Thursday, December 24, 2009


Some beautiful work by Jeremy Geddes I stumbled across. it reminded me of Last Flight.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Snip snip!

Last weekend we wrapped up filming at Sunset Studios. This week I'm editing up a storm. The footage is looking fantastic, though I have to admit I can't want to see it graded and finished either. This project has taken a lot longer than I imagined.

I expect we'll slow down over Christmas and then launch into the special effects shots with a vengeance in the new year, so stay posted!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

We came, we saw, we got it in the bag!

WHEW! We did it! Saturday was a huge success! We ended up shooting at our B site, Port Waikato, instead of Bethells, but even this turned to our advantage, the dunes staying much drier, with fewer spectators and even better weather.

And the footage we got looks fantastic!

On the downside, the spray we used to simulate a leak in the suit managed to burn Kassie, and even temporarily blind our cameraman - but both of them soldiered on above and beyond the call of duty! Throughout the day everyone kept their sense of humour and resolve. It was a wonderful shoot and a fun day! A huge thanks to everyone involved! YAY!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Well, it wasn't our penultimate and long-awaited Bethells shoot, but a few of us popped out in the weekend to mop up some over-shoulder shots and CUs of the transmitter. Not very exciting, you might imagine, but actually it was great to get some more footage finally, and the thrill level was heightened by sneaking onto a construction site in hi-vis gear to get the shots!

In the end, no one was arrested, and we got some good material.

Big thanks to Astrid, who stood in at the last moment to body double the suit - and Zane, David and Adam, who decided a last-moment filming expedition would be a gas! Go team!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

14 November

...Is the date for our Bethells shoot, folks! Ignore all previous missives. This is it!

Details will arrive in your inboxes as the day draws nearer. However, if the weather is looking promising, then we may start the day earlier than usual: 6am, rather than 7am. We'll let you know.

Fingers crossed.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Hold pattern, some turbulence...

So what's been happening?
Well, Dylan is working on the music and soundscapes of Last Flight, and has produced some spooky, evocative stuff. Exciting!

Meanwhile, we finally have a solution for the air blasting out of Kassie's spacesuit: Good, old-fashioned airbrush propellant! With a can of this stuff and a tube, we should get a convincing stream of white fog blasting out the leg of the spacesuit. Whew! And with time to spare before the shoot! (Assuming we ever get good weather again in Auckland)

A big shout-out to Chev for coming up with the answer!

Friday, October 2, 2009


Ok, the weather is continuing its frustrating record-breaking run, so we're just going to step back and reschedule I think.

Let's aim for Saturday the 31st of October and November the 7th.

More soon!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Rained out!

This Saturday is a no-go for filming, I'm afraid, folks. The forecast is too grim to bother. Even if its not raining, we need DRY sand to keep continuity happy!

Please tentatively put Saturday the 3rd of October in your diaries and we'll send through a confirmation shortly.

Sooner or later, we'll beat nature and get this movie filmed! ;-)

Makeup for animals...

Phoenix Renata, who has served as our back-up makeup artist, and whose partner Chev designed our astronaut's make up and has been helping out on Last Flight's special effects, is in the news. Check it out here.

Backed by a talented group of makeup artists, Phoenix, has created a 2010 calendar of fashion makeup-art to raise money for the SPCA. The calendar will be launched on 20 October at St Paul Street Gallery, Auckland, alongside an exhibition of photographs by Ma'an Adbul-Hafeedh, taken during the calendar's shoots.

I'll put up a link when copies are available... From what I've seen of it, it's a beautiful looking calendar. Yaay, Phoenix!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Folks, we've set our first (tentative) date for our last location shoot on Saturday 26.

Our backup day is Saturday Oct 3rd, and if we're really unlucky with the weather, (and we can get everyone!) Saturday 10.

After that we just need a short day at the Studio and we're done! Yay! Let's wrap this puppy up!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The plan, stan...

Spring is here! Yay!

