Showing posts from 2007

Chris Knox & Bill Hammond

Well, Chris Knox does it again - attracting an eclectic mix of old and new fans to the Wellington City Gallery to hear his xmas special. I havent got the sound that goes with it but i have some great pics...just working out how to add the whole album but in the meantime here is the maestro...

WIFT Xmas Party!

WIFT again proved it could create a fab night out with all the other guilds and here are the photos to prove it. Note the line up of the ukelele players....

Merry Xmas Everyone ...

Geek Love at ANIMFX 07

Well, ANIMFX was yet again an amazing showcase of digital design and technology with a great line up of guest speakers. Warren Franklin from Rainmaker, Vancouver showed his student film from the seventies that got him a traineeship with George Lucas. He went on to create Industrial Light & Magic with George and now is the CEO of Rainmaker, a sfx studio in Canada. They make films but he is also actively involved in sfx himself and in creating synergies across the film sector to attract work into Canada. He was wowed by Park Rd Post and all that resides within it...and it was over all too soon...its a pity Peter Jackson doesnt show up for these things - even as a gesture...people would really love it...

Another great veteran and Emmy Award winner of sfx was Dan Curry. Dan created sfx for the the Starship Enterprise, Since then, he has worked on over 70 features, including "Star Trek Generations" and "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home."

Dan has worked on the Star Tre…

ANIMFXNZ - Games, Animation & SFX Symposium

The second ANIMFX is coming up on November 5th and 6th and the Prime Minister has just agreed to open it! ANIMFX will feature a number of international speakers including Tim Johnson from Dreamworks SKG, founder of Animal Logic in Australia who the fx for Happy Feet.

John Passfield is the Creative Director of Pandemic Studios Australia and has just finished work on the highly anticipated Destroy All Humans! 2.
He recently sold his studio for $860m.

Local speakers include Professor Roy Davies from Nextspace a virtual reality lab in Auckland.
Mario Wynands, GM of NZ's largest games studio, Sidhe Interactive and creatives behind the animation and fx teams of Weta Digital.

as well as our talented pool of local creatives. Check out the website ANIMFX now!

40 years of Unity Books party!

Tilly and the crew at Unity Books once again put on a great party to celebrate readers, writers and independent bookshops. At the entrance was a display of small press publishers in NZ - featuring my bro's publishing empire, The Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop in association with Mark Pirie's Headworks too. Homage was paid to Alan - the founder of Unity who passed away a few years back, as well as to author Nigel Cox - whose partner read an excerpt of his final novel...other Unity 'shopgirls' as Tilly called them - yes that means the boys too - read from favourite books and Jenny Bornholdt read a poignant poem about pain and surreality...a frail but beautiful gesture.

Wine and food flowed around the usually pristine bookshop shelves and people sprawled across the floor and chairs to chat and reminisce. A great night was had by all and three chairs for the independents who keep supporting local writers and looking after guest writers as they cruise through Wellington an…

The Great Blend

So, we cruised into Auckland on Friday morning from a gorgeous sunshine day in Wellington to a cloudy rainy bumpy was like - are we in Ak or Wn? Heading out to Muriwai to stay in my friends new motel unit with spa just installed, we cut out from the digital life and only came back to Ak and connectivity to join in the Great Blend at this really cool venue in Auckland which Russell Brown organised...
William Cooper from InformITV did his thang before leaving to catch his plane back to the U.K. and then Mr Brown from Singapore presented his blogs and life in Singapore...'So say we say we all..." it was a blast and heres some photos to prove it.
The Auckland audience i felt was a bit more timid than the Auckland throng...and the L.E.D's did a great set that got me back in retro style band gal status....the lead singer even remembered our band, the Vibraslaps. I have to say - i was impressed and our drummer Dianne was with us we had a groupy fr…

