We use cookies to help us understand how you use our site, and make your experience better. To find out more read our privacy policy.




Full screen
Video quality

Low 0 MB

High 0 MB


Hero image for Sam Pillsbury: Quiet and crooked earth...

Sam Pillsbury: Quiet and crooked earth...

Interview – 2010

Sam Pillsbury is a self-described American-Kiwi who has made films in both New Zealand and the US. He began his prolific career at the National Film Unit directing the notable documentaries Ralph Hotere and Men and Supermen. Pillsbury’s first feature film was The Scarecrow, starring John Carradine, which was the first New Zealand film to be invited to the Cannes Film Festival. Pillsbury co-wrote the script for The Quiet Earth, but 'fired himself' from the director role on the movie. His next major film was Starlight Hotel.

In this ScreenTalk, Pillsbury talks about:

  • How his documentary on Ralph Hotere changed the way art films were made
  • The fun, chaos and deprivation of working on Goodbye Pork Pie
  • Mixing necrophilia into a children’s film on The Scarecrow
  • Making breakfast for screen legend John Carradine
  • Thinking The Quiet Earth was a dog but then watching it go on to commercial success
  • The disappointing reaction to Starlight Hotel in New Zealand
  • Getting great reviews in America and negative ones in New Zealand for Crooked Earth
  • Feeling frustrated by the process of making movies in Hollywood
  • How funders in New Zealand need to talk to directors rather than producers
This video was first uploaded on 24 February 2010, 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, Camera and Editing – Andrew Whiteside