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Hero image for Pat Cox: On Footrot Flats, Murray Ball saying no, and more...

Pat Cox: On Footrot Flats, Murray Ball saying no, and more...

Interview – 2009

Producer Pat Cox instigated Kiwiana classic Footrot Flats: The Dog's (Tail) Tale and has produced some of New Zealand’s most iconic commercials, including the long-running Speights 'onya mate', Mainland Cheese 'these things take time', and the 100% Pure NZ tourism campaigns.

In this ScreenTalk, Cox talks about:

  • Growing up in Ireland and getting into the business via drumming in bands. He began shooting bands and crewing for docos
  • Shooting videos for bands in the late 1960s in the US, then emigrating in the early 70s to New Zealand
  • Forging a freelance career in a country where there was virtually no film industry, and setting up Film Editing Services, an independent post-production services company that imported the first Steenbeck editing desk into NZ
  • Teaching film and TV to graphic design students at Wellington Polytech
  • The growth of the commercials sector in the 1970s, and working with Geoff Dixon (Silverscreen), John Blick and Tony Williams
  • Production managing for Williams’ pioneering feature Solo
  • Getting to grips with New Zealand culture as an Irish-American fresh off the boat by reading Janet Frame and Footrot Flats
  • Finding a phone number, ringing Murray Ball and proposing a movie of the Footrot Flats comic strip, and being flatly refused - at first
  • The extremely long and painstaking task of animating the film with 1980s technology

Images courtesy of Pat Cox. Selected images are from Wikipedia Commons, or courtesy NZFC, or The Dominion Post.

This video was first uploaded on 25 February 2009, and is available under this Creative Commons licence. This licence is limited to use of ScreenTalk interview footage only and does not apply to any video content and photographs from films, television, music videos, web series and commercials used in the interview.
Interview - Clare O'Leary. Camera and Editing - Leo Guerchmann