Mark Lapwood began a career of taking pictures at his local newspaper in Palmerston North. At 20 he relocated to Sydney, slowly working his way up the ladder to become a cinematographer. Graduating from the Australian Film TV and Radio School in 2000, he shot his first feature soon after: Indian drama Maya. Three years later he was based in India and filming across the globe. Lapwood returned to NZ in 2011.

Eclipse is a wonderful marriage of images and music, offering the viewer a delicate yet powerful sense of people and place. The music and occasional wordless vocalisation adds an ethereal, almost mystical quality, without tipping into pretentiousness or self indulgence. Andrew Urban on Lapwood’s film Eclipse, on website Urban Cinefile, December 2007

Loading Docs 2018 - The Cube of Truth

2018, Cinematographer - Web

Chris Huriwai and Sam La Hood are both world champions in street unicycling. What they do takes courage and confidence — and not just the unicycling. As vegan animal rights activists, they regularly face those who disagree with them, as they form a “cube of truth” with other activists, standing in black, and playing video of animal rights abuses on laptop screens. The pair take the time to explain why they protest — Huriwai’s rural background and their connection to tikanga Māori are key factors — and note that while some take offence, the majority are welcoming.

Loading Docs 2017 - The Coffin Club

2017, Cinematographer - Web

A unique Kiwi story about prepping for death has captured the attention of international media. The BBC, The Guardian and National Geographic have all interviewed elderly members of a build-your-own-coffin club, some of whom feature in this musical short film. Members of the Kiwi Coffin Club don sequins and top hats, while singing about what makes their club tick — death is not to be feared, but instead should be celebrated as a normal part of life. A lyric from this offbeat Loading Doc sums up things succinctly: "It's the final verse but life goes on." 


2015, Cinematographer - Short Film

A Place to Call Home

2015, Cinematographer - Film

In 2012 a number of state houses were relocated from Glen Innes in Auckland to Kaitaia, making way for property developers. A Place to Call Home follows two women at odds with each other, both railing for positive change. Betty Kanuta is an evicted tenant, leading protests against the destruction of her community. Fleur Palmer is purchasing some of the state houses to build a Māori housing development, to help poor families in Kaitaia. Director Briar March's documentary debuted on Māori Television in 2014 as Whare Tapa Whā, before being expanded into a feature-length cut.

Peace in 10,000 Hands

2014, Cinematographer - Short Film

The Propellerhead Story

2014, Cinematographer - Short Film

Between Me

2013, Cinematographer - Short Film

Whare Tapa Whā

2013, Cinematographer - Short Film

The Forgotten General

2013, Co-Cinematographer - Television

Director Karl Zohrab’s docudrama makes the case for World War I military leader Major General Sir Andrew Russell to be resurrected in Kiwi popular memory alongside the likes of Freyberg. Based on Jock Vennell's biography, the film spans Russell’s life from his Hawke’s Bay childhood to Gallipoli and the Western Front — where the New Zealand Division commander was acknowledged for his tactical nous — to the latent effect of his war experience. It screened on The History Channel for Anzac Day 2014. Colin Moy (In My Father’s Den) plays Russell in battlefield dramatisations.

Agent Anna

2014, Second Unit Cinematographer - Television

When this popular TV One comedy-drama about misbehaving real estate agents debuted in 2013, it copped flak from real estate bosses for perpetuating negative stereotypes about the industry. Agent Anna follows Anna Kingston (played by Robyn Malcolm, who also came up with the series idea), whose husband has left her and their two teenage daughters. Needing work, Kingston turns to selling houses in Auckland's cutthroat market. The programme ran for two seasons. Theresa Healey (Shortland Street), Adam Gardiner (movie Hopeless) and Roy Billing (Old Scores) co-star.

Songs from the Inside

2013, Cinematographer - Television

Inspired by the work of Spring Hill Prison music therapist Evan Rhys Davies, Julian Arahanga convinced the Department of Corrections to allow him to film inmates making songs at Rimutaka and Arohata prisons — with mentoring from musicians Anika Moa, Warren Maxwell, Maisey Rika, and Ruia Aperahama. In later seasons Moa was joined by Don McGlashan, Annie Crummer, Laughton Kora, Ladi6, Scribe and Troy Kingi at other prisons. The Māori TV show won Best Reality Series at the 2017 NZ Television Awards, and international interest. It also spawned two albums.

Sky Whisperers Ranganui

2011, Cinematographer - Film

Toyota Prius

2010, Cinematographer, Director

Rajastan Tourism

2009, Cinematographer, Director

Seoul Tourism

2009, Cinematographer, Director

Tsunami - Anatomy of a Recovery

2009, Cinematographer

The Waiting City

2009, Second Unit Cinematographer - Film

Tang Treasure

2008, Cinematographer


2007, Cinematographer, Director - Short Film


2006, Cinematographer, Director - Music video

Kingfisher Airlines

2005, Cinematographer


2004, Cinematographer - Film

The Making of Star Wars Episode III

2003, Cinematographer - Short Film


2001, Cinematographer - Film


1998, Cinematographer

The Reunion

1998, Cinematographer - Short Film