Producer/director Michael Firth first made his mark directing the documentary feature Off the Edge. The ski movie was a key early film in the NZ 'new wave' (with contemporary Sleeping Dogs and later Goodbye Pork Pie) and earned an Academy Award nomination in 1977. Since then Firth has produced and directed the dramatic feature films Sylvia, Heart of the Stag and Vulcan Lane. But it is sport and the outdoors he loves best: he went off the edge again in 1987 with the zany adventure sport movie The Leading Edge, and Firth is the key creative behind the internationally successful TV series Adrenalize and fishing show Take the Bait.
In this ScreenTalk, Firth talks about:
- How a love of snow skiing led to his first feature Off the Edge
- How perfect timing enabled the filming of an avalanche
- Delving into a dark part of Kiwi life in Heart of the Stag
- Facing financing issues while making Sylvia
- Facing continuity issues recreating that film’s era
- Creating the ‘crazy docudrama’ that was The Leading Edge
- How the 1987 share market crash affected the box office
- Being confronted by Billy T James and a machine gun
- Selling sports show Adrenalize to 50 countries
- Almost causing a diplomatic incident with a topless woman
- How fishing TV show Take the Bait has just grown and grown
This video was first uploaded on 24 March 2014 and is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.
Award-winning actor Sarah Peirse is best known for her portrayals of two very different mothers — the ill-fated Honorah Rieper in Heavenly Creatures, and the disaffected sophisticate in Rain. Peirse’s first film was the 80s short Queen Street, followed by tele-feature A Woman of Good Character. More recently, she has appeared in tele-movies Bliss: The Beginning of Katherine Mansfield and Aftershock.
In this ScreenTalk, Peirse talks about:
- Having an intense acting journey in A Woman of Good Character
- Playing the gloriously named Vivienne Wallop in Sylvia
- Being heavily pregnant on the set of The Navigator
- Her experience of working with director Vincent Ward
- Being told not to watch Peter Jackson’s previous films prior to working with him on Heavenly Creatures
- Dreaming about the character she played in the film
- Finding the story in the feature film Rain compelling
- Perspectives on her character’s grief and self-destruction
- Playing a 'constrained and compromised' mother in Bliss: The Beginning of Katherine Mansfield
- Not knowing whether or not her work on the Hobbit films will make the final cut
- Feeling blessed to have been able to do roles integral to many films
This video is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.