Author Archives: DingdingNz

Websites

Mike’s been back in the home office for a few days and I’ve very graciously let him work on our main editing computer, while I chip away at a few other things. One of the jobs on my To-Do list, was updating the website.

Up until now, we’ve gone through various iterations of our website. I’ve created an overly designed and slow Dreamweaver version, we had a blog on Google’s blogger and the site was hosted in Google Sites. This worked well enough, but it’s always irked me that we have the blog and site on different platforms. So I thought I’d see how Blogger manages pages. It seemed okay, but just wasn’t as tidy a solution as other sites I write for, which are hosted on WordPress.com.

So, we’ve made the switch to WordPress. What do you think? We’re always open to suggestions (Russell?)…

I’ve also been convinced/persuaded/offered to update the Frocks on Bikes website and switch the Wellington Cycle Chic site over to WordPress. There’s another site I’m working on, but it’s still hush hush just now. More news on that soon, I promise!

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A busy little edit suite

An old friend (and our wedding celebrant, coincidentally), Caroline, has been keeping me busy over the past few months with a variety of projects. She’s off on holiday now, so I get to take a break for other things!

The first was a favour for her personal trainer at the gym, and a great chance for us to use our camera for good. Grieg and Willie are raising funds for the Malaghan Institute by running one of the toughest marathons in the world. Meet Grieg and Willie:

One thing led to another, and we spent many Wednesday’s hoping for sunshine to film Mish ‘Putting the Well back into Wellington’

Thinking I could use some nice relaxing time out of town, Caroline then took us along to the beautiful Murdoch James vinyard, where we assisted in the shoot and edited these two videos:

Beautiful wines too! Can’t wait to go back for a visit.

2 Walk and Cycle Conference

As any of you who know Hilleke may be aware, she is quite keen on all things bike. Recently she was asked to represent Cycle Aware Wellington at the annual cycling conference. Taking this opportunity with both hands she managed to attend the conference, film some of the conference and spend a good part of the three days on a cargo bike (more news on that soon)!
Here are some of the presentations and highlights:
Frocks on Bikes – fashion parade

Fav pics 2011

Finally uploaded some pics shot with our Canon Eos 600D over the past 6 months. Bit of a random selection (family pics, holiday snaps and assorted other photos). Getting back into photography after a long break, so feel free to comment!

What a week!

It has been a super exciting week for the Little Fighter team (Mike and me).

Aside from a rather large and significant gathering of friends which we’re having next week, we’ve made the papers twice this week!
Firstly, the Dom Post covered a safety campaign which we made the video for. Our star, Emma, made the front page with a rather large write up. And to top it off, they showed some of the video in a story on 3 News last night. Combined we’ve had over 6000 views and counting!
Here’s the video, if you’re one of the *six billion nine hundred ninety-nine million nine hundred ninety-four thousand* who haven’t seen it yet:
But possibly even more exciting, is the news today that we’ve been chosen as one of 12 finalists in the Make my Movie competition. With over 750 entries, even making it this far is a huge honour! But, really, we’d love to win it! And to do so, we need your support.
The judges are influenced by public (facebook) support. So if you have a facebook account, please go to this link: http://www.makemymovie.co.nz/finalist/downhill/
And hit ‘Like’. And if you don’t have facebook yet, maybe it’s time to join up?
Here’s our poster design to give you a taster of what we want to make

Emma cheats death! (Sensationalized headline to draw attention)

Check out our latest efforts… and one of the first with the new gear:

This video was commissioned by Greater Wellington Regional Council to help promote safer speeds and “looking both ways” when crossing.
Many thanks to Emma and Pat – they were both great to work with!

Fuse Circus – Campground Chaos trailer

Forgot to post this at the time, but here’s a trailer for Fuse Circus which we cut a couple of months ago. We’re hoping to spend a bit more time filming with these talented performers this summer, so hope you enjoy this snippet of their work!

Cyclists – Stop at Red – Give respect, get respect

This is a wee project we’ve been working on for the Cycling Advocates Network.

