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  • Writer's pictureseeingredmedia

13 years

Two weeks ago, while driving north to Marlborough to film content for Giesen Wines, I passed the turn-off to the small mid-Canterbury towns of Mayfield and Mt Somers. My mind immediately flashed back to 2006 when Pip Walls and myself set up camp next to the Mayfield Tavern with a mission to uncover the legend of the a mysterious Black Cat roaming the area. I also felt a tang of guilt, as I remembered that the publican of the 'Panthers Rock Tavern' had contacted me a year ago to get a copy of the film. Herein lies the crux of this post, I do have one copy left of the film made all those years ago, but it is on DVD...but I had no way to copy it.

Fortunately, once I returned home, I managed to track down an ancient hard drive that to my relief booted up...and, it contained a file of the film. This was a timely reminder to finally upload a copy of the film so that in years to come it can still be viewed...though to be honest, it is looking pretty dated.

13 years ago, the film was shot on tape, in standard definition on a hyped up camcorder. For tracking shots we strapped the camera to the bonnet of our rental vehicle (GoPro Hero cameras were still a few years away) gimbals ...well, they were the domain of feature films and getting a cinematic look meant shooting on an actual film camera which we certainly had no budget for. Consumer priced DSLR's shooting 6K images and pocket-sized drones were the stuff of science fiction as far as we were concerned, so to tell our story we had to get pretty inventive with our story-telling techniques.

Fortunately, as this film wasn't for broadcast television, there was no-one about to tell us what we couldn't do, which is very liberating, and without the multitude of accessories that I carry in my film kit now, we learned a lot about what can be achieved with a simple camera, tripod and some sound gear.

As an interesting aside, this wee film seemed to poke a latent interest in crypto-zoology, and even today, I still get asked about 'The Cat'. So, for anyone who hasn't had the pleasure, I have now uploaded a version to Vimeo so that it can be preserved for well...who really knows?

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