NZ things I can’t get in London

This blog post was sitting in my drafts folder for years. I decided to post it retrospectively, with a few amendments.

  • Proper Marmite: the Marmite in the UK is brown, rather than black. It just doesn’t taste as good (to me)


  • Rice crackers: hmmm … with dip
    • edit: you can get these in some supermarkets
  • Sweet Chilli Philly
Sweet Chilli Philly: a soft cheese covered with sweet thai chilli sauce
  • Tim Tams: these were available at the Kiwi/Aussie/SAFA/Canadian store – Penguins are an alternative, but they don’t work for the Tim Tam Slam.
  • Lamingtons: although I did find a cafe in Shoreditch that had them
  • A proper really good flat white: being from Wellington, I’m a snob about my coffee. Sacred cafes do the best in London.
    • edit: there are some good flat whites now…
  • Reduced Cream: mixed with soup mixtures (Onion) for amazing dips


  • Sugarfree V: although you can get regular V in some dairies / stores, if you don’t want the massive sugar hit, you can’t get sugarfree.
  • Grain Waves
  • Spirulina smoothies: seriously, getting a 1L smoothie with spirulina in it … I haven’t found that in London. You can get other green smoothies, but not with spirulina.


  • Pineapple Lumps
  • Chocolate fish: give that man a chocolate fish!


The moral of the story: bring me these things!


Bellydance Teachers in Wellington

A list of teachers to contact for anyone looking to learn Bellydance in Wellington

Want to learn how to Bellydance? Want to join a dance troupe? As I am no longer teaching in Wellington, you may like to try these teachers and groups…

Firstly, when picking a dance teacher, think about these things

  • what sort of style do you want to learn? Look into Cabaret Bellydance/Raqs Sharqi/Orientale, or Middle Eastern dance, or Tribal (ATS). You can do a Beginners Course and go from there;
  • the teacher’s experience: workshops attended, how long they’ve been dancing, what their students say about them;
  • the location where they’re teaching;
  • the price (at the moment you’re probably looking at $10-$20 for an hour class);
  • do you ultimately want to perform? You don’t have to if you don’t want to, and no teacher would pressure you to if you didn’t. If you do though and you’re starting out, you probably wouldn’t be performing for at least a year. Tribal takes a bit longer, as there are cues to learn and you need to be able to work with the group.

Fundraising for ‘A Party For Me’

We’re fundraising to cover costs from making ‘A Party For Me’. You can read more about the project and our goals here, and follow the link to the PledgeMe project.

Ladies and Gentleman,

We are fundraising to cover costs for A Party For Me, and would appreciate your support. 

Please follow this link to PledgeMe:

PledgeMe is a New Zealand crowdfunding site. For those who are unfamiliar with crowdfunding, to donate you pledge an amount and provide your credit card details (the site is 100% legit and safe if you have any concerns). If the project is pledged the full amount, then the amount you pledged comes off your credit card. If it does not reach its target by the deadline, then no charge is made to your credit card. $270 is the minimum we need to raise; we can exceed the target.

We are asking for $270. That is to cover the costs incurred by make-up and wardrobe, who created the look for our nine undead characters. It will also go towards the costs of hiring equipment, such as a smoke machine, lenses, and lights.

Continue reading “Fundraising for ‘A Party For Me’”

NZFF Day 12

A selection of NZ short films: ‘Huhu Attack’, ‘Last Flight’, ‘Junk’, ‘Meniscus’

Tuesday 09 August

Homegrown: Flights of Fantasy

I made notes. I wrote down which films were played and which I enjoyed and other thoughts. But then, I can’t remember where I put that paper, so here’s what I thought on some of the films.

Continue reading “NZFF Day 12”

New Zealand Documentaries

At one of the LFS events I went to whilst in London, I got to chatting with a woman who lectures in Documentary Film at a University in Wales. She was not familiar with any New Zealand documentaries or documentary filmmakers. So I wrote a list for her to look up:

*(yes, Docudramas, but I’m including them.)

and, for fun, Forgotten Silver, dir. Peter Jackson and Costa Botes; a film I would recommend it to any film buff for a good giggle.




