The American dream of so many New Zealand bands became a reality for Steriogram. In 1999 Whangarei’s Jake Adams and Brad Carter teamed up with Tyson Kennedy and Tim Youngson of Auckland. Kennedy, the drummer, impressed with his rapping, and they became known for manic energy, melodies and putting the fun into funk. Early use of the net built a wide fan base, and after a US talent scout saw a video for ‘White Trash’ online they signed to Capitol Records. Their 2004 debut Schmack! also contained ‘Walkie Talkie Man’; 2010 saw their third album, Taping the Radio.
The video that helped Steriogram get discovered by Capitol Records is a nod to all things bogan, and is accessorised in line with this song title. From mullets to car mechanics, fluffy dice to line dancing, this homage to everything West Auckland, includes a cameo from then Cultural Ambassador for Waitakere Ewen Gilmour, and white trash rhyming to boot: “I got my Holden and I’m ready for Rolling / Yeah this car ain’t stolen ...”
If the Wool Board rocked, Steriogram’s ‘Walkie Talkie Man’ video would be the result. It uses wool to create people, instruments and tall buildings. A King Kong-like character scales Hollywood’s Capitol tower to kidnap singer Tyson Kennedy: inevitably, this warm fuzzy has to unravel. The ingenious stop-motion animation was made in New York by Frenchman Michel Gondry (director of feature Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and notable promos for Radiohead and Beck). The video – and the song’s use in an iPod advert – brought Steriogram worldwide exposure.
Parachute had become New Zealand’s longest-running music festival when it shut up shop in 2014, after an impressive 24 years. This clip from youth news show Flipside looks at the 2004 edition. Flipside presenter Mike Puru interviews Parachute Music Festival founder Mark de Jong. Focussing on Christian music, Parachute brought Christian musicians to a large young audience. De Jong mentions that Parachute is more than just a festival — the organisation helps train and record young musicians, and includes a label and a publishing company. Band Detour 180 are also interviewed.
After coming up with the idea for Nemesis Game, his first feature film, Jesse Warn ended up making it in Canada with a multi-national cast, and being nominated for best picture at the 2003 NZ Film Awards. He went on to direct a run of commercials, and episodes of Spartacus. Since then Warn has spent time in the US directing a range of high profile series, including True Blood, Arrow and Supergirl.
After learning the ropes making short films and music videos, ex-soldier Matthew Metcalfe has made films in Antarctica and Iraq, and produced movies and TV movies with partners in Canada (Nemesis Game), England (Dean Spanley) and France (Capital in the 21st Century). His projects range from tutus (ballet feature Giselle) to war (animated film 25 April).