Make a big difference to The Big Idea.

Help us tell the most creative stories.

Become a supporter

Desktop Cinema: an interview with digital feature director Gregory King

4944
Celebrating the "unsung heroes of our film industry", the Desktop Cinema Season is on at the Film Archive in Wellington every Wednesday night until 26 September. In part five of a six-part series…

Share

Celebrating the "unsung heroes of our film industry", the Desktop Cinema Season is on at the Film Archive in Wellington every Wednesday night until 26 September.

In part five of a six-part series of interviews with digital filmmakers, Desktop Cinema curator Diane McAllen talks to NZ director Gregory King about his film Christmas.Celebrating the "unsung heroes of our film industry", the Desktop Cinema Season is on at the Film Archive in Wellington every Wednesday night until 26 September.

In part five of a six-part series of interviews with digital filmmakers, Desktop Cinema curator Diane McAllen talks to NZ director Gregory King about his film Christmas.Tell me about the process of making the film. How was the script developed, and how long did shooting take?
I wrote the script over a few weeks and Leanne and I put it into Creative New Zealand for funding. After receiving funding I rewrote a little and things changed again through the shooting, which was a little over two weeks. All up there were about ten actors and about the same number of crew. We shot the film in Whangarei in my parents' house and we all stayed at a camping ground which was walking distance away.

How much did it cost? Did you apply for or receive any funding/support?
We got around $25,000 from Creative New Zealand and a few thousand more from community funding in Whangarei. After the shoot we got more money from the Film Commission to support the post-production process. This post-production support was given on the back of Junk winning Best Film at the 2001 NZ Film Awards, and Christmas getting accepted into a bunch of A-list festivals including Toronto, Edinburgh, Melbourne and Locarno.

What attracts you to the digital video format?
Well, in the case of Christmas, it simply meant that we were able to make a feature-length drama on the small budget we had.

Have you had formal training/experience in television or film previously?
I had no formal training. I had made three short films - POP (1999), Teach You a Lesson (2000) and Junk (2001).

What new projects are you working on?
I am currently finishing post-production on a feature project called A Song of Good, the second Headstrong project to be green-lit. I'm also writing commissioned scripts for a couple of other directors.

Where do you see the future of digital filmmaking going?
Well, I assume the technology will just keep on improving which will impact somewhat on the quality of small budget films but in the end - to generalise terribly - all features are lumped together in the market place and it comes down to whether the film is any good or not/whether sales companies, distributers etc are going be turned on by it/whether they think they can do some business with the product. It's not about whether it's shot on HD or film.

Christmas
(2003, R16 - Contains drug use, sex scenes and offensive language, 89 minutes)
Director: Gregory King
Screening: 19 September 2007, 6:30pm
Where: Film Archive, 84 Taranaki Street, Taranaki Street, Wellington
Tickets: $8 ($6 concession)

19/9/07

Image: A still from Christmas.

Written by

The Big Idea Editor

19 Sep 2007

The Big Idea Editor