Taika Waititi reveals real story behind 'that' Oscars gag ...
[Te-Whānau-a-Apanui] discovered drama at secondary school. Having previously had aspirations for careers in deep sea diving, painting and hospitality, the lure of the entertainment industry led him towards acting, and a high school drama teacher - who he admits “changed my life”.
Waititi, aka Taika Cohen, appeared in feature films Scarfies
(Alex), and Snakeskin
(Nelson), the TV show The Strip
, and on stage as a stand up comedian and one half of the comedy duo Humourbeasts, before turning his creative energies towards writing and directing.
His award-winning short film Tama Tū
, based on the experiences of The Maori Battalion in WWII, was recognised at festivals in Berlin, Stockholm and at Sundance.
Waititi’s first short Two Cars, One Night
was nominated for an Academy Award, and his debut feature film Eagle vs Shark
was released in 2007 to critical acclaim.
He has directed several music videos, including two for Wellington band The Phoenix Foundation.
In this ScreenTalk interview, Waititi reveals:
This video is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence
- The trials of working with kids in Two Cars, One Night
- The story behind the now infamous “falling asleep” gag at the Oscars, and how he was left holding the baby
- Details on how the amazing, lifelike set for short film Tama Tū was realised
- The crazy story behind creation of the script for Eagle vs Shark
- How he approached writing and directing on Flight of the Conchords
- His general thoughts on choosing a career as a filmmaker
- An insight into the layout of his hill-top castle-themed mansion