The Great Blend - the digerati

Russell invited me to participate in The Great blend last night and I had great raves with people. russell brown does it again - bringing people together to talk about all things digital. We started the night off with a virtual haka courtesy of local Wellington games company, Sidhe Interactive. (thanks mario!) they worked with local iwi and a Maori adviser throughout the whole project to develop a true to life version of the haka inside the NRL game for PS2. It was a world first i reckon.
then mr brown, blogstar from Sinapore, wowed the crowd with his life as a blogger/commentator in the constraints of Singapores political climate - makes you realise how free we are in nz to say what we often forgotten privilege. Mr Browns final digital story from his wife was a beautiful poetic gift.
The crowd got rowdy in the bar before the panel of new media aficionados...the new GM Content & Interactive at TVNZ, Tom Cotter eloquently outlined thier new strategy - decorporatisation of…

Happy Poetry Day! In Your Eyes

In your eyes
I see a light producing laughter
In your eyes
I see the world in a haze

Your eyes - go deep within me
Your eyes - touch my heart!

In your eyes
the lights shines brightly
In your eyes
The words are left unsaid

[Lyrices by Clare O'Leary from Vibraslaps Live album, 1985, produced by Flying Nun]

The Benevolent Creator

O.k. so i succumbed to a personality test that Brenda sent me.
That means, I'm a Benevolent Creator folks.

G3 Games Girls & Graphics Symposia

The G3 event attracted over 100 people on both days in Auckland at the Town Hall. Expat kiwi, Andrew Flavell presented the best of next gen. games that the Microsoft Games Studio is working on and about to launch. He runs the studio in Tokyo and listened to many of the game developers presentations throughout the event - not to mention the afterparty on Friday where VJettes projected images on two walls and Vicki from Upstage did her cyberformance with Helen linked to the MEdiaplex at the Film Archive in Wellington.

Other presenters included Frances and organiser extraordinaire of the G3 event. Frances Valintine established SHOKO in 2006. Check the interactive walls, floors and experiences they have to offer at Frances has also been an active member of NZGDA and is the current Chair.

Mario Wynands, GM of Sidhe Interactive now has a studio of over 70 people in Wellington. He gave an update of where the games industry is at in…

Kiwi Advanced Research & Education Network

A week of geeks, digerati and inspiring presentations and ideas for collaboration across the global network that is KAREN. Only recently 'lit up' in New Zealand we finally have an uber fast pipe for the research and education community to partner with international researchers on projects relevant to our own research and education contexts.

It's an exciting time but needs a great communication strategy so that people out there know what it is, what it can and can't do and how to really make it work for individuals, projects and organisations across New Zealand.

The first challenge is to engage and 'show up' on the KAREN network and to start talking about it outside the IT world....

Work locally and globally with the KAREN network.

Some very cool stuff happening on the horizon..

see presentaions by Laurin Herr, Rick Stevens, early internet entrepreneurs....

Michael King: A Moment in Time

My documentary about Michael King has been accepted for this years International Film Festival: 'Michael King, a moment in time'. It has been 16 years in the making - from concept to final production it has been through most of the funding it has finally come to rest thanks to involvement of Executive Producer Glenis Giles with post-production funding from The NZ Film Commission. Thank you!

I returned to NZ from living overseas for several years at the end of 1990 with my son Samuel. This documentary began as a road trip from Auckland to Wellington to cover the 1991 Writers Week and combine it with a trip to see my brother Michael; poet, book shop proprietor and publisher. Mike had a shop with Brian Harold in the Octagon in Dunedin called O'Books: the Mother of All Potatoes! with an art gallery downstairs. The crew were friends; associate producer, Ana Foreman, her partner Kevin and 6 week old son Jack. It was shot by cameraman Rewa Harre with sound by D…

G3 Games Girls & Graphics Symposia

Hey there....
Well the latest event to be aware of, apart from another mini-Webstock on 19 June in Wellington is G3: Games, Girls & Graphics.... This is an event to encourage girls and women into the games, animation and computer graphics industry and follows on from the first GAmes & Girls Symposia we organised after FUSE, the first computer games conference held in Dunedin in 2004.

