Stefen Harris faced off against Peter Jackson in a Spot On short film contest while both were teens. Later, after various efforts to film his debut novel had failed, Harris hired a small crew and turned it into multi-awardwinning mockumentary The Waimate Conspiracy. Ecological comedy No Petrol, No Diesel! followed. A 2007 scholarship saw the veteran policeman being mentored in the US by Kiwi director Martin Campbell. 

I agonised over the decision long and hard before taking the risk of directing it myself ... It seemed that everyone involved knew more about film than I did but I kept telling myself I knew more about this film than anyone else. I knew if it was a failure there was no-one else to blame. Stefen Harris in Onfilm, on his award-winning debut The Waimate Conspiracy