News release – NZ Film Commission
A year long dream was fulfilled for a group of Wellington film makers on Sunday when their miniature explosion took place at Trentham Army Base for their upcoming action short film Hot Rob.
Written, produced and self-funded by Andy Campion and Hayden Weal, they set out to create a short film that wasn’t created solely for the purpose of entering festivals or winning awards. Its purpose was to be a fun, entertaining film made for an audience. The duo are huge fans of action films and comedies and admit that their biggest inspiration is the duo of Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg (makers of Hot Fuzz) while Campion is especially a big fan of Michael Bay (and sports the nickname of Bayhem).
Campion directed and Weal starred as Rob, a “not so great” car salesman who is thrown into extraordinary circumstances when he sells a bank robber his getaway car. This leads to an extreme day of fight sequences, chase scenes, high flying stunts, romance….and EXPLOSIONS.
The film has been marketed on the ‘HOT ROB – The Movie’ Facebook page, which has hundreds of fans and counting. Fans can follow the progress of the film with hilarious production diaries, photos and trailers.
All the crew are the best of friends and this film created a great opportunity for everyone to be able to do what they want to do in the industry. Martin Lang stepped up as Director of Photography, Caleb Carr as Visual Effects Supervisor and David Brownjohn as the Gaffer (and features as Rob’s hilarious sidekick). Other roles were filled by friends and NZ Film School graduates. Filming took place in more than 10 locations around Wellington in March this year.
One of the challenges the flim presented was filming the destruction of Shed 53 on the Wellington Waterfront by car bomb for the film’s explosive finale. “We tend to think big” Campion says. “There was only one way we wanted to do it and that was to build and blow up a miniature”. For years the team have been fans of physical miniatures, especially the ones created by WETA Workshop. In February, the team had a chance meeting with Oscar winning miniatures cinematographer Alex Funke who advised them to contact Steve Ingram at NZFX. The team met with Ingram who agreed if the miniature was built, NZFX could blow it up.
Bonnie Slater, a Wellington producer, came on board to help the team finish the film. She helped the guys apply for Creative Communities arts funding with the Wellington council which was accepted and the film was granted $3000 towards the cost of building and blowing up the miniature. Slater also arranged a meeting for them with Sir Richard Taylor where they presented footage of the film and a previs for the climax. Taylor was happy to help and offered a space and support at Weta Workshop to build the miniature. Campion and Lang became miniature builders and after five weeks, the building was ready.
Trentham Army agreed to let the crew to use their demolition area and local film equipment supplier Rubber Monkey donated the use of their RED cameras. The project came full circle when Alex Funke agreed to help film the miniature explosion.
“If any one of those people along the way hadn’t agreed to help us, none of this could have happened,” Campion says. “It’s why Wellington is such an amazing place to make films. Some of the world’s best went out of their way and invested a lot of time so that this film could be a reality.”
6am Sunday morning, the crew and some keen family members set up the miniature and Caleb Carr (Visual Effects Supervisor) supervised the erection of a 160 metre squared blue screen, blue tarpaulin masquerading as industry standard material. The volunteer Fire Brigade were on hand to make absolutely sure that the fire was completely extinguished.
Nine hours later, Campion made the call to blow it. A fireball erupted debris through the air, flames spilled into the sky and the small team attending cheered. “That was easily the most incredible thing I’ve ever been a part of,” says the film’s star, Hayden Weal.
With the miniature shoot over, Hot Rob is closer than ever to completion. The film’s score is being composed by Tom McCleod and the crew are currently raising money for a professional sound mix.
Hot Rob has proven to be the best film making experience these film makers have ever had. It’s allowed them to create the type of film they want to be making, work in their dream roles and work alongside some of the greatest people in the film industry today. It started with a group of friends wanting to make a dream film project. They are so grateful for friends, family, fans, the Wellington Council and Industry Professionals for the support received. The team are excited to submit their next film to the low budget ‘Escalator’ feature film scheme through the New Zealand Film Commission.
For more information, please contact Andy Campion – firstname.lastname@example.org or 027 653 3256 or see