Posts by Ken Sparks

  • Hard News: Word of the Year 2014: #dirtypolitics, in reply to Sacha,

    A swish merlot sounds good anywhere and I'd like to think that investigations into the revelations of dirty politics are far from resolved. There are many unanswered questions.

    Pt Chevalier • Since Apr 2011 • 51 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the…,

    We should never forget #dirty politics

    Pt Chevalier • Since Apr 2011 • 51 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: An accompanied korero, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    TVNZ archive is about to be gutted, anything considered not worth keeping will be dumped. I can't tell you how I found this out but noises should be made and LOUD ones.

    This is quite alarming news. I don't trust TVNZ to do the right thing here. given their attitude toward anything that isn't going to make them a buck. Maybe someone needs to approach Nga Taonga Sound and Vision to see if they can supervise the cull?

    Pt Chevalier • Since Apr 2011 • 51 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: An accompanied korero,

    I took Douglas Lilburn's electronic music course at his studio at Vic in 1975. There were only a handful of students and lectures mainly consisted of Douglas playing all sorts of fascinating stuff - both his own and what he considered the best from overseas. He also gave us a rundown on all the wonderful equipment he had accumulated and had built (the patchbay was a work of art in itself!) and then set us loose to create our own pieces. There was no end of course exam, we were evaluated on some essays and our composition. Douglas was a wonderful teacher and a very humble but approachable person and I loved every minute I spent in his class. I also remember taking a 'Pop Music' course with Gordon Campbell the main lecturer and singing in the University choir under the baton of Ross Harris. I'll always fondly reminisce about those hours spent in the music room in the magnificent old Hunter Building - aah, those were the days...

    Pt Chevalier • Since Apr 2011 • 51 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The crybaby philosopher, in reply to Michael J. Parry,

    A real New Zealander looks and sounds like Anand Satyanand - well one of them does anyway...

    Pt Chevalier • Since Apr 2011 • 51 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Hope and Wire,

    A press release from NZ on Air outlining all the programmes they've funded about the Christchurch earthquakes.

    Pt Chevalier • Since Apr 2011 • 51 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Hope and Wire,

    Watching 'Hope and Wire' last night filled me with mixed emotions. As I said earlier, I admire a lot of Gaylene's work but I'm just not sure about this one. The integration of the documentary footage was skillful but contentious. It was very familiar to me as I had carefully viewed much of it while editing 'When A City Falls' and deciding with Gerard Smyth and co-editor Richard Lord what we would use in the doco. We had long discussions about the ethics of using this footage (especially those shots that showed the retrieval of bodies from the rubble) and how it might impact on the families and friends of those pictured. It was a fine line that we didn't want to cross but we were also driven by the need to show how deadly those quakes were. Using that footage in a drama is a whole new dilemma that I'm pleased not to have had to deal with - those are real people's traumas up against a bunch of actors pretending to be traumatised. The only way around it would have been to recreate everything in which case the $5 million budget would fall well short. I'm also sympathetic to criticism that the series was predominantly crewed and cast with non-Cantabrians - it was inevitable I suppose and hopefully a rewarding experience for those brought in but was it the best way to go? Gerard asked me (an Aucklander) to help because of my experience and track record and I agreed without hesitation. As soon as the February quake struck I had wanted to go down and volunteer for the clean-up but work commitments kept me away so helping with the post production was a wonderful opportunity to contribute. Apart from myself and cameraman Jake Bryant (whose Mum lives in Christchurch) everyone else who worked on the doco was local and having to deal with the stress of 'the new normal.' I was there for two months and my connection to the city which was fairly fleeting in the past, strengthened considerably. When I first got down there we all watched 'When the Levees Broke' - Spike Lee's masterful four part requiem to the Hurricane Katrina disaster - searching for inspiration and possible ways forward with the heap of material we had to work with. Although it was great to get 'When A City Falls' into cinemas, we did consider making a longer form version which would incorporate the recovery and rebuilding of the city. I now sort of wish we had, given the ongoing struggle faced by many whose previous way of life has been destroyed. Maybe that would have been more meaningful than a drama series, not just for Cantabrians but for the whole country.

    Pt Chevalier • Since Apr 2011 • 51 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Hope and Wire, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    I have more faith in Gaylene than you seem to have.

    My comment wasn't intended as any kind of slur against Gaylene - I respect her as a film maker and she's made some good stuff. It was about the frustration of dealing with TV commissioners and their obsession with ratings. They tend to want their programme suppliers to reduce things to a very simplistic level - nothing too complex that might challenge viewers and have them switching channels. I don't know what kind of influence was exerted in this case and knowing Gaylene, she wouldn't put up with too much interference but if this had being made for cinema I suspect the characters would have been a bit less stereotyped and one dimensional.

    Pt Chevalier • Since Apr 2011 • 51 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Hope and Wire, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Perhaps a little more trust in the emotional and artistic intelligence of that "mainstream audience" would be a good thing?

    Unfortunately it would seem that 'intelligence' and 'mainstream audience' don't belong in the same sentence as far as TV3 and TVNZ commissioners are concerned.

    Pt Chevalier • Since Apr 2011 • 51 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Practically jokers, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Yep - the phrase 'more money than sense' comes to mind.

    Pt Chevalier • Since Apr 2011 • 51 posts Report Reply

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