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Valley of the Stereos

Short Film (Full Length) – 1992


Pumping up the volume in Peka Peka

Valley of the Stereos was a fun little project. Produced by Jim Booth and Peter Jackson, it was shot with old Technovision anamorphic 35mm cameras and lenses that were gathering dust in a forgotten corner of the National Film Unit.

The live action was shot over a week on location at exotic Peka Peka beach on the Kapiti coast. We found two houses that looked right and the generous home owners let us completely take them over for the week, inside and out.

We managed to intercept a large stack of speakers that were on their way to a Rod Stewart concert and use them in the film. Danny Mulheron (the 'Hippy') and I had worked on Meet the Feebles together as puppeteers and he helped (along with Peter and the writer Costa Botes) polish the script, so was always first choice for the part.

Originally the 'Rocker' character was going to be played by Kevin Smith, but he had a conflicting gig, so Murray Keane was enthusiastically signed on. During the shoot the magpie seemed to get a taste for human flesh and several times it attacked cast and crew, usually aiming for men's private parts.

The animation was shot and animated by me over a week, in the old symphony orchestra rehearsal space where Richard Taylor and others from his workshop built an incredibly beautiful scale model of the two homes and surrounding country side.

The fabulous transforming robot house was built by Dominic Taylor. There are no optical or computer vfx in the film, it was all animated and effected in camera. The music from Michelle Scullion was recorded mostly with real instruments, multitracked together to simulate a big orchestra sound, with only a handful of actual musicians. The soundtrack was put together in all it's Dolby Stereophonic goodness by Sam Negri, Mike Hopkins and mixer Michael Hedges.