The film Mo Te Iwi: Carving For The People was launched this past Sunday in the Soundings Theatre at Te Papa to a generous audience.
Those who know my Dad, Rangi, will not be surprised to learn that he was overseas for the premiere. In fact, it's a small miracle that Dad even allowed us to make a film about his life as a carver but with a bit of gentle 'arm-twisting' in the form of "do it for your mokopuna", he agreed.
We hope to manage to drag Dad along to the Wednesday screening at Wellington City Gallery. Here's hoping!
In the meantime, here's some snapshots from the premiere and some early feedback about the film . . .
Angevahn Angevahn says,
"Hubby and I went to the premier. Both of us were deeply moved by this amazing work . . . I want to see it again as there is such rich knowledge in it."
Jeff Hurrell, from Martinsquare says,
We're in the final stages of producing the film Mo Te Iwi: Carving for the people.
There are 3 main stages to making a film
1. The actual filming
2. Editing all the film footage
3. Finishing the film
The 'finishing' stage of the film involves a number of highly skilled people doing very technical things to bring the film to its final form for showing on the big screen.
Pictured above and below are our Assistant Producer Jeff Hurrell from MartinSquare Productions and Film Colourist Erin Woolhouse working on film finishing
The film is colour graded to make sure all the various colours look even throughout. This is a mission in and of itself since there are some 200 plus photos in the film as well as archival film footage as well as footage we had taken in different locations (different light).
The sound also needs to be tweaked and enhanced so that things like the volume is even - it's surprising how loud or soft sound can...
It takes more than you'd think to edit a film: specialist technical skills, an eye for detail is crucial and an ear for rhythm too (because music helps add interest, mood and pace), but most of all it takes a thoughtful touch and and a deft hand to create a story that (we hope) people will enjoy watching.
The most difficult thing about editing a film is letting go the special moments and stories you'd love to keep then bringing together those that are essential. Weaving them into a whole so it flows and makes sense is the art.
We also feel that the film should be relatable to not only a Māori audience but also to people who may not know anything about whakairo. We'd like the film to give an understanding and insight into the life of a carver to people from many different backgrounds.
The challenge is to get the film closer to two hours viewing time rather than three! With so much footage to go through, stories to tell and...
Pictured: Rangi Hetet standing in Te Māori at Waiwhetu with two of the waka he and the Te Whānau Paneke carvers made for the Sesquecentennial at Pito-one in 1990
The film: Mo Te Iwi has been an almost 4 year journey so far. It's been a labour of love - a way to honour not only my father and his mahi as a carver but all those men who carved wharenui around the country who are often forgotten once the job is done, years after the whare have been well used and long admired.
Our Dad's story is just one of many but my hope is that by telling his story, it will help in some way toward telling the whole story of these amazing men who packed up their lives and travelled to carve wharenui, sometimes leaving their families for long periods of time, to live on site, while they did the work.
Mine and my siblings lives have all been shaped by the activities of carving and weaving - in so many big and little ways. If you are a weaver or a carver you may be finding that in your families - your...
Pictured. Four Konae Aronui carvers - Ngata Ruru (left), Hone Taiapa, Jim Ruru and Rangi Hetet at the far end. Taken at Waiwhetu carving the pou for Arohanui ki te Tangata. circa1959
Finding photos for the film has been an emotional roller coaster for some of us in the 'film crew'. Photos can be so evocative. Just looking at an image from long ago can bring forth smiles, tears and a flood of memories.
Over the past two days, my sister Veranoa and I have been working our way through boxes and boxes of photographs. Our mother, Erenora, was a great collector and taker of photos. So, there are literally hundreds, if not thousands to look at.
Many of them are faces of loved ones, no longer here. It can be quite overwhelming and we've had to take a break (sometimes long ones) to gather ourselves for the next few albums.
Many of them aren't in albums. There are empty photo holders (you know the old-fashioned...
This carving is from a pou in the Dowse Art Museum in Lower Hutt.
Commissioned in the 1980s, it was one of two carved by Rangi Hetet.
One pou tells the story of the tangata whenua welcoming people from afar who came to live in the Hutt Valley.
The other pou tells the story of carving and weaving and features a piece of taaniko (one of the oldest weaving techniques in Aotearoa New Zealand).
Made by the same crew behind MO TE IWI, this film tells the story of waka. From the felling of the tree to the launch of the magnificent vessels at Pito-one in 1990, this film is an intimate and touching story about a Māori community and the power of their shared vision.