There must have been more great documentaries that I missed. If you were asked to sum up New Zealand Documentary Filmmaking to someone unfamiliar with it, which films would you have listed? Which filmmakers?

I nearly shared my favourite documentary with her. However, knowing that the documentary was only available at the NZ Film Archive, and there was no way for her to see it, I didn’t list it. However, today, NZ On Screen announced that it is available in its entirety on their website. The film is Patu!, directed by Merata Mita. I am so excited that I can now watch the film again, and can share it with others. Please go to nzonscreen to watch it.

Continue reading “New Zealand Documentaries”

Script Development Workshop

I attended a Script Development workshop today, run by the NZ Film Commission and the NZ Writer’s Guild

Today I went to a Script Development Workshop run by the NZ Film Commission and the NZ Writer’s Guild at the NZ Film Archive.

Steve Barr talked about Assessment and taking notes, and later went into Loglines. Kathryn Burnett spoke about Rewriting, giving exercises for responding to assessment in rewriting, and later went into Synopses.  Kath Athukata-Brown, a Script Executive at the NZFC spoke about changes in funding at the NZFC (in the Writer Development Loan, the Early Development Fund, and the Advanced Development Loan), and later went into Treatments.

Continue reading “Script Development Workshop”

Victoria Kelly

My research has led me to a female composer whom I may have to research further.

Cover of "Under the Mountain"
Cover of Under the Mountain

Recently I watched Under The Mountain (dir. Jonathan King). Whilst watching it, I was thinking about my research topic, which has to do with orchestral music by NZ composers in NZ film.

As such, I’ve come across the work of Victoria Kelly, and have decided that it warrants further research. I’m currently listening to the Under The Mountain soundtrack, have discovered Victoria’s website, and her WordPress blog. I’m stoked to see that she composed for The Locals, Fracture, and my all time favourite (NZ) film, Out Of The Blue.

If you do listen to the soundtrack to Under The Mountain, there’s a piece called ‘Now You Run‘, which must have been very heavily influenced by the Jaws theme. Just saying.

Documentary Seminar

Day 1 of the directing documentary workshop with Leeanne Pooley.

I was on a workshop today on directing documentaries, with Leeanne Pooley. It’s a two-day seminar at the Film Archive, presented in association with the Screen Director’s Guild of NZ, the NZFC, and the NZ Film Archive. I suppose also with Leeanne’s production company, Spacific Films. We got given a free copy of Take, the Screen Director’s Guild magazine, with a SDGNZ sign-up sheet. [But, I’m not a full-time student, so I don’t think I can take advantage of the student rate. Oh well, I probably won’t sign up yet then.]

Before the workshop, we were sent a DVD copy of Leeanne’s documentary on NZ male ballerina (ballerino?) Douglas Wright, called Haunting Douglas. The film has an amazing opening scene, btw. Douglas dancing naked with a candle. We were also asked to watch Pooley’s acclaimed documentary on the Topp Twins, Untouchable Girls. I watched it last night – again, a really good doco.

The first thing Leeane asked was whether we had googled her. Uh… no. She pointed out you should always google the person giving a seminar before you sign up or pay any money, to make sure that they know what they’re talking about. Lesson learnt – I’m googling now, in preparation for tomorrow.

For my Honours study next year, I was considering doing a documentary film. Within the first hour of the seminar, I realised that my possible topics need a massive amount of work before I shoot anything!

So far the seminar is going really well. Leeane knows her stuff. She’s given us a huge workbook of notes (so we don’t have to take our own), and a list of docos that we should see. Out of the list of 28 films, I had seen a grand total of 1 (The Corporation). So I went to Civic Video and got a few of them out. I just watched The Kid Stays In The Picture. (Fantastic. Really great). I’m considering watching Capturing The Friedmans, but I’m really tired. If it’s around 90 minutes, I’m gonna watch it tonight. If not, I’m saving it for later, along with The Fog Of War.

And, I finally remembered to take my business cards to a film event. I’ve swapped cards with some people in the workshop. Two thumbs up for me.