished piece documenting Hone Tuwhare in a workshop at Otago Girls College. I shot it in Dunedin at the same time as i did the Michael King interview. When he was short of a bob or two he'd give the school a ring and they were always happy to see him and have him do a reading or a workshop with the English class.
Hone is natural and funny as well as deep talking about the meanings of his poetry and the inspiration that he draws from, ranging from Maori mythology to his own personal life and loves. He even convinces some of the girls to read their poems in front of him, a daunting prospect for any budding writer!javascript:void(0)

Gordon Crook

I went to the launch of Gordon Crook's new show, White Crocus, at Mary Newton gallery. It is an amazing colourful array of imagery and metaphor. Crooks influnces are Klee, Joan Miro and early surrealists. I bumped into Gordon at the bus stop a few weeks ago and started chatting - this has led to a new project and we'll be doing our first interview wiht Gordon next weekend while the show is still up. Go check out the show - its only on for another week.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Barry Barclay RIP

Barry Barclay "Bazz" as most of us knew him, passed away today.

Bazz was an amazing mentor to me and to many other filmmakers, not only in New Zealand but across the globe. He was an advocate for the truth and for social justice. His documentary series Tangata Whenua, was radical in style and content. His collaborators included historian and writer Michael King, producer John O'Shea - and many independent filmmakers throughout Aotearoa who helped him plot and scheme to get the funding for projects he believed in. His protest outside NZ On Air in the mid-nineties challenged existing funding decisions for Maori projects and creative teams - and led to more discussion about ethics and cultural imperialism in visual culture. Bazz was an amazing committed and staunch friend with a little bit of 'Maui's trickery included in the mix. His films are living testaments to his convictions and his passions...Ngati, Te Rua, Tangata Whenua series, Indira Ghandi, The Neglected Miracle, Feathers of Peace and more recently, The Kaipara Affair. He will be greatly missed...Arohanui