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Sandpit Collective for Wellington Filmmakers Launches

Sandpit Collective for Wellington Filmmakers Launches

Sandpit Collective to promote collaboration and filmmaking talent in the capital launches on the eve of the NZ International Film Festival in Wellington.

24th July 2014 - A group of Wellington-based filmmakers have formed the Sandpit Collective to collaboratively make twelve short films and showcase Wellington filmmaking talent to the world through a combined feature-length piece. The formation of the Sandpit Collective was born out of the existing Sandpit: Script Workshops, a self-funded group of professional writers and actors who meet weekly to work on their craft and accelerate the development of feature-length works. The premise is simple: 12 directors, 12 short films, one feature-length piece. Film anthologies such as this are a longstanding concept with more recent efforts including New York, I Love You, Paris Je Taime as well as genre-specific anthologies such as VHS. The finished piece will be held together by one common theme and feature Wellington as the shooting location.

The Collective is being led by filmmakers Chaz Harris and Conan McKegg as part of a wider plan for the Sandpit to be an accelerator and incubation hub for Wellington-based filmmakers and their feature projects. The Collective concept came from the desire to find more of a balance between being hunched over a laptop and spending time on set.

“When youve made a few shorts or a web series and youre working towards getting a feature made, its easy to lose sight of what got you passionate about it in the first place. Sometimes its better to pick up a camera and go make something instead of waiting for permission, or depending on funding grants” says McKegg.

Harris adds, “We dont need a Super 8 camera anymore, the tools are at our fingertips and its far easier to shoot high quality work on a low budget these days if youve got enough experience to embrace those limitations. Im always learning new things by working with other directors and we can probably achieve a lot more together than on our own”.

Sponsors include Cloud-based collaboration tool as a technology partner and NZ film review website who will report on each films progress online.

The six initial participants include a number of award-winners with Chaz Harris, Conan McKegg, Jane Fletcher, Constance Gervasi, Bea Joblin and Ben Childs. A further six filmmakers are being sought with the aim of a Collective equal in gender balance and containing filmmakers from different cultural backgrounds.

The Collective is currently seeking expressions of interest from Wellington-based filmmakers who have made at least one or two shorts or have a strong working history as a director in another medium such as theatre, new media etc. There is no ceiling on experience as long as participants are interested in collaborating either through advice or helping in other ways on set. For more information, please visit

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