The three orgranisers, me, Mario ( and Frances of SHOKO have all been actively involved in creating dialogue across the computer games, academia and industry and players world over the last 8 years....or so. Sidhe Interactive just celebrated their 10th anniversary and more companies are fast moving up to be alongside them in scale and future direction.

G3 will profile women working across digital arts and design, illustration, animation, computer games design and production and technology innovation. It will be spontaneous, fun and targetted on the first…

Sidhe Interactive - 10 years of gaming!

Well I missed two significant events in the last week just because i couldn't pack everything in.
The 10 year anniversary party of Sidhe Interactive, New Zealand's largest games studio and the launch of NEXTSPACE, a new R & D lab for virtual reality and next media....i guess photos of the party will be on and photos of the launch will be on

So, anyone who went to either - let us know how they went!

and in the meantime check out this interesting little creative publishing software, UMAJIN, by Palmerston North company, Unlimited Realities. Its got some great little features - they've used it with a number of schools and focus groups and are keen to see what people do with it...

let us know what you think...

Jane & The Dragon

Moving on from the sexism of Convergence 07 to a strong female progatonist in childrens telveision - last night I went to a special WIFT event where the creators of Jane & The Dragon previewed some wonderful design and development processes that Weta Workshop were involved in in the devlelopment of the kids animation series, Jane & the Dragon.

Wow, the dragon is a pretty cool character and if anyone wants to take on Jane, they better be ready for a feisty red head.. Stereotypes have been criticised in the past, but red head power rocks in Jane & the Dragon.

Weta Workshop have really come up with a wonderful array of characters with series writer and creator Martin Baynton and we will see it soon on TVNZ this weekend.

Watch out for it and log in to the website for many more additional features.

Go NZ content!


Convergence & Sexism is Alive & welll......

Well i"ve just been to the Wireless/Broadband convergence Oceania event and was horrified to see NO women on any panels. What's with the IT industry? Are all you guys still stuck wearing black suits and white shirts and where are all the women ?
I'm sure they are out there. Women In Technology were there - but Carol Lee hosted the IT leaders breakfast - it was as though no women were involved in the creation of applications or services and yet, 'wives' were mentioned throughout as users of broadband services...get with the programme guys - y0u have to talk to women as peers if you want to know where the future lies....


My Story

Bevin, producer of "My Story' mobisodes at Gibson Group has totally moved into a new space for television production, introducing a new short short genre of soap opera style mobisodes with thriller overtones.

My Story was launched at Gibson Group last week to accolades from the viewer audience and claps on the back for innovation and risk taking in this new digital era.

As the more mainstream broadcasters work out what digital means for them, Dave Gibson has been brave enough to show that if you give the younger generation their creative head, they will come up with the content that younger viewers want.

A deal with both major Telcos, Telecom and Vodafone show that collaboration with competitors is possible, not to mention the spin off relatioship with Family Planning to integrate safe sex messaging into the programme as well as into the additional web based material provided around this youth oriented programme.

Watch this space in terms of what will come next....

mobile tv, int…

Wai Scott-Murray

On the day of Wai's funeral a visitor settled on the rocks at Breaker Bay, farewelling her as people came to the Breaker Bay hall to say goodbye. Arohanui Wai....

Police in the Eighties

Well, now that Margaret Bazley's report has finally come out its not surprising that what we have known about a few cops goes a lot deeper into the sexism, misogyny and 'power over' tactics of police culture in the eighties. It mirrors what has happened to Maori and Pacific Island people at the hands of police also...(see full report at or press release at

American feminist Adriene Rich talked about the collussion through silence of abuse in our society in her book, 'On Lies, Secrets & Silence ' in which she says:

"The liar has many friends, and leads an existence of great loneliness..."

