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The Adventure World of Sir Edmund Hillary - The Sea Pillars of Great Barrier Short Film – 1977 Sport Documentary Adventure

The Adventure World of Sir Edmund Hillary - The Sea Pillars of Great Barrier

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The Adventure World TV series saw Sir Ed lead an A-Team of mates on a run of adventures. The concept was dreamt up by Bob Harvey, who enlisted Roger Donaldson to direct The Kaipo Wall and an (unproduced) Everest trip. Sir Ed and his climbing mate Mike Gill then went DIY and made two half hour films. This mission to climb The Needles — a rock stack off Great Barrier Island — was the first. Peter Mulgrew sails them over, Murray Jones goes parkour on the rocks and scales a kauri, Graeme Dingle surfs a dingy, and Sir Ed is the self-described “peppery co-ordinator”.

The first was an idea I’d been wanting to film for years and that became The Kaipo Wall, certainly the best film to date. I was not involved in the next two films. One was about sailing, or rather motoring, around Cape Horn (a film which lost its point a bit when Ed decided not to join the expedition). The third film was in Nepal but they had no script and no story and I don’t think the film was ever edited. By now the backers of The Adventure World were getting rebellious and they refused any more funding. So Ed and I approached TV! And offered to make a couple of cheap ($10,000) half hour films.
– Mike Gill, on the genesis of this filmed-for-TV mission