NZIFF Q&A - On an Unknown Beach
Our film is ……On an Unknown Beach.
It’s a film about exploring the unknown, like our prehistoric ancestors banging rocks together. Three characters engage their own processes (scientific, artistic, esoteric) for confronting different landscapes of ruin.
The reason we made this film is:
In a really general sense to understand the world around us, and to frame it as an experience in a movie cinema to share with other mammals.
What's the one moment that stands out in your film and why?
Seeing the devastation humans have inflicted on the seabed of the Chatham Rise. It’s just a completely new vision of how poorly we behave on this planet.
What was the hardest thing about completing your film?
We approached the film as explorers ourselves. We started out with an open brief to discover images, ideas and new thoughts that bring our diverse characters and processes together. So just resolving a central idea was the hardest part. It meant a lot of exploratory editing, re-concepting, reshooting. There was nothing particularly typical about our workflow, and in a lot of ways we had to invent a process for making the film cohere together on it’s own terms.
What's the most satisfying thing about your film?
The feeling that we’ve made something unique, something that offers an audience a different kind of experience in a cinema.
What's been the one piece of feedback from either peers or audiences that has struck you the most and why?
That the film gives you a ‘really strong sense of being a human on the planet’. That’s right on what we had hoped to achieve. To weave together really different human activities to somehow arrive at a feeling of human searching, fallibility, history, optimism. Just… the human yearning to understand.
What’s next on the cards for you?
We go our separate ways again. We last made a film together 10 years ago (Minginui, which screened in the AIFF ’05). So we’ll get together again in 2025 and see where we are at.
On an Unknown Beach will have its World Premiere at NZIFF on Fri 29 July 8.30pm at Event Cinemas Queen St, Auckland.