Aimed at improving cyclist ‘perceived’ behaviour and improving their image.
The challenge was to not make cycling look dangerous (because it really isn’t), while using appeals from our ‘peers’ (aka other cyclists) to change behaviour and attitudes. Hopefully we ticked those boxes.
It’s also the first project we shot with our new Canon Eos and Canon 24-105mm f/4 L series lens. I’m pretty pleased with the footage. And Mike’s been experimenting with Adobe Premiere and After Effects on our new iMac, and I think he’s been pleasantly surprised by how easy it has been to switch between platforms.
We also made a little informative video in which Mike demonstrates how to trigger traffic lights. Hope you enjoy!


NZFF: Cave of Forgotten Dreams

A few years ago, in a beautiful French valley, some explorers found a cave. They were searching for undiscovered caves by checking for changes in air pressure, wind drafts, big gaping holes – that sort of thing. And they stumbled upon one of the most fascinating discoveries of recent times. A cave, which had been isolated for tens of thousands of years, and contained the most stunning and well preserved cave paintings ever found.

This is a fascinating subject for a documentary and Werner Herzog was given exclusive and unprecedented access to the now-sealed off cave. And in my opinion, he then proceeded to make the cave and the people involved look ridiculous.

We saw this film in 3D, which I would not recommend. Although some of it may have been shot in 3D, much of the film was not. And it has been poorly post-converted. Which means you get blurry lines around people, and which for some will cause headaches. It’s distracting.
As is Werner Herzog’s commentary. A dull monotonous German accent tunes out anything interesting he has to say. Which is not much in the first place. He makes assumptions and ponders motives, giving the audience little room to make their own conclusions or use their own imaginations. He tells you what to think. Without any factual basis.

He is disrespectful to his interview subjects. He leaves interviews going just a little too long, so you get awkward pauses as someone’s thought trails off, making them look slightly senile or mad. He asks them to dress up or demonstrate weapons but then plays it out of context, so the audience is wondering what is wrong with this person, before he introduces them, or lets them explain why they are doing whatever it is they do.

The score was heavy and felt discordant to me. It didn’t complement the cave paintings, it distracted from them. The actual footage of the paintings was stunning though, and the sequences where these were shown were left long and uncut, so you could fully appreciate their beauty.

Finally Herzog adds a postscript. A completely unrelated note about a nuclear power plant in the region and some albino crocodiles. He ponders “Are we the crocodiles looking back on these paintings” – or something to that effect. So instead of leaving you gazing at these stunning charcoal sketches created by our ancestors and preserved over millennia… he leaves you with some crocodiles. Seriously, WTF?

I hope that another filmmaker one day has the opportunity to use this footage and creates the respectful and amazing documentary that the subject and those studying it deserve.

NZFF: The Tree of Life

It’s a poem which only the poet can understand. Or a painting which makes sense only to the painter. I don’t pretend to understand half of what this film was about but that it is a great work of art is under no doubt.
Like all great masterpieces, it will and has divided critics, confused audiences and caused a bit of interesting conversation.

It should be pretentious, yet it’s not. It is earnest, heartfelt. Beyond the grasp of us mere mortals. But there is a simple message in amongst the metaphors. To love your children. I’m sure there is more to it, and that might come to me if I sit here pondering for hours, which one could easily do. But I guess that’s up to each individual viewer and I won’t extrapolate what others might discover.

The cinematography was stunning. The music grandiose and intimate – wherever one or the other was needed. The child actors put in touching performances, and for a moment you almost even forget that you are watching Sean Penn or Brad Pitt, but not quite. It might have been better if it had been unknown or lesser known actors in these roles.

My personal critique would be of the repeated religious references, but that’s a matter of taste or faith. Also, I’m not sure the film was made any better for the whole creation sequence. The dinosaurs were a little off to me. It was pretty, sure, but left little to the imagination – or too much perhaps. I’m not sure. Just didn’t sit right.

Overall, a beautiful film and I’m glad I watched it, but would I recommend it? Probably not. Which is a shame.

[On a side note, we only had a handful of walk-outs. Which is less than many reports I’ve heard. But more than most films. I guess some people would just rather watch Transformers 3.]