This is the tip of the iceberg...the eighties was a period in our social history where cops were disempowered by the power of the people, the Springbok tour, the rise of feminism and the Maori renaiisance influenced peoples perception and knowledge of social power dynamics, class consciousness within a New Zealnd …

TVNZ On Demand Launches

Well, it's a momentous day in the history of television. TVNZ launched its ONDEMAND service where you can view classic television, download favourite shows and catch up with all those shows you missed in your busy week. After TUI, the 14 year old schoolboy on TV Watching community accessed his favourite Shortland Street episode on the beta test, maybe it fasttracked the launch date. So here we have the beginnings of interactive television - innovative narratives to follow...
watch this

The Clean

as an old punk rock chic from the eighties i had to see The Clean. Flying Nun afficionados were spotted about the crowd at San Francisco bathhouse in Wellington. It was refreshing to go out to see live music and see a few of the old crew, not just the young'uns who had rediscovered the retro cool punk scene of 25 years ago. Gulp!
Seriously cool gig and the crowd were all in love with rule...

Tech Angels

The tech angels are a group of young women devoted to digital media and technology learning. They mentor younger students and also teach the teachers digital media skills, from basic word, excel and powerpoint to web design, dreamweaver, flash and video making. They are also part of KAREN with an inspirational board at Wellington Girls College and they are also part of the local LOOP project linking schools together with the KAREN project.

KAREN - Kiwi Advanced Research & Education Network

So, ships have girls names, the Mothership is a feminine name of sorts, now we have KAREN, giving birth to an amazing resource connecting NZ to the world through the Kiwi Advanced Research & Education Network. (thats enough femme metaphors for now!)

An upcoming event should be a great way to see it working in action. You can participate at one of the access grids already set up to encourage collaboration across the research and education networks and hear PRofessor Marcus du Sautoy, voted one of the top 40 minds of the U.K. as he espouses on the glory and beauty not to mention value of prime numbers...recently interviewed by Kim Hil if i'm not mistaken...

so check it out at
or his personal very cool website at

happy counting, viewing and experiencing...

Webstock! and more cool stuff of the week

I went to the mini-webstock last night at the Paramount. It was like seeing the new wave of web developers come out of the closet and meet and greet. It was definitely a sea of twenty and thirty somethings with a few wise few on the sides...this was overemphasised by Jo Halls admission that the internet had not changed her life, since she had been using it since she began doing her homework and research for projects on the internet since she was 7. The bell for time up tinkled loudly as the audience laughed and groaned at the same time....yes, the digital natives have arrived and they are here to transform the web in ways we have no idea of just yet...
Jo was the senior Tech Angel project i have been documenting over the last two years. at Wellington Girls College.
The project is part of the new LOOP project being launched on Thursday night at Te Papa...
Rod Drury profiled XERO and the full presentations will be available via Richard Naylors amazing 'i am ever…


Well i forgot to tell you about ANIMFX which i attended last year...i wrote a piece for WIFT newsletter so thought i'd just put it here as a post and then you can follow the links yourselves. It was an awesome collection of heads and ideas around animation, sfx and games in nz with some interesting international guest speakers as you will see....


The first symposium of animation, games and special effects was held in Wellington this weekend and many creative and technology wizards came out of the woodwork to show and discuss their work.
Eric Roth, Executive Director of the Visual Effects Society (VES) opened the event and led an exciting array of speakers from leading feature film studios around the globe specialising in feature animation and sfx.

Eric Roth, Kim Lavery with ‘Mr Fix-it” Jeff Okun at the ANIMFX Symposium. The VES provides members with a platform for communication, education and recognition of the current and future s…


I met Richard MacManus when consulting on the New Zealand Digital Content Strategy.

Richard is well known in the web scene in Silicon Valley and was just listed as 51 on the top blogging sites in the world...from Lower Hutt! check out the latest thinking on web projections and future technorati thoughts at

Of course, other blogs of note are found at

and cyberformance artists helen varely jamieson at

happy blogging....


