Monday, July 23, 2012


It's finally up on YouTube, people - in all it's glory! Again, a huge thank you to everyone involved. I hope you enjoy it.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Show Me Shorts

Last Flight is to appear at the Show Me Shorts Film Festival. It will be playing as part of the Unexpected Adventure collection - at 12 locations around the country!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Make MY movie!

NZ on Air and the NZ Film Commission are giving Kiwis a chance to make their own movie - competition style, and $100,000 is up for grabs. There's some great entries - but make sure you click the "like" button next to mine: PRIME MINISTERED.

It's a political satire - but mostly just comedy, and would be a heck of a lot of fun to make.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Irish Sci Fi

The National Irish Science Fiction Awards have short-listed Last Flight for their Film Awards - the Golden Blaster. Love the name!

Anyway, this marks the first international screening of Last Flight. It will be playing at National Irish Science Fiction Convention in October.

Saturday, September 3, 2011


Another film festival has accepted us! I can't say which one yet, but let's hope it's the beginning of a roll!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

DCP takes over NZ

I went to an interesting talk the other night about Digital Cinema Package delivery. Basically the upshot is that most of New Zealand cinema's will have gone completely digital within another year. 35mm is dead!

DCP is basically a collection of files stored on a hard drive - which is then passed onto the cinema that will be playing the film. The resolution of these files is fantastic - currently 2 or 4k, but will no doubt soon go up to 6k and 8k (35mm is estimated to have a quality comparable to 1,500k, for what it's worth).

So whatever format you shoot in now will have to be transfered to DCP prior to being shown in cinemas. For a feature film this will cost around $10,000. This is because, though it is a purely digital process, only specific companies have the ability to convert your movie into DCP.

To do this they first convert your film into a digital master "print" that is then used to create the DCP copies. Each time you create one of these copies there is a fee - though this is considerably less that the creation of the first copy. These copies can be modified to add additional features such as subtitles (that are added "live" while the file plays, much as it does on your VLC player).

When cinemas receive their hard drive with the movie on it, they then need to wait for time-coded digital keys to arrive to unlock the content before they can play it (these keys are specified to the cinema and even the projector the movie is to play on). These keys will open the file for only as long as the distributer dictates - from a couple of hours to a few weeks, depending on the run.

All in all it's a HUGE shake-up of the way film is distributed - and soon these files will be transfered over the internet of course, and even the hard drives and usb sticks currently used will become obsolete.

One thing that bothered me was that as well as 35mm, this also means the death of e-cinema. While this in itself isn't a particular tragedy (it's unstandardised and allows all sorts of shoddy low-quality media to play), what does this mean for amateur film makers? Will cinemas still have the ability to play small indy films, and low budget affairs like Last Flight - made by directors like myself? While I certainly couldn't afford the cost of a 35mm print or conversion previously anyway, the emergence of e-cinema at least offered me access to big screens if I wanted them, and the new (much lower) price of approx $10,000 is still a roadblock.

With hindsight I wonder why is the conversion fee so high? If it is a digital process (albeit very processor hungry) what exactly are you paying for? And will it come down over time? I would be interested to know more about this. Essentially, as mentioned at the talk, this means that every film must have a distributor and be marketed. In other words, every film must be commercially viable.

None of this is new of course; it's always been a struggle to make films in New Zealand, and I suppose big business has moved to protect itself here as expected, so in some ways, perhaps it's actually in a bigger sense quite an irrelevant development.

Still, the blinkered, soulless march of big budget Hollywood movies into even more Michael Bay-like  depths - locked in with even tighter controls - doesn't sit entirely easy with me, and seems like a step back from the messy, internet-fueled, but inherently democratic window that e-cinema held up.

Anyway, enough. I'm off to see Planet of the apes.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Friday, July 22, 2011