What that means for us is getting our last day at Bethells filmed. To do that we need at least 2 days of sun - one day to dry out the sand, and another to film. It won't be a long day - just 7 hours or so. After that we need to shoot about 6 hours at the studio - and then we're done! So Bethells is the main thing, and after that it's mostly clean up.

So, please stand by and wait for our call. And cross you fingers for some more sun!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

NZ Film Month...

Interested in NZ film? Then check out Ant Timpson's proposal at Filmhead.

"Dear Person Interested in NZ Film,

I think the below is a fair and true statement to make.

"Local films are made with lots of love and passion".

A great romance is someone falling in love with a story and wanting to create it for others to embrace. Bitten by this love bug, local casts and crews work in harmony on something they all want to love. The fairytale ending is seeing the story unfold on a big silver screen.

But like all great love affairs it usually ends in...
tragedy..." (read on...)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Off for editing...

Last Flight has now gone off to Richie for editing... A real pro! I can't wait to see what he comes up with!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Long time no post...

Here's a couple of composites I've been working on - still rough as - and would benefit from some good colour grading - but I think you can start to see where we're heading...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Mars CG style

Here's an early attempt at creating Martian sunrise in Vue 7, a 3D software package I've been playing with. Not anywhere in the ballpark of Zane's stuff, but fun anyway, and kind of promising. I'd like to use it for creating some of the backgrounds we need for Last Flight. They'd be cleaned up in Photoshop and then imported into Final Cut for the green screen shots. And that's even before they go to Zane for further work! Crikey!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Still working...

In Wellies with LF producer, Sarah B, checking the budget and thrashing out our plan moving forward... What is left to do, how much $$ we have, and how we're going to distribute this puppy!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Dusting off the flightplan...

Zane, Richy and I popped back to the Studio the other night and filmed dust. That is, we set up a black curtain, a red head and a camera and blew dust into the light while we filmed it (when I say “we” I mostly mean Zane – I just stood and watched!).

We got some wild footage and also managed to use up a whole half hour of tape, but the upshot is some cool dust effects that we will be able to blow through the landscapes of the movie – making it look a lot dustier and windswept than it actually was.

Meanwhile, scene 1, 3 and 5 are now mostly edited (in rough form). And parts of the other scenes are also complete.

Now if we could just get some sunny weather we could get out to Bethells and knock the bugger off!

Saturday, July 18, 2009


A moon-orbiting satellite has just photographed the Apollo landing sites for the first time. I don't imagine it will shut up the moon hoax crowd, but evidence was never very high on their list of concerns anyway.

Forget them, this is just flipping cool.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Puss in boots

This cat not only has a wrist display unit, it has a transmitter, just like our astronaut. I guess this is what Last Flight would have looked like if we'd filmed it with cats.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Kassie's other green screen work...

Our star actor, Kassie Watson, makes an appearance on TV1 Business news here!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Green machine!

Another great day of filming at Sunset Studios! Our filming now stands at 80% complete! WAHOO!!

I will review the footage and let you know how it’s looking. Meanwhile, the crew of Last Flight is invited to
Moon this Sat! Get back to me today if you want to come!

Friday, July 3, 2009

A quick reminder...

A nice bright and early start of 8:30 on Sunday! Our main focus for
the day will be scene 5. See you there!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Michael Bay is evil

Worst movie. EVER!

Well, perhaps not
ever, but really awful anyway, and actually pretty offensive on a number of levels.

The movie of course is
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

Now, I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan of Transformers in general, but I am a fan of a bit of CG popcorn and I was willing to swallow my vague distaste for a movie based not on a story, but a merchandising proposition, because, hey, if
Pirates of the Caribbean (1) could make a fun movie out of a theme park ride, heck, anything is possible!

This film however was so busy pandering to US military "awesomeness" that the Transformers themselves hardly got a look-in. From Predators to F22s, the US hardware got a lot more air-time than Optimus Prime. Virtually all the supporting cast are military, the US army controls the alien robots on humanity’s behalf (I mean who else can you trust?), and the soldiers are all dashing, bright and loyaland of course all male.

