Blink — don’t miss this film from Win­tec

Waikato News - - NEWS -

Hid­den away in a for­mer dairy fac­tory in Matangi, a group of film­mak­ers are work­ing on Blink ,a short film by writer-di­rec­tor Paige Lar­i­anova and pro­ducer Chris Wil­liams.

They are part of Hamil­ton’s vi­brant film com­mu­nity and many of the crew, in­clud­ing the pro­ducer and di­rec­tor, are Win­tec staff, alumni and stu­dents.

Win­tec Me­dia Arts alumni Paige ap­proached Chris, a qual­ity spe­cial­ist at Win­tec, to pro­duce a film. They in­volved David Thar­ratt, a Win­tec Me­dia Arts grad­u­ate who had “amazing tech­ni­cal knowl­edge and an ex­cel­lent cam­era,” formed a small team and worked with Win­tec to make a short film to sup­port their fund­ing ap­pli­ca­tion to Cre­ative New Zealand.

“We couldn’t have come this far with­out Win­tec’s help and the con­nec­tions and skills we have here from stu­dents, staff and alumni,” says Chris.

Chris needed hair and makeup done for the film, emailed a col­league and was pleas­antly sur­prised at the re­sponse.

“We’ve got four Win­tec Hair and Beauty stu­dents work­ing with us on the set with our ex­ist­ing team of five ex­pe­ri­enced hair and makeup artists. They are so pro­fes­sional and keen to be in­volved in this ex­pe­ri­ence. Plus we’ve at­tracted a light­ing man­ager whose truck con­verts to a mo­bile makeup trailer for them to work in.”

The low-bud­get pro­duc­tion has mor­phed into a pro­fes­sional troop of film-mak­ers, all giv­ing their time, ex­per­tise and en­ergy to this pro­ject free.

“We orig­i­nally en­vis­aged a team of 25, and at the last count we have 72 passionate pro­fes­sion­als work­ing with us vol­un­tar­ily, whose cred­its in­clude The Lord of the Rings, Short­land Street, Ash vs Evil Dead, Her­cules, Xena: War­rior Princess, Magic Mike and the up­com­ing Jason Statham-led sci-fi hor­ror, The Meg.”

The Blink team hails from Hamil­ton, the greater Waikato, Auck­land and there are five cast and crew mem­bers from the US. The short film stars Joanna Bishop, Derek Neal, Laurie Hayes and Phill Palmer.

Blink fol­lows the story of Sally, a one­time could-have-been cham­pion in a highly il­le­gal, un­der­ground com­pe­ti­tion. Beaten, washed-up, and tossed aside, Sally’s glory days ap­pear to be be­hind her. Now she spends her nights wait­ing ta­bles in one of the most il­licit clubs in town: Randy’s Place, where the com­peti­tors are rough, and the clien­tele are rougher. But in this place, on this night, any­thing can hap­pen, and things can change in the blink of an eye.

In an in­dus­try dom­i­nated by males, there’s an un­usu­ally high number of fe­male crew work­ing on Blink. They in­clude the writer/ di­rec­tor, as­sis­tant di­rec­tor, di­rec­tor of pho­tog­ra­phy, two heads of de­part­ments, and two of the three main char­ac­ters.

Writer/di­rec­tor Paige Lar­i­anova grad­u­ated from Win­tec in 2017 with a Bach­e­lor of Me­dia Arts, with first class hon­ours.

“This film has a lot of my quirky per­son­al­ity in it. But it re­ally re­flects what we are like as New Zealan­ders. We are a bit quirky and even in a se­ri­ous set­ting, there is some­thing about us that sets us apart,” she says. “Gen­er­ally my films say some­thing about the stereo­typ­i­cal ver­sion of a fe­male in films. Films gen­er­ally give woman a one-di­men­sional char­ac­ter and in Blink I’ve matched that ex­pec­ta­tion (such as Sally is just the bar­maid serv­ing drinks, and Ruth is the fe­male com­peti­tor in way over her head against the strong male) then I sub­vert this ex­pec­ta­tion by al­low­ing my char­ac­ters to grow and over­come the odds set against them.”

Film­ing is al­most com­plete and Paige, Chris and the pro­duc­tion crew are now edit­ing and pro­duc­ing the fi­nal film be­fore they sub­mit Blink to film fes­ti­vals.

De­spite be­ing a low-bud­get pro­duc­tion, Chris and Paige are fundrais­ing to pur­chase ma­te­ri­als, con­sum­ables and props, and they will need on­go­ing fund­ing for post­pro­duc­tion. Do­na­tions can be made through their Givealit­tle page.


Some of the cast and crew of Blink, a short film in the mak­ing with strong links to Win­tec.

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