Interview with Filmmaker & Director: David Blyth
1. Tell me about your latest project?
I have been working on a feature film project with writer Thomas Sainsbury
over the last couple of years. It’s not horror, more a continuing
interest/exploration of characters on the fringes of society.
2. Who is your greatest inspiration in film and why?
Luis Bunuel, a Surrealist film maker. Because his films reveal that the
unconscious plays a huge role in our conscious lives and his stories move
seamlessly between dream, fantasy and reality. Bunuel’s first film with
Salvador Dali, Un Chien Andalou, was an inspiration for my own first short
film Circadian Rhythms and the follow up feature film Angel Mine.
3. Is horror your preferred genre, as a filmmaker?
Horror is a genre that encompasses a wide range of approaches to telling
stories. I am interested in the psychological and supernatural/magical
elements of our consciousness and the horror genre best describes the
exploration of these areas.
4. What do you love about directing?
I love the process of working creatively with others to organically
manifest emotional atmospheres which audiences can engage and resonate
with. Creativity requires participation without fear, and directors role is
to enrol cast and crew into a shared vision that ultimately takes on its
5. What lessons have you learnt as a prolific filmmaker?
Communication skills are very important at all stages of the film making
process. You have to give yourself permission to make films, if you wait
for “others” to bestow permission, you may be waiting a long time. Most
importantly don’t project your vision on the universe, rather see your
vision in what the universe is showing you.
6. Tell me about your most successful film?
Death Warmed Up, 1984, is likely the film that has travelled the world most
successfully and continues to be requested Internationally for relicensing.
Unfortunately this film has a backstory that is tragic. The original film
negative was burnt mistakenly by the Lab in Wellington. The 35mm Inter-
negative is lost in America. No complete 35mm prints exist, and over 32
cuts were made to one of the few one inch tape copies of Death Warmed Up to
survive. So Death Warmed Up has a very bitter sweet place in my life.
7. What is the most memorable film you have seen and why?
Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner would have to be the ground breaking film along
with Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead that fuelled certain elements of the vision
presented in Death Warmed Up.
8. Do you think the dvd is now redundant?
DVD’S will have an on-going role in private collections and specialised
lending institutions. Mass consumption is moving with the digital times
towards watching online and downloading. I am sorry to see the DVD lose its
position and predict there will be no DVD stores left within two years.
9. What makes a good story?
Anything that engages one emotionally that allows universal
truth/understanding to emerge, exploration of the microcosm allows
reflection on the macrocosm.
10. Lastly, any advice for emerging filmmakers?
Stick with your vision of the project. It’s a marathon not a sprint. You
need to pace yourself through the inevitable highs and lows. Time is the
micro budget film makers biggest supporter. Flexibility around cast and
crews life commitments, allow a window of opportunity, that ensure you get
the best from everybody whether they are being paid or not.
Review: Bunker Cafe
What a find! Bunker cafe is hidden away – just off Great North Road – not the easiest place to find, however when you do: bliss. I personally love ‘hard to find’ quirky, urban cafes that don’t do conventional. ‘Bunker Cafe’ is just that; a converted container surrounded by designer bean bags, wooden benches, pews and a concrete garden. Atomic coffee is on offer, along with oversized sweet & savoury brioche, gourmet pies, sweet fare and gastronomic European sandwiches filled with a multitude of choices. I decided on the bacon & egg ciabatta that was winking at me. Everything is takeaway: served on disposable plates. Service is fabulous and personable. Parking is scarce. Ambience is a writer’s dream. You better go now before everyone knows about it!
You Need #Zomato In Your Life
Have you even heard of “Zomato”? Neither had I until recently. This is an “online restaurant discovery guide” birthed in India in 2008, then launched in New Zealand at the end of 2013.
This is a consumer-driven review platform, where verified bloggers upload content and give their feedback on the overall experience, with a rating of 1 to 5.
Available on iOS, Android, Windows phones, PC and blackberry devices.
I have the app. You have multiple search choices, handsome photos, upto date menus to view (of every cafe/restaurant) and it’s seamless.
It’s accessible, user-friendly and you now save time by knowing the menu!
Great for foodies and busy people!
Social Media Bullying
Last night I attended #smcakl (Social Media Club, Auckland) event to hear a panel discuss “Is Social Media Anti-Social?”
What do you think?
There was a lot of talk about Charlotte Dawson’s passing and her experience with cyber bullying, on the Twitter platform.
Question: When you become famous or successful, do you somehow get more haters?
I think so, unfortunately. The forum talked about (personally) moderating your content, brand management, the pitfalls of social media and the accessibility of voice, to all.
Some people choose to reveal everything they do via social: take pictures on Instagram, microblog on Twitter, post updates on Facebook and film on SnapChat.
Where does it all stop?
