David Whittet Films Blog
Independent New Zealand Film Production

Shooting at Takipu Marae

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All to often, shooting a film is a compromise. At best you hope to get what you saw in your mind’s eye onto the screen.

Today was the exception. Shooting the tattooing sequence at Takipu Marae exceeded all my expectations with some outstanding footage.

As the camera was rolling, I could feel Hunapo and Aroha’s pain as the uhi (the Māori bone chisel traditionally used to apply a Moko or tattoo) cut into their flesh...

Margy Poi really got into her part as Ngaio, Aroha’s mother, showing real distress about what was happening to her daughter. And the children, Mathew Wikotu and Rebecca Whittet were stunning. Mathew has a soulful look, and his performance today had real depth, he captured Hunapo’s dilemma, knowing this ceremony ostracized him from his father but unable to stop it. And Rebecca was outstanding, looking both sick and lost on the frightening journey that this ceremony represented for Aroha. I was so proud of Rebecca today.

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