The Post

Music and laughs in talent quest send-up

- Piers Fuller

‘‘It was a bit like Mt Everest for us.’’

Eli Hill

Everyone knows Porirua’s got plenty of talent but a new mockumenta­ry by a pair of Wellington­ians might imply otherwise.

Eli Hill, 22, and Jason Ellis, 34, are holding the New Zealand cinematic premiere of their featurelen­gth film Two Idiots And A Tin Whistle in Carterton this weekend.

The pair wrote, directed, produced and financed the film together after meeting in Wellington at a 48-hour film competitio­n.

‘‘It was a bit like Mt Everest for us,’’ Hill said. ‘‘A lot of shortfilmm­akers want to aspire to a feature-length film, but there were times we were like ‘why are we doing this again’?’’

Hill came up with the concept while he was driving over the Remutaka Hill Rd listening to a CD given to him by his mum of the ‘‘greatest recorder player in the world’’.

He found the concept of a virtuoso recorder player amusing, and the plot grew from this.

The premise was expanded to encompass the comedic carryingso­n at a talent show with a rag-tag group of contestant­s playing recorders, banjos and various other instrument­s.

‘‘It’s a mockumenta­ry focusing on a musical talent quest in smalltown New Zealand. It’s set in Porirua and bits of it are shot in Carterton as well,’’ Hill said.

It was produced on a shoestring budget of $10,000, and Hill said they opted for a mockumenta­ry format because it lent itself to a no-frills production style.

Hill has made a lot of shorter format films, and he has 25,000 subscriber­s on his film-making-focused YouTube channel.

He was the lead writer of the script and Ellis was the editing guru.

‘‘It’s a real fun-filled comedy with a bit of heart with quite a few funny moments, in my opinion.’’

Many scenes were shot in Porirua College and parts of Wairarapa to give it that smalltown feel.

Karen O’Leary of hit TV show Wellington Paranormal brought some star power to the production as one of the talent show’s three judges.

Hill was just 20 during the filming, and was also holding down a job as a journalist at the Wairarapa Times-Age.

Editing wound up at the end of last year, and it was submitted to several internatio­nal film festivals.

It was picked up and featured in the Roma Prisma film festival in Italy and the Byron Bay Undergroun­d Film Festival in Australia.

The movie proved to be a springboar­d for one of the lead actors, Ailise Beales, who was recently awarded a $100,000 scholarshi­p to the New York Conservato­ry of the Arts.

Hill said the team was looking forward to the New Zealand premiere at the Wairarapa Film Festival at the Carterton Events Centre on Saturday.

‘‘It’s hugely exciting for us because really the genesis of the film was in driving through Wairarapa. It’s a second home for the film.’’

Hill and Ellis will also host a workshop on Sunday entitled ‘‘How to Self-Fund Your Film’’.

Two Idiots and a Tin Whistle can be viewed on the Vimeo streaming site.

 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand