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30 APRIL 2011

Annie Collins on her 30 year career cutting New Zealand films

"Editor Annie Collins has worked with some of New Zealand's most provocative directors, including Barry Barclay (The Neglected Miracle), and Merata Mita (Patu!) over a 30 year editing career. Collins has also edited key feature films, (Scarfies, Out of the Blue) and was part of the editing team on Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings.

NZ On Screen's Clare O'Leary visits Collins at her home and Collins reflects on:

Her beginnings in the industry and being convinced by producer Pat Cox to shelve her design training and become an editor.

What she requires of directors ('that they've done their homework!')

Cutting Patu! with Merata Mita: evading the police and becoming conscious of the Springbok Tour Protests' relevance to New Zealand history and realising the (different) echoes it had for Mita as a Māori filmmaker.

Working with director Robert Sarkies on Scarfies and Out of the Blue

The four and a half years she spent working on the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the realisation that despite the 'profound experience' of working on such a massive scale project that she needed to get back to New Zealand stories.

Her consciousness of the power of the edit: 'it takes about five seconds for you to destroy somebody in a cut, or edit, on national TV.'

The ethics of story–telling: the need for the people who are involved in a documentary (or a story where the subjects are still alive) to follow 'good process' and the importance of 'clarity of mind and heart.'"

(Clare O'Leary, 12 February 2009, NZ On Screen)

Fig.1 direction and Interview – Clare O'Leary, camera and editing – Leo Guerchmann

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TAGS

1981 Springbok rugby tourAnnie CollinsAotearoa New ZealandAramoana • Barry Barclay • creative practicedesign trainingdocumentaryethics • film directors • film editorfilm industryfilmmaking • Graeme Tuckets • historyLord of the RingsMaoriMerata MitaNew Zealand cinemaNew Zealand filmmaker • New Zealand history • New Zealand on Screen • New Zealand stories • NZ On Screen • Out of the Blue • Pat Cox • Patu!Peter Jacksonpost productionRobert Sarkies • Ruby & Rata • Scarfies • Springbok Tour • storytelling • Ted Coubray • The Neglected Miracle • women in film

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
07 FEBRUARY 2009

Patu!: documenting the actions of the NZ anti-apartheid movement during the 1981 Springbok rugby tour

"Merata Mita's Patu! is a remarkable protest story told in the face of adversity, and a monument to a time when New Zealand was torn in two by the 1981 Springbok rugby tour. You were either for or against. And Patu!, with its highly–charged images of violent clashes between police and anti–tour marchers, is firmly sided with the later. It is passionate, activist film–making at its most compelling.

The Springbok rugby tour to New Zealand was seen by some as endorsement of South Africa's separatist government. When the New Zealand Rugby Football Union and the NZ government ignored calls to cancel the tour, the NZ anti–apartheid movement planned peaceful protest marches to attempt to sway the government's decision.
...
Once the tour started, sports grounds and suburban streets became battlefields, as clashes escalated between police and the highly–mobilised protesters. Filmed over the winter of 1981, several camera operators (including industry heavyweights) contributed their time free of charge and became foreign correspondents in their own country, capturing on–the–run footage of the tour clashes.
...
Due to the mass of cinema verite style footage, Mita and editor Annie Collins had to examine many hours of footage, collected from several different sources (including 16 field camera operators). But the effort pays off.
...
The completed film, now 110 minutes long, was a record of heroism for the liberal left in New Zealand. For many young people taking to the streets, it was their 1968. Māori and Pākehā, children and grandparents, gang members and clergymen, in a moment of rare consensus, stood together to affirm shared values. Patu! was also a morale booster for the African National Congress.
...
Patu! is a landmark in New Zealand's film history."
(Mihi Murray, 30.08.2008)

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TAGS

19811981 Springbok rugby tour • African National Congress • Amandla • Amandla Ngawethu • ANC • Annie Collins • anti-apartheid • Aotearoa New Zealandapartheidcivil libertiesdirect cinemadocumentary filmhistoryMaoriMerata MitaNational (political party) • New Zealand Rugby Football Union • NZ On Screen • NZRU • PakehaPatu! • PR24 Control Baton • protestracismrugbySouth Africawomen in film

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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