Having a digital footprint is essential in today’s world, however you need to manage the content, how you communicate to followers and most importantly, don’t take the feedback too harshly. Human beings sometimes speak with no filters, is that okay?
In conclusion: social media is modern communication in the online world. Just don’t forget about the offline relationships and networking events, that keep us real.
Relationships At Work: Do You Dare?
Have you ever had a relationship with a colleague, or (maybe) your boss?
Sometimes, you can meet the most incredible people in the workplace, right? You normally share (some) common ground, due to working in the same industry, so what happens if you take it further?
Do you keep your relationship strictly professional in the office, and romantic after hours?
Apparently some New Zealand employers (including Air NZ, Fonterra, Telecom, NZ Police, Defence Force) are taking the above quite seriously: ensuring you sign a contract promising “not to have sex with staff.” If you enter a relationship with a colleague, you need to disclose the status quo straight away, or face the (possibly legal) consequences.
Have they gone too far, do you think?
I have had two historical relationships in my (previous) workplace’s sometime ago, and actually married one of them!
So naturally I have an opinion.
Good luck corporates!
Are You A Morning Person?
Recently, I was interviewed (via twitter) about my morning (daily) routine. Do you have one of those?
After thinking long and hard about (my) consistency, I do actually have a regime, however I am not a stickler for habitual behaviours, at set times.
As an exercise, I googled ‘morning routine’. Most of the images (searchable) were geared at young children, to remind them of their daily tasks/chores, before school.
Therefore, a ‘morning routine’ is (possibly) drummed into us, from pre-school times subconsciously.
The only thing in my morning that is constant: coffee!
How about you?
Do You Know Your Neighbour?
Have we become too aloof, unfriendly, introverted or just never think about, who we live next door to anymore? I have not known my neighbour for years, even decades, literally.
What happened to (those days) when you introduced yourself to the person that just moved in, across the street, or the apartment that is a stone throw from yours. A simple ‘hello’ or ‘great to meet you’. Never happens, too busy maybe?
Now when I can’t find my friend in the house, I text her. No longer do I yell or persevere to look for them – I just pick up my smartphone, and type in what I need to know.
Crazy. So what has happened to the art of communication with our neighbours? Has this time expired?
Do you know your neighbour?
What’s behind your smile?
Isn’t moving house, one of the most stressful events, you can experience? What with packing all your belongings in boxes, wrapping each item, to ensure there are no breakages. But really, the best thing of all, is having to repeat the ‘same’ experience, hours later in reverse. Forwards and backwards, and hopefully, after many hours of packing and unpacking, you are happy. When I popped out briefly (to do some chores, before the removal van arrived), I was accosted by charity workers, who were trying to tell me, how amazing ‘Greenpeace’ is. Sign here. Thereafter 3 beggars: busking, yelling, and wearing signage to give them money. Then a shoe polisher. ‘Best deal in town’. Lastly, an acquaintance I had not seen for 6 months. All within 10 minutes. With all these interactions, I just smiled. Even though I wanted to say, something quite different. Some people choose to wear grim faces, and blank or dismiss every new encounter. Why? This conversation could be the beginning of a new idea, friendship, personal discovery, or they could just make your day. Smiling is definitely underrated.
What Is Your Brand?
Every moment (of our life) we are projecting our brand. You might think that brands, are only reserved or associated to labels: Nike, L’oreal, McDonalds, Gucci, Tiffanys, BMW are well known to most. So, what car do you drive? Shampoo do you use? Skincare do you buy? Fragrance do you like? Everything we wear, say, behave, walk or do, projects our image (brand), to friends, strangers, retail staff, managers and anyone else that comes in to contact with us, in person or online. Now we are faced, not only with the pressure of making an impression, in real-time, but to also create relationships through on-line activity. All social media in effect, builds your brand and your reputation. Everything posted on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+ remains on the network, so therefore this means your existence, is exposed and live to the world. Are you happy with your brand?
Living Alone is Becoming More Popular
When I was speaking to a friend last week, she said that, she much preferred to live on her own. So do many other people, all over the world, it seems. Society sometimes paints’ this picture, that the dream is to be married, have children, go to work, pay the mortgage and personally develop through these experiences, leaving you fulfilled. Really? Well I have encountered, the aforementioned ideals, and realised that I too, enjoy living alone. Is this due to being selfish? Or indulgent? Not wanting to share your space, bed, meals’ or shower, with your mate? Many of my friends and family live alone, due to preference, or broken relationships. According to ‘Euromonitor International’, 153 million people lived alone globally in 1996, and this increased to 277 million by 2011. That is 80% growth in 15 years, staggering result. Living as a singleton in Sweden, takes the cake at 47%, then Norway at 40% and the UK at 34%. Living alone has many advantages, of doing as you please, when you want, how you want. Also, you can be a singleton and still have a relationship (harmoniously), right? Living alone is on the rise, is this a good thing?