During a discussion following Dave Whitehead’s Sound in Film korero at last years festival he mentioned his plans to make a short film called Possum, the story of he and his brother going hunting as kids. After a drive around town, a trip up the gorge and a couple of phone calls he decided that Ōtaki was the perfect location.
Dave is one of New Zealand’s foremost sound designers creating sound and music for film and television. His credits span numerous Hollywood blockbusters which includes Lord of the Rings, District 9, The Hobbit, Elysium, The Adventures of TinTin , King Kong and many more.
We know how successful the film industry is in NZ, but there are no big budgets when it comes to making short films. There is however a lot of reciprocity within the film community, just as there is in our own.
Naturally MFF wanted to help Dave and as soon as we put out the call our Ōtaki locals responded. Business owners Pete and Ann-Marie Housiaux made their property available as a location and a tin hut was built, local River Dept staff provided advice and assistance, props were supplied, schools granted leave permission for student involvement, private accommodation was offered, food was provided, baking was done. Finally we arrived at day one with the Tukerangi whanau clearing out their “Rikiville” home and offering it up to a film crew for the first scene.
It was a full-on week and thanks to the (mostly) Sunny Ōtaki weather there was no downtime. The work doesn’t finish there though with months of post-production work ahead, but we can all look forward to seeing our town and our locals being showcased internationally later in the year.