Nick’s bad day makes a good script

Central Leader - - NEWS - By KARINA ABADIA

They say life im­i­tates art but in Nick Gar­rett’s case the re­verse is true.

A com­edy of er­rors in­spired his short film Lock and Key which has earned him a place in the fi­nals of Tropfest 2014.

The event takes place in New Ply­mouth on Fe­bru­ary 16 and is the New Zealand edi­tion of the largest short film fes­ti­val in the world.

In Mr Gar­rett’s ac­tion com­edy Lock and Key a man locks his girl­friend’s keys in her car in a Mt Eden car park and ten­sions flare.

In re­al­ity Mr Gar­rett locked the keys in­side the car he owned with his girl­friend Laura Put­nam dur­ing his first shift at a new job.

When he rang Miss Put­nam she sug­gested he call a lock­smith but when he went to get cash out of an ATM, it wouldn’t re­turn his card.

To top it off his phone bat­tery was al­most flat. Luck­ily the lock­smith saw the funny side of it, he says.

This film has a quite dif­fer­ent mood to last year’s en­try Stop, not that he planned it that way.

‘‘Ideas just come. You don’t think what genre it is, you just write it,’’ he says.

The idea for the dark drama came to him af­ter see­ing two strangers talk­ing on the bus.

In the short film two peo­ple meet and start chat­ting at a ru­ral bus stop.

A shock end­ing fol­lows an ar­gu­ment about first im­pres­sions.

Ac­tress Hay­ley Robert­son won best ac­tress for her ef­forts in Stop.

As well as di­rect­ing the film, Mr Gar­rett com­posed the mu­sic and co-wrote it with his friend Jono Pot­ton.

Show­ing it to a large au­di­ence was amaz­ing, he says.

‘‘That’s the main rea­son why we en­tered. It was the first year of the New Zealand ver­sion of the fes­ti­val. They did re­ally well to get a lot of peo­ple along.

‘‘We were be­side an old cou­ple and they jumped at the end but then they laughed so I think they en­joyed it,’’ he says.

The 24-year-old has been mak­ing films since his early teens.

He com­pleted most of a bach­e­lor of arts in film, tele­vi­sion and me­dia stud­ies at the Auck­land Univer­sity be­fore leav­ing to start the video pro­duc­tion com­pany Chill­box Cre­ative with Miss Put­nam.

The cou­ple moved from Orewa to Mt Eden six months ago.

She is also in­volved in mak­ing the films, of­ten tak­ing on the role of as­sis­tant cam­era op­er­a­tor.

‘‘There are only five of us so ev­ery­one does ev­ery­thing,’’ the 23-year-old says.

At the mo­ment they are work­ing on a script for a web se­ries but in the fu­ture Mr Gar­rett would like to work on large pro­duc­tions.

‘‘I think a lot of peo­ple at the mo­ment are hold­ing on to the way things used to be. There’s no work in film any more. But if you’re mo­ti­vated you can make things hap­pen,’’ he says.

Af­ter Fe­bru­ary 16, you can watch Lock and Key at tropfest.co.nz.

Photo: KARINA ABADIA

Self starters: Nick Gar­rett and Laura Put­nam’s short film Lock and Key has made it into the fi­nals of Tropfest New Zealand.

Go to cen­tral­leader.co.nz and click on Lat­est Edi­tion to watch Nick Gar­rett’s Tropfest 2013 en­try Stop.

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