The Homegrown Profiles series on C4 was my first stint at directing. There was no budget, and the crew consisted pretty much of myself and Mike Carpinter, who shot and edited the series. As you can see, the series reflects the budget! Still, it was a lot of fun to make, and we definitely learnt some lessons along the way.
I remember that the voice-overs for the Finn Brothers episode were far too fast - we hadn't left enough room between grabs to fit in all the info we needed so I had to rush-read the narration. That was our first episode, and we didn't make the same mistake twice!
It was an intense few months putting these together. During the day there was still my regular workload [presenting] at C4, so paper-editing had to be done at home. Over the course of putting these profiles together I could quite often be found sitting in front of the TV in my room at three in the morning, rewinding and fast-forwarding VHS tapes. I was flatting with Mike at the time and whenever he came home to find me still up, scrolling through tapes and taking notes, he'd head straight to the kitchen to fix me a meal. This series was definitely a labour of love for both of us!
Of course, it was all worth it because being able to sit down with these great artists and talk at length about their careers was a fantastic experience. Chatting to Dave Dobbyn,Anika Moa and Jon Toogood was akin to catching up with old friends, while sitting down with the Finn brothers and Bic Runga was somewhat intimidating! Still, it was Che Fu who really surprised us.
He was far more honest about what had really happened when he parted ways with Supergroove than we imagined. This made for some great moments within his episode as he was clearly still very emotional about what he'd experienced, and he'd been quiet about the truth for so long.
Jon Toogood was also very candid when talking about Shihad's name change to Pacifier and back again to Shihad, and also about their experiences in America. Anika was also very forthcoming when it came to sharing her take on the United States.
When I look back on the Homegrown Profiles series I can't help but see how we could have done things better if we'd had more manpower, resources and time up our sleeves, but I'm still proud of what we achieved. At the end of the day, it's what the artists had to say that was important, and I think these specials did a fine job of showcasing their stories.
- After three years hosting TVNZ music show Squeeze, Jane Yee moved to music channel C4, where she presented multiple shows. These days she is a busy parent who writes about television for website The Spinoff.