Panda Awards Ceremony

Last night, Guy & Nick’s film, Carving the Future, our film Love in Cold Blood, and Mat Thompson’s film went head to head for the BBC Best Newcomer Award at Wildscreen. The UK nominee Mat won with Hudson’s Monarch. It’s about stag beetles and shows never-before-seen footage of their metamorphosis- so exceptionally well shot that the BBC is actually buying his footage…! It’s so impressive & inspiring what Mat has done by himself over a 2 year period- his film truly is beautiful and he deserves all the credit he gets. Jane and I are just thrilled to be nominated in the same category.
However… we did hear the Newcomer Award was extreeeemely hard to judge, and apparently we have impressed people by choosing to emphasize story, the “unseen art” that Jane and I both love. So once again- thanks to Lindsay Hazley for letting us find the big story of little old Henry & Mildred.

Hudson's Monarch by Mat Thompson

Of course Wildscreen is about so much more than our nomination! I’ve been immersed in stories of love, tragedy, controversy, and natural beauty, had a chance to listen to how “the industry” ticks, and had so many inspiring chats. We can never hope to go to everything here, but if I can recommend one thing that will change your outlook on life- watch a film called Green. There are so many reasons it won the Golden Panda last night.


Wild and worldly

Jane and I are thoroughly enjoying our time at Wildscreen so far. There isn’t much time for blogging- to give you an idea, just check today’s list of fantastic things to see and do- so this will be short and sweet. So far we’ve had a blast at the Parthenon Party, met dozens of like minded people, obtained a bit of insight into how ‘the industry’ all fits together, listened to inspiring talks, watched jaw-dropping er, stuff,  and heard about heart-stopping filming experiences from the planet’s most intrepid filmmakers. We’ve been to two very helpful workshops and dare I say it, actually enjoyed our Newcomer interview at the BBC. The only thing slightly disappointing is that the one and only Sir David Attenborough is not going to be making an appearance here, as he is busy filming in Madagascar as we speak (hardworking young man that he is).

But, as Fred Dagg would say- “we don’t know how lucky we are, mate!”

One Week to Go

On Monday, ah… tomorrow, Jane and I are flying to England. As you do!!
And in a weeks’ time we’ll be immersed in the world of Wildscreen. Without going through our entire movie credit list, thanks are due to all the DVD buyers, pub quiz fans, NHNZ, and friends and family for supporting us. I still fail to comprehend how lucky we are- we only get to be Newcomers once, so plan to use this opportunity as best we can.
By the way, in case any of our fans (haha!) have followed us all the way to Bristol, the public screening of Love in Cold Blood is here:

Last week LICB screened in the Geraldine Cinema alongside Sandy Crichton's brilliant film about falcons

Ines Stäger from the South Canterbury Branch of Forest & Bird organised another wonderful small-town screening for Love In Cold Blood last week. The locals dug deep into their pockets to support us in getting our film to Wildscreen. I’m running out of gratitude-related words. I love NZ.

While I’m at it, loving NZ, here’s a plug for my fantastic backyard: http://www.forestandbird.org.nz/what-we-do/campaigns/save-the-mackenzie. It’s in danger of becoming much less fantastic in the near future if intensive farming is set up.


A little off the the topic of Love in Cold Blood…but still  blog post worthy!:

Carla has just illustrated a childrens book by Sue Wootton called Cloudcatcher. The book had a fantastic launch at the UBS last night with a huge turn out of wonderful, enthusiastic readers. Congratulations Carla – it’s a truely beautiful book that I’m sure many children will cherish for a long time to come.

Quiz Night Success

Thanks to all our mates and sponsors for helping us get to Wildscreen!!

Jane and I had a fantastic time at our Pub Quiz last Sunday and were blown away by the response. Albar very kindly hosted it and we had fun distributing the massive heap of donated prizes. This included stuff from Coke, Pernod, Trade Aid, Moet, Albar, Fosters, Invercargill Brewery, Emersons, Victoria Hotel, Alpine Recreation, and a book of poetry by Sue Wootton. The quiz winners received an Earth & Sky Starwatching tour.

We will carry the good vibes to Bristol with us in October… and we would put sponsors and friends names all over our private jet… but at this stage we are kind of lacking in the private jet department. This poster will have to suffice..! Many many thanks once again to everybody.

Our very own Tour of Southland continued yesterday, as we migrated north from Invercargill to show Love in Cold Blood at the Department of Conservation HQ in Te Anau.

What did we just say about Southlandic generosity?? The lovely Caroline Carter and her colleagues went to every effort to make sure our film would look right through their projector, then brought in the entire Mararoa school to watch it at an afternoon screening. We’ve never shown it to an audience this young (!) before but it went down well. Giggles appeared in completely different places to where the adults usually laugh…  the Q & A session was also memorable. My favourite question was “do they stick?”. Meaning of course, can tuatara stick to walls like frogs do?

Of course Lindsay was there too, answering dozens of questions, along with a beautiful (and as yet unnamed) Sphenodon guntheri tuatara. These are greener, spottier and rarer than the more common S. punctatus species, which is what Henry and Mildred are. So this was a real treat, and everyone was very excited to be allowed to touch it briefly. The wide eyes of the kids reminded me of one of the reasons I liked the idea of making a tuatara film in the first place- I had this same experience as a teenager, and thought tuatara were just plain awesome, end of story!

DoC Te Anau also treated us to a free screening of Atawhenua – Shadowlands in Te Anau’s custom-built cinema. Fiordland is very epic, for want of better words.

Our evening LICB screening was also fantastic and we met many inspiring and like-minded people. I am pretty sure this is the fun part of filmmaking (though doing twenty plus takes of an attempted weta predation sequence is fun too…)! So, a big thanks to DoC Te Anau for making us feel so special and making our journey superlatively worth it.