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Archive for May, 2009

Lately, Carla and I have becoming more and more aware of being the only girls in our male-dominated filmmaking course. We are the only two girls amongst 10 boys – completely outnumbered! 

However, we have been really lucky to have met and are working with some wonderful and inspiring female role models. We have a female Executive Producer, Judith Curran, who we are so lucky to be working with and reminds us that we can remain strong, brilliant women in the world of television.

I have also just met Carla’s family friend, Sue Wootton, a poet and children’s book author. She is another strong female role model, who is proud and unafraid to show her work in the male-dominated arena of poetry.

We have just read and article in the Otago Daily Times about Jane Campion, another NZ female powerhouse of the arts, who has resolutely stuck to her guns and done things her way, even in the face of people who challenge her filmmaking styleSo, Judith Curran, Jane Campion, Jane and Carla – perhaps the JC’s have it!

jane_campion_photo_by_getty_images__1274034881

However, perhaps the strongest female of our story is Mildred the tuatara. Mildred is representative of both the change in wildlife conservation attitudes as well as the power of the female – she is a ‘baby-factory’ for the tuatara which has brought the species back from the brink. Without captive females like her, the tuatara may have been just an illustration in a biology text book.

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Carla and I have been bashing our heads against the single most difficult aspect of filmmaking – story.  It’s the glue, it’s the chocolate cake under the icing, its the thing that links us as human beings – so why is it so hard!? 🙂

It has got me thinking about the nature of story telling.   We tell stories everyday; when we sit around the table for a meal, when we meet someone for the first time, when we catch up for coffee; we are all telling stories – about ourselves, our day, and other people.  Stories are how we communicate.

Having to pull apart the threads of something we do every day has been really difficult for Carla and I.  Our film is the story of Mildred, an amazing tuatara, who has seen a lot,  struggled a lot, lived a lot .  We have been taught all the rules for good story telling and have been trying to follow them stringently – 3 act structures, story arcs and happy endings.  But maybe we’re over- complicating things, maybe it’s time to get back to our roots – what would I tell my grandma about Mildred over a cup of tea?

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Raumati Beach Kindergarten seems to be fostering a batch of very talented young impressionists, who put pen to paper after a visit to Nga Manu. We loved their work so much; I don’t think I need to say more.

The Thing he took out of the box

The Thing he took out of the box

 

Another masterpiece

Another masterpiece

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