In this one-off documentary Te Radar takes his roving reporter skills to Takaka, and immerses himself in the groovy world of The Gathering. The New Year's dance music festival ran from 1996 to 2002. Radar proves the master of the quote, whether chatting to 'Lords of the Ping', electronic act Pitch Black or avoiding immolation from fire poi enthusiasts ("who doesn't love a fire poi", he says grimly). Watch out for Black Seed Bret McKenzie, laidback DJ star John Digweed and the earnest 'Jesus Food' crew, whose free dosh proves a bit too popular for rival food stalls.
Tough Act follows the 2005 intake of first-year acting students at Toi Whakaari, New Zealand's most famous drama school. This episode concentrates on two group assignments: a performance describing the students' journey after being accepted into the school, and a performance in te reo, using song and movement. The pressure involved in creating, rehearsing and performing to deadlines reveals striking personality differences within the class. This episode was one of two nominated for Best Children's Programme at the 2007 Air New Zealand Screen Awards.
Reality series Tough Act follows first-year students at New Zealand's most famous drama school. In this episode personal lives clash with professional aspirations. The students' first professional production looms. As they rehearse scenes from Shakespeare, distractions are everywhere. Hollie is grieving after news of an accident and class romances are put to the test when partners perform intimate scenes with colleagues. When Sophie sleeps in and misses a rehearsal, she faces serious consequences. The series was nominated for two local awards for Best Reality Series.
In 2005 director Stuart McKenzie brought a camera crew into the studios and rehearsal spaces of Toi Whakaari, New Zealand's top drama school, to follow the progress of its first-year acting students. The class included future names like Dan Musgrove and Sophie Hambleton (Westside) and Matt Whelan (Go Girls). Tough Act was nominated for Best Reality Show at the 2007 Qantas Television Awards and the 2007 NZ Screen Awards. The concept was custom-made for reality TV: tough auditions to find 22 diverse young people, who chased the same dream and faced a multitude of challenges.
Fly My Pretties is a musical collaboration put together by Barnaby Weir of the Black Seeds. The all-star outfit - who come together for live performances - has included members of the Phoenix Foundation, Fat Freddys Drop and Paselode. The group began as a one-off project - a sellout multimedia show performed, filmed and recorded over four nights at Bats Theatre in Wellington in 2004, which was released as a live album and DVD. The one-off nature of the project has expanded nationwide to equally well-received shows.
The Black Seeds are key flagbearers for the downbeat Wellington sound, thanks to the unique fusion of dub, reggae and funk they're been pushing out since 1998. Led by singer Barnaby Weir (Fly My Pretties), the Wellington collective's line-up has included keyboardist Bret McKenzie (Flight of the Conchords) and drummer Rich Christie. Dub-pop tunes like 'Keep on Pushing' and 'Something So True' have helped The Black Seeds become favourites on the local summer tour circuit, and they've taken their southern soul on several international tours. En route, two of their five studio albums have topped the New Zealand charts.
The Wellington studio whiz behind 50Hz, Jeremy Geor, stamped his mark on the country's dance scene in 1997 with the cinematic beats and breaks of debut album Cyclehum. Self-released it was the first full length drum and base release to roll out under the long white cloud. It was judged by industry insiders in Rip It Up as one of Top 100 New Zealand albums of all time. After a five-year hiatus, 50Hz re-emerged with Carbon (Released on Loop Recordings), which featured an impressive list of guest artists, including Ladi6 and the Black Seeds' Barnaby Weir.
Wellington funk, soul, reggae act The Black Seeds manage to cram themselves into a single shot for this episode from a series made for secondary school music students. Bookended by stripped back performances of 'Keep on Pushing' and 'Going Back Home', they explain the development of these songs from their origins as bass grooves. Mike Fabulous has cautionary words for aspiring songwriters about the dangers of overcomplicated song structures while Barnaby Weir reassuringly suggests that virtuosity is not an absolute prerequisite for being in the band.
The laidback pop-reggae of double platinum album On the Sun was a noughties Kiwi summer soundtrack, and this golden hour-hued affair is a video to match. A Seedy trio (Barnaby Weir, Bret McKenzie, Daniel Weetman) head on holiday to the Coromandel for a smorgasbord of baches, pohutukawa rope swings, mussels on the barbie, and cricket on the beach. There's a nod to the sponsor's product as McKenzie pulls the Holden into the Tararu Store for a Fruju pitstop: one of the future Oscar-winner's earliest paid acting gigs was in an ice-block commercial.
A live performance music video taken from the highly acclaimed Live at Bats album. Fly My Pretties creative director Barnaby Weir is out front in this one. The not-quite-black-and-white video treatment works well for the feel of the song and the elegant and atmospheric Fly My Pretties sound.