Challenges Aplenty

Queenstown Wrap for NZ Techo Magazine, Spring, 2020.

Queenstown is not what it was but there are a few jobs coming through this spring. Yay! Sweetshop’s TNZ ‘Message to the World’ kept a few of us paying the bills and it’s nice to see Kiwis being captured so naturally and beautifully in the finished article. It’s a great line up of locals’ just doing their thing with some familiar faces and “Woof Woofs!”. 

Curious had some extra challenges completing their commercial. The Director was working remotely from LA, so the Techies were impressive maintaining the link in some pretty isolated spots. It was interesting to see Agency and Client on their own Zoom and Skype monitors chatting away. Most of them yawning in the middle of their hot nights while we were all shading our eyes in the end of winter glare and wearing 6 layers. A smaller on set presence is noticeable and it works in a different way that we all are getting used to. On the 2nd last day of shooting the call came over the airwaves there was Covid 19 community transmission and Auckland was going back into level 3, the rest of the country to level 2. Curious were to finish shooting down here in Queenstown and head back to Auckland to end the shoot but that was impossible as all productions were on pause. Queenstown’s incredible Jane McCurdy and the local production crew re-jigged the schedule, found some alternative locations to fulfill the brief and pulled it all together. Curious were able to complete the shoot and eat a good amount of fresh oysters and Blue Cod from down south to celebrate. 

Watch the 2020 Coca Cola Ad by Curious Film

Good Oil  has been down shooting in the recent, variable spring weather too, while an interesting shoot is happening north of Wanaka for the next couple of weeks- Nude Tuesday. It seems like a really interesting idea that will appeal to a wide international market. So the upshot is, our calendar is looking nice and full compared to the previous months! 

It’s a new world with a constantly changing landscape both professionally and personally planet-wide. Covid 19 has allowed us time to evaluate what is good for our futures and let’s be honest, we needed to reassess our priorities and how we treat each other. Amongst the Covid 19 crisis we might forget the sea-change that is occurring in the film industry. It has recently had to face up to inherent sexism and racist bias with the #metoo movement, Black Lives Matter etc. NZ is not immune. Women in the NZ workplace, and on set, still have to think about what may cause an issue or encourage unwanted attention. Sure, men may too, but not to the same extent. Females grow up considering threat minimisation and how to not create a problem for themselves… don’t be too risqué in your speech, don’t wear that top…don’t be too sensitive… It’s an endless ‘don’t’ list. The average kiwi male won’t wake up considering these matters as much. In recent years I’ve noticed most males on set are more consciously supporting their female counterparts and are actively recognising and curbing behaviour before it is perceived as a threat. But women still may miss out on the next job because someone is working on it they became uncomfortable with, or they may be on set and avoid getting involved in certain conversations. Who hasn’t heard the disclaimer “I was only joking and she was fine with it at the time.” Maybe she wasn’t? The difference in her mind may have been the perception of threat. All crews- let’s be present, let’s be considerate. 

Watch ‘Message to the World’ by Sweetshop