But at least they're doing stuff. The girls don't do
jack - and they come in some eerily familiar packages: the sex-kitten girlfriend, the nympho temptress, the ditzy mother and finally, the drones who direct technical operations back in the safety of army HQ (plain girls ...obviously).

wait – there was one other female, and if you blink you’ll miss her – a female Transformer! It was all over very fast – because she appears in a blur of action and then is shot (Bay really doesn't like women, does he?), but unless I’m very much mistaken I think she was even... pink!

Meanwhile, Obama is gently put in his place as well. He is named, or flashed on screen on a number of occasions, but mostly sneered at in the guise of the interfering bureaucrat that he’s appointed, and also for a Presidential Order that puts our heroes in danger.
I guess Bay’s a republican.

So apart from working on
recruitment for the US’s trillion dollar military industry, vaguely advocating further adventurism in Iraq (the US is just plain needed there), trying to sell cars for GM, and seething with dislike for women, what exactly did this film have going for it? Well, the CG is sometimes beautiful, buuuuut if you want good CG - go to Terminator 4.

This movie is evil.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

Scene 1 rough complete

A (very rough) edit of scene 1 now exists - Yipee! It still contains storyboard placeholders, pics from google image search, and a kooky mish-mash of sound, but the important thing for me is that it works. The story is solid and believable. Not that I ever thought it wouldn't be of course - but still: Whew!

Other progress of late includes recording with Lutz Halbhubner - which sounded terrific - and photoshop work on matt paintings for the green screen.

Progress is slow, but steady.

PS: Don't forget to sign up for Last Flight Tweets!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

What's next?

Back to the Studio, folks - SUNSET STUDIOS! Keep your diaries free for Sunday the 5th of July, and let's get this puppy shot! Details on the way...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Tweet tweet...

Do you twitter? Then make sure you follow us here. We've started tweeting and will soon have everyone from the crew who wants to post to it signed on, so you can follow our exploits right from the coal face!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Sea of Perdition

Looks like we're not the only ones making woman-alone-on-Mars movies! Check out this short film by Richard Stanley. Thanks to Scott Grow for the link.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Green team

A few shots from our recent adventures at Sunset Studios... Heaps of fun.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Sunset Studios

The studio shoot went brilliantly!

After our aborted attempt to film out at Bethells this last week, it was something of a relief to get a solid day's filming under our belts this Sunday. The crew gathered together at Sunset Studios a little after 8am, and then proceeded to work steadily through until 9 that night, with few breaks, and steely-eyed determination. It was worth it. Not only did we get an enormous amount done - it was of a very high quality.

Both Richy and Zane shone, coming up with solutions to the challenges the day dealt us, and Heath's dolly and jib arm helped us to achieve, what at first sight, look like some astonishing shots.

Another definite highlight of the day was the wonderful food that Jan and Lesley dished up for us at dinner and lunch. God it was good! As usual, Kassie pulled out all the stops to deliver, as did the rest of the team - Adam, Kiri, Sarah, Kevin, David and Heath (and of course Zane and Richy).

I'll post some stills from the day shortly. A big THANK YOU to everyone, for their dedication, enthusiasm and great work.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bank on bad weather

So much for Bethells! Despite predictions of fine weather today, or perhaps because of the micro-climate out west, we were again pipped at the post by the weather.

Gloomy skies and wet sand made shooting today out of the question, despite flying Sarah up from Wellies, and Adam, Kassie, myself and David taking time off from work. We even dragged Lance away from his duties! But to no avail.

So after thinking through our options we all ended up driving back to Auckland and watching The Bank Job. Not quite the day we had planned - but surprisingly pleasant all the same! At least we don't have to worry about the weather on Sunday!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Production continues....

