But, de Beus noted, “You can tell a lot of technical lies if the action is good.”
In Hamilton, the biggest challenge was one that Westside faces regularly. Capturing suburban vistas is always a problem. Whether or not the architecture has changed – and there are plenty of suburban streets in Hamilton and West Auckland where the houses themselves haven’t changed much since the 1980s – there are so many Sky dishes mounted on buildings now that just didn’t exist back in 1981.
“We did most of it with two handheld cameras,” Hurst said. “Shooting from waist-height cuts out almost everything behind the first couple of rows [of a crowd].”
““The performances matched the intensity and passion and energy and adrenalin of the archive material. Michael really got them riled up on the day,” de Beus said.
“I’ve done a lot of work with fights and battles,” Hurst noted.
What helped in making links between the archive and the contemporary shoot?
“The smoke,” Hurst said. “Somebody let off an orange smoke bomb. Once I looked at the footage and saw the smoke, that was a key element to making it all work. That and low camera angles.
“We had all the archive footage to tell the story of the day. It was a case of recreating specific moments to insert our characters into those events.”