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Chris Graham Takes Two Kodak Music Clip Awards

Chris Graham stands up to take two awards at the Kodak Music Clip Awards

The country's most talented music video makers gathered at Wellington's Bar Bodega on Friday for this year's Kodak Music Clip Awards.

Competition was intense with a total of 98 entries—a record in the history of the Awards.

Accepting the challenge of judging all 98 videos were Michelle Turner, the producer of Stickmen, the host of National Radio’s Homegrown show, Liz Barry and New Zealand on Air’s Music Manager, Brendan Smyth.

All entries were competing for six Awards: Best Director, Best Director—Runner Up, Best Director of Photography, Best Editor, Best Animation and The Knack Award – for achieving outstanding results with a low budget.

Judge Michelle Turner was extremely impressed with the high calibre of the entries. “It was incredibly difficult selecting the 28 finalists. From there it then took us a further five hours to decide on the winners.”

Although competition was fierce, one video stood out from the rest. The Best Director Award went to Chris Graham for “Stand Up” by Scribe. Set in an underground party scene, the video was shot on 35mm film and shown in black and white.

“I wanted to create a timeless video that was a step up from other New Zealand hip hop videos,” said Chris Graham. “It was a very fortunate, karmic shoot. The night before filming, we handed out flyers at the De La Soul gig and announced that we were looking for extras for the video. We had no idea how many people would turn up, but the magic and atmosphere created by the large crowd, was incredible.”

Chris Graham was not only rewarded for his directing talent, but he also took away the Best Editor award for the same video. He was surprised to win, as this was his first attempt at editing a music video. The judges were blown away with his seamless marriage of pictures and music. “To create the timeless feel, I wanted to keep the editing simple, so I only used standard jump cuts and a couple of windbacks,” said Chris.

His advice to budding filmmakers is “daydream as much as you can. It’s all about your imagination. If imagination is like the body of the athlete, the more you day dream and exercise the muscle, the better you get.”

The Best Director—Runner Up Award was awarded to Wade Shotter for his music video for “Tour of outer space” by Rhombus. Liz Barry described this video as pure magic. “The images worked extremely well with the song and were so imaginative. It takes the viewer on a fantasy journey.”

Wellington based animator, Paul Herschell took away the Best Animation Award for his music video for "I love Lo-Fi" by Flash Harry. Winning this category for the second year in a row, Paul is a filmmaker to definitely watch out for in the future.

Duncan Cole won Best Director of Photography for "Sweet as Bro" by No Artificial Colours. “This was a beautifully shot piece of work. The use of black and white footage, the framing of the pictures and the camera work, set this video apart from the rest,” said Michelle Turner.

The Knack Award was presented to Richard Bell for the video "Gone Fishing" by Phoenix Foundation. What the video lacked in budget, was made up for in sheer ingenuity. It's not surprising Bell has developed a ‘knack’ for making great videos, with over 17 years experience he's produced music videos for bands such as Nirvana, U2, and Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

Finally, to the surprise of the filmmakers the judges announced a seventh award—a special commendation for directors Mark Trethewey and Shane Mason for “Fool$ Love” by Misfits of Science. This video combined footage, image manipulation and animation techniques that resulted in a quirky yet very slick finish.

Prizes for each category were generously donated by the New Zealand film industry, with each winner taking away between three and five thousand dollars of film products, developing and post-production services.

Run in conjunction with the 17th Wellington Fringe Film Festival, the Kodak Music Clip Awards wouldn't have been possible without the considerable support received from the New Zealand Film industry.

This year's Festival is proudly sponsored by Creative New Zealand, the New Zealand Film Commission, Kodak, Wellington City Council and Channel Z.

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