Fast film­maker says keep it sim­ple

Central Leader - - News - By Jo­ce­lyn Rein

A Mt Eden film­maker never thought some­thing he whipped up in 48 hours would be fea­tur­ing at a film fes­ti­val.

But that’s ex­actly what will hap­pen when Da­mon Fepuleai’s short film, In Search of Big­foot, screens at the an­nual Pol­ly­wood Pa­cific Is­land Film Fes­ti­val next week.

The seven-minute mock­u­men­tary on the search for the myth­i­cal crea­ture was made as part of the 48-Hour film com­pe­ti­tion last year.

Da­mon says when he was as­signed the dif­fi­cult genre of “an­i­mal movie” to work with, he ini­tially strug­gled to come up with ideas.

With the help of three ac­tor friends, Da­mon headed out to Wood­hill For­est where he shot and di­rected the film sin­gle-hand­edly.

“Be­cause our crew was so small we thought we’d just keep it sim­ple,” he says.

“I just started film­ing the guys and they just ad-libbed a lot.”

In Search of Big­foot went on to be se­lected by Peter Jack­son as the pres­ti­gious wild card en­try into the na­tional fi­nals of the com­pe­ti­tion.

“That was kind of ex­cit­ing,” says Da­mon.

“The film had a lot of good feed­back.”

But he says he was still sur­prised when it was se­lected for the Pol­ly­wood fes­ti­val.

“It was never meant to be any­thing that would show at a fes­ti­val. If you make some­thing in 48 hours it’s never go­ing to be as good as some­thing that you make over a longer time.”

The Mt Eden res­i­dent says he is spending most of his time at the mo­ment work­ing on the script for his own fea­ture film, a psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller, be­ing funded in part by the New Zealand Film Com­mis­sion.

Pol­ly­wood di­rec­tor and cu­ra­tor Craig Fasi says the fes­ti­val, now in its sev­enth year, has re­ceived a con­sis­tently high stan­dard of en­tries each year.

He says the work com­ing through this year is “re­ally pol­ished”.

“I’m re­ally happy with this year’s pro­gramme.”

The fes­ti­val gives Pa­cific Is­land film­mak­ers the chance to share their sto­ries, whether they be from grass­roots or es­tab­lished film­mak­ers, says Craig.

Pol­ly­wood fes­ti­val starts at Galatos in New­ton on Mon­day, fol­lowed by a screen­ing at the Otara Mu­sic and Arts Cen­tre on Wed­nes­day and fi­nally at the Cor­ban Es­tate Arts Cen­tre on Thurs­day.

Screen­ings start at 7pm and tick­ets can be bought at the door for $10.


Lights, cam­era: Da­mon Fepuleai’s short film In Seach of Big­foot will screen at the Pol­ly­wood film fes­ti­val later this month.

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