The New Dowse

I went to the opening of The New Dowse on the weekend. It was a great vibe! Johanna Sanders invited me out to see her VJ installation - alongwith Rachel Tempest and sounds by the infamous Disaster Radio as well as Nick McGowan with his amazing Theramone! (sp?) an awesome machine that your body gestures create sound with, very Brian Eno'ish...the screen they had constructed had a number of weather balloons in front of it which distorted the vision, abstract, pictorial, was a great show...surrounded by new space to breathe and see old works from their collection and new innovative design. Go check it out.
Next stage development is to build more interactivity with the audience into the it! Beautiful architectural work by Athfield Architects too - a kind of retro contemporary and eco-friendly design with solar power integrated into the panels...have some pics to upload sometime too...

Games & Girls

I'm re-reading Sheri Graner Rays book, Gender Inclusive Games Design - she has so many references to early female protagonists in the games world, starting with the first female characters like Ms Pacman and interesting weblinks like the Leather Godess of Phobos and Rosellas Peril as the first female protagonist who had a mission, rather than just being rescued by strange prince characters...she is still a princess however, but one who saves her father by finding a magical fruit...see the cover art at,16927/gameld,129/.

kiwi company next window has just landed a big deal with HP for their touch screen technology, they are reputed to have designed the largest touchscreen in the world - featured at Kelly Tarltons....also of interest is the NextMedia research lab set up by Right Hemisphere in this space.

the interactive narrative

so, i've been thinking about the interactive narrative idea and today i was researching a paper for the animation journal, a peer reviewed journal in the U.S. ...i am writing a paper on the nz games industry history and i came across an article on the Hollywood Reporter about peter jacksons announcement of the Weta Interactive Studios deal with Microsoft Games Studio...that was September 06 and since then HALO the film has been on hold after initial excitement in nz over its presence....wonder where its at now...but this is what pj had to say at the time in Barcelona...." "My vision, together with Microsoft Game Studios, is to push the boundaries of game development and the future of interactive entertainment. From a moviemaker's point of view, it is clear to me that the Xbox 360 platform is the stage where storytellers can work their craft in the same way they do today with movies and books but taking it further with interactivity." …

Media NZ

Well - two full on days at the medianz conference in wellington means now i know what is going on the media studies world...of secondary school teachers and tertiary media studies ...seems there's a need for more dialogue across the secondary/tertiary divide and could be more sharing of resources as well.
I found it really inspiring though - everyone was revelling in being on the edge of things in some ways, in a kind of interdisciplinary way from early days of media studies not being taken seriously - and even now - compared to some more traditional faculties such as classics or management..despite the fact that more than ever media and communications studies is affecting how society is changing...
I presented in two sessions: A kind of personal/professional narrative of my work as a lesbian feminist researcher/documentary filmmaker in regards to a panel "The Cultures of Production and the Production of Culture"....and then my own history in a way of being invovled in n…

Games Industry History at Media NZ

Tomorrow I'm giving a talk at the MediaNZ conference in Wellington about the emerging computer games industry in New Zealand. The programme seems pretty full but hopefully there will be a few punters in the theatre by the end of the day.
Also on a panel "The Cultures of Production and the Production of Cultures" alongwith Deborah Jones, Rob Strathdee and Sarah Proctor Thomson from Victoria University of Wellington. No website for the event as far as I know tho'.

Kia Ora!

So, I finally succumbed to the blogosphere.
I'm a documentary filmmaker and researcher interested in new forms of engagement with digital media.I'm just starting to prepare for my PhD to explore a feminist gaze on the interactive narrative - from computer games to virtual and immersive experiences.
This blog will document what i find, what amuses or disturbs me or just catches my attention online, offline and out in the big wide world.
Take a trip into youtube, second ife, bliptv, artificial intelligence and human interface design....
see you out there...