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TaikaWaititi Eagle vs Shark. 2007 Boy. 2010 Two cars, one night. 2004
Biography • TaikaWaititi is of Te-Whanau-a-Apanui descent and hails from the Raukokore region of the East Coast. He has been involved in the film industry for several years, initially as an actor, and now focusing on writing and directing. • Taikais also an experienced painter and photographer having exhibited both mediums in Wellington and Berlin, a fashion designer and currently preparing to direct the photography of a short film. • He recently wrote, directed, and acted in “Boy,” his second feature which has become New Zealand’s highest grossing local film of all time. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, going on to win the Generation Grand Prix at the 2010 Berlinale, and awards at the Maui, Sydney, Melbourne and AFI Film Festivals. Wiititi also wrote and directed the NZ film ‘Eagle vs Shark,’ 2007. • He directed the 2005 short “Two Cars, One Night,” which was nominated for an Academy Award® and the short film “Tama Tu,” which made the Oscars shortlist and picked up many festival prizes worldwide. He has written and directed multiple episodes of the HBO TV series “Flight of the Conchords” and TV3’s “Super City”. He is currently directing the US remake of “The Inbetweeners” for MTV.
How did TaikaWaititi get involved in film making? • ‘I never wanted to be a filmmaker, I had other dreams, it wasn’t supposed to turn out like this. I had grown up wanting to be many things; a maverick fighter pilot (preferably named Maverick), a time-traveler, even a ghost who does pottery. To my parents’ delight I eventually settled on art. I concentrated on painting and experimented with other mediums; photography, music, acting, writing. In the end I found a medium that covered all of these interests - film.’ – TaikaWaititi • TaikaWaititis first film came about through a mild depression, his resentment at being cast in a terrible television show where he played in a role as an ‘exotic dancer’. This is when he realised that he wanted to write scripts and stories about “real people who didn’t dance for money, stories about normal people who, through whatever it is they do, make this world seem like a more amazing place.” • This was the start of his journey into the movie making world!! <3 • http://www.indiewire.com/article/in-his-own-words_boy
Filmography List of his films: -Two cars, one night. 2003 -Eagle vs Shark, 2007 -Boy, 2010 Script writer: TaikaWaititi Production company: Whenua Films, Blue Skin Films Financiers: The New Zealand Film Commission Script writer: TaikaWaititi Production Company: Whenua Films Financiers: The New Zealand film Commission Script Writer: TaikaWaititi Production Company : Whenua Films, Unison Films Financiers: The New Zealand Film Production Fund Trust, The New Zealand Film Commission, NZ On Air, TeMangaiPaho
Who are TaikaWaititi’sfavouriteactors/ actresses/ Camera men/ Camera women? • In two of TaikaWaititi’s more famous films he has used young boys as his main characters. All of which are Moari descent • In ‘Boy,’ young 11 year old, James Rolleston plays the main • character Boy. • In ‘Two Cars, One Night,’ 9 year old, RangiNgamoki • plays the main character. • Camera Crew • In all three of TaikaWaititi’s films, ‘Boy’ • ‘Two Cars, One Night’ and ‘Eagle vs Shark’ • he has used the same Cinematographer, Adam Clark. • Adam Clark most recently booked a role opposite Sam Jackson in "Coach Carter • for Paramount & MTV Films. Adam's other feature credits include a supporting • role opposite Nicolas Cage in "Matchstick Men," for director Ridley Scott and a • supporting role in "Traffic," for director Steven Soderbergh.
What is TaikaWaititi’sprefered film style, film themes? • The themes in TaikaWaititi’s films are all quite similar. - The films convey the misfortunes in peoples lives with family, living and relationships. Although the dark reality of the domestic problems comes through in his films, it is clouded with funny, simplistic events that happen in these peoples lives. Eg; Boy. Two Cars, One Night.
Current Film Projects • TaikaWaititi has recently produced his latest film ‘Jojo Rabbit’ which is going to be presented at the CineMart in Rotter Dam and also at the Berlinale. It also was just presented at the Berlin Film Festival early this month. • TaikaWaititi is teaming up with Jemaine Clement this year to produce a new film about vampires. Interview with TaikaWaititi: What's your next challenge as a filmmaker? What are you working on?TaikaWaititi: "I'm just preparing to shoot two films. One of them is in New Zealand and I'm doing that with a couple of films and that's a vampire film - comedy. And then I'm shooting another one, hopefully by the end of the year, and that will be another comedy that's set in World War II.” TaikaWaititi: "Well, I feel that vampires are quite a new genre that not many people have explored yet. I feel that this is the time to pull them out of obscurity and make a movie about them. No, this is my plan to finally kill the vampire film movement with this final film. This will be the last film for many years about vampires.” You will put a stake in the heart of the vampire genre?TaikaWaititi: "That's right. The final nail in the coffin and the stake in the heart of the vampire genre."
What is the significance/impact of their film work or film contribution to New Zealand? • His films open up the eyes of New Zealanders to see the poverty, drug abuse and dysfunction in our society and families. These are all underlining factors in New Zealand that is creating a great problem. Unlike many other New Zealand films which are incredibly dark and depressing, TaikaWaititi manages to lighten the stories and lives of his characters by using his chosen genre of comedy. ‘Boy’ and ‘Two cars, One Night’ are very similar in this way. Both show the lifestyle of kids who have grown up surrounded by the ‘beer’ and drug culture. Waititi shows the innocence of life as a young child, who is caught up in these families and imagination that flows through these kids.