Posts by Ken Sparks

  • 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 • 47 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 • 47 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 • 47 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 • 47 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 • 47 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 • 47 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Practically jokers,

    He's more just a narrow-minded fool.

    Ouch! He'll be dragging you through the court if you keep this up...

    Pt Chevalier • Since Apr 2011 • 47 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Ides of Epsom, in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    I miss Rodney in his yellow jacket! I remember one morning during the campaign cycling along Market Rd (yes, Market) and there he was standing at the intersection in his eye catching attire appealing to the passing commuters. I wanted to heckle him but he rendered me speechless...

    Pt Chevalier • Since Apr 2011 • 47 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Two roads lead to the city, in reply to Sacha,

    Where's the problem they are trying to fix, exactly?

    In their heads I suspect...

    Pt Chevalier • Since Apr 2011 • 47 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Two roads lead to the city,

    it's hardly ideal to have to ride on the footpath

    No it isn't but it's also quite easy not to mow down pedestrians on your bike too!

    Pt Chevalier • Since Apr 2011 • 47 posts Report Reply

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