Friday, April 16, 2010

Words By Hawk

airplane     again     Amma, Baba, Mimi, Opa (his grandparents)     apple     baby     ball     balloon     banana     bear   beef     beep     bird     bite     blocks     blue     book     bowl     box     bug     bus     button     bye     calculator     chew     Dad     Derek     dog     dry     dude     ear     eye     fish     fire     five     fly     four     gifted     girl     guy     hat     hello     here     hi     horse     hot tea!     I know     I love you     Jack     juice     knee     leaf     man     me     Mom     moo     more     mouth     my      no     nose     oh     one     orange     ouch     owl     pee     peek     pen     plate     ride     seat     shhh     shoes     sky     sky-ball (i.e., the moon)     slide     snaps     snow     sock     spider     stairs     star     teeth     three     throw     top     touch     two     uh-oh     up     watch     water     what?     whee!     whoa     wow     wrap     yes     yup

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Friday, April 02, 2010

An Evening at Park Road Post

Recently I had the privilege of attending the sneak preview of Costa Botes's new documentary, Candyman: The David Klein Story.

Costa, a veteran of the New Zealand film industry, is probably best known in the States for Forgotten Silver, the satire/hoax he co-wrote and co-directed with Peter Jackson (and which largely fooled the New Zealand public), as well as his extensive making-of documentary for The Lord of the Rings (included in the fairly recent special editions of the theatrical-release DVDs).

Candyman I knew less about, only that it had something to do with jelly beans. But I was quite keen, as they say here, to go to an industry event which also had the appeal of being held at Park Road Post.

Sometimes referred to as "Skywalker South," Park Road Post is the premier post-production facility in this neck of the woods, where an increasing number of films is wrapped up, everything from King Kong to Red Cliff to District 9.

The building features a beautiful Arts and Crafts design, but the theater for the screening (I don't know if there are others) depicts what seems a Victorian view of the Near East. The interior is extravagant and a bit kitschy, with frescoes of camels and turbaned traders, but the quality and care taken are so apparent that somehow the overall ambiance is enhanced. Throughout the screening the ceiling's thousands of miniature lights twinkled like the night sky.

The evening's program began with Day Trip, a short directed by up-and-coming filmmaker Zoe McIntosh from a script by Costa about the conflicted aspirations of a Maori gang member. Then came Candyman, an intimate look at the life and inventions of eccentric candymaker David Klein, the man behind the many-flavored Jelly Bellies candy as well as many lesser-known confections. The film explores his sometimes too-generous nature and the collapse of a dream in the face of corporate greed. I hope it finds distribution in the U.S. -- it seems perfectly suited to PBS or other intelligent channels.

After the film I met Costa and we discussed his approach to documentary filmmaking. I found him humble, earnest, genuine, and, like so much of the industry here, encouragingly accessible. Wellington, it's good to be here.

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