Australian cinematographer David Gribble, ACS, has carved a career in Hollywood and downunder, capturing everyone from Robin Williams to Temuera Morrison. Gribble has worked in New Zealand on dozens of occasions; among the earliest was shooting Shining with the Shiner for director Roger Donaldson, as part of 1976 series Winners & Losers. Gribble later shot Donaldson's features Cadillac Man and The World’s Fastest Indian, winning an Aussie award for Indian. He also shot 2001 movie Crooked Earth. His many adverts in Aotearoa include campaigns for Donaldson, Paul Middleditch and Geoff Dixon.
David is one of a handful of internationally recognised directors of photography, who have earned the right to work all over the world and for some of the world’s toughest directors. American director Robert Harmon, on David Gribble
Inspired by the ageing Burt Munro — who took his home-engineered motorbike to America, and won a land speed record — this passion project was Roger Donaldson's first locally made film in two decades. Variety called it a "geriatric Rocky on wheels”; Roger Ebert praised Anthony Hopkins' performance as one of the most endearing of his career. The result sold to 126 countries, spent five weeks in the Australian top six, and became Aotearoa's highest-grossing local film — at least until Boy in 2010. Alongside an excerpt and making of material, Costa Botes writes about the film here.
When his father dies, soldier Will Bastion (Temuera Morrison) returns home after 20 years. Tradition dictates he take on the mantle of tribal chief, but he's not interested. His brother Kahu (Lawrence Makoare) seizes the opportunity, but he's a drug-dealer with grand plans to get stolen land back. Worried about Kahu's provocative approach, Will must choose whether to face off against his brother. Melding horseback action and indigenous land rights, Crooked Earth marked the first NZ film for director Sam Pillsbury since 1987's Starlight Hotel. Variety called it "handsomely mounted and compelling".
Conman and victim face off in the first, and arguably funniest Winners & Losers episode. Legendary vagabond The Shiner (Coronation Street's Ivan Beavis) sets out to prove to his fellow swaggers that he can con alcohol from a dour publican (Ian Watkin). Co-director Ian Mune dons a fake eye; singer Tommy Adderley plays harmonica. The real life Shiner — Irishman Ned Slattery — was immortalised in a series of stories by John A Lee. Although Lee claimed to have "once walked thirty miles side by side" with Slattery, he admitted that his Shiner stories were far from gospel truth.