We've got two shooting dates coming up:
Weds 27 May: Bethells - weather allowing!
Sun 31 May: Sunset Studios. Green screen shoot.

At Bethells our main focus will be on scene 4 and at Sunset, scene 1.
I anticipate an early start for Bethells - leaving town at 7am - and a more leisurely 8am start at Sunset, but we'll confirm shortly.

Stay tuned for details and get in touch if you have any questions!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

WANTED: A leaky spacesuit!

Help! We need some ideas about how to make the spacesuit vent gas!

In the script, a hole in the leg of the astronaut's suit vents a stream of gas after her fall.

Our initial plan was to feed a tube under the suit, leading to the hole and attach the other end of the tube to a powder-based fire extinguisher. HOWEVER, this idea hasn't worked out. The tube gets blocked really quickly and the extinguisher pumps out way too much powder - which additionally is really messy!

What we need it a nice continuous stream of pressurized gas blasting out of the suit - dry ice would be ideal but we've no idea how to make this work. we're also concerned that there might be safety issues with a tube of dry ice running past the actor's thigh.

We intend to supplement the effect with a particle emitter in post, such as can be found in Motion for example, but we would prefer to have a real stream of gas coming out of the suit if possible.

If anyone has any bright ideas about how to make this work - on a budget! - please let us know!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Actor wanted!

As I mentioned, we're after a voice actor to be the newsreader on our movie! If you know someone who might be interested You can see a quick background of the character here and an audition script here.

You can reach Sarah at If you could provide us with mp3 files of your audition that would be ideal!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

And now for the news....

In case you're wondering, we are still making this movie!

We're just on hold while our talented, and rather popular cameraman completes his PAID work - something that is rather hard for us to compete with!

This could take a while - but in the meantime we are continuing the project on other fronts. And first up we're on the hunt for a news reader!

If you know an actor with an authoritative voice, possibly with a bit of an accent - and who might like to make a cameo in Last Flight - let us know! We'll be auditioning shortly.

Meanwhile keep your peepers open for some dates around the end of May. We hope to have something to you later this week.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Moon shot!

As Adam pointed out to me, this movie looks like our kind of science fiction...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

So, where we at?

After a big flurry of activity, Last Flight is in a holding pattern while we wait for people to become free and locations to become available! We are however, still firmly in the middle of production.

A lot of the difficult stuff is behind us fortunately – the awesome landscape shots and long hikes. But the meat of the story and the body of the scenes is still waiting to be done. This means some more filming at Bethells and our green screen work at Sunset Studios. I’m really looking forward to it!

The stuff we have so far is beautiful - and is informing the way I want to approach the rest of the film. I apologise if that means progress seems a bit slow at times, but the quality of the material we’ve achieved is so high, that it’s really important that we maintain that. I hope you understand and bear with me!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Painting White Island Red...

The Whakatane Beacon has done a great write up on us - see the online version here or the pdf here. Apparently we made the front page and appeared again inside. Stills from Lance's amazing looking footage appears throughout.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Introducing... our stunt astronaut!

Tomorrow morning, Claire Van Beek will be debuting as our stand-in astronaut for some of our slightly more exciting scenes! Kassie's bad back rules her out for the shots of our astronaut rolling down the dunes at Bethells, but luckily for us, Claire has come to our rescue. Fingers crossed for good weather tomorrow, and I'll post some more shots up soon.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


FYI, folks: Kiri Maxwell is taking over as producer while Sarah is away overseas.

She will be organising our dates and locations and all the rest, so don't be surprised if you get an email from her in the next few days!

Sarah will be back in three weeks and resuming her duties then. In the meantime, a BIG THANKS to Kiri for stepping into the breach - she's a living legend!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Here comes the sun...

My body is still aching, my mastery of the English language has deteriorated markedly, and I feel like I could still do with some more sleep, but frankly all the pain was worth it. Great weather, great crew, great acting, great camera work, clear sound, super organised, and an amazing location.

But you know what? I think I’ll just let the images speak for themselves...