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Waka Attewell - cinematography highlights

Posted on 14 January 2010

Cinematographer Warrick ‘Waka’ Attewell is something of a legend in the Kiwi film industry. From landmark 70s TV series Tangata Whenua, he has gone on to climb mountains with Sir Ed; shoot commercials, shorts and six and a half features - including the acclaimed Starlight Hotel - plus direct Ian Mune doco In the Shadow of King Lear. These days he is also known as a commentator on screen matters, who often says the things others are too scared to say. In this ScreenTalk interview we’ve picked out a few highlights from the three decades Attewell has been in the game. Attewell talks about:

  • the cinematographer’s role, in taking viewers into a different world
  • the watershed experience of being caught between cultures, while helping make landmark series Tangata Whenua
  • working with the late Barry Barclay on Tangata Whenua, and Barclay’s second feature Te Rua (on which Attewell shared cinematography duties with the late Rory O’Shea)
  • conquering frozen cameras for hit doco All the Way Up There, which chronicles a disabled climber’s dream of topping Mount Ruapehu
  • the challenge of capturing Central Otago on film, while shooting road movie Starlight Hotel - whose look The LA Times compared to screen classic Days of Heaven

This video is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence Credits: Direction and Interview – Ian Pryor.  Camera and Editing – Alex Backhouse



film industry, cinematographer, camera, screen commentator


by Helen Martin on 24 January 2010 at 7:30 pm

It's great to hear Waka talking in such interesting detail about these important film projects.

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