David Whittet Films Blog
Independent New Zealand Film Production

The Serpent of Lake Wakatipu is about to strike!

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The serpent of Lake Wakatipu is about to strike as Max and the Monster heads into production!

A recent recce in Queenstown, for a short film Max and the Monster, has proved a welcome relief from the intense work on the Amiri & Aroha novel and pre-production on Hīkoi.
A long cherished project, Max and the Monster was born out of a pitch I made for the 100% Pure New Zealand campaign back in 2009. The concept was for a three minute film to promote New Zealand as the youngest country on Earth.
Max and the Monster is the story of an arrogant, unprincipled American film director who is in New Zealand to front the Tourism Board’s latest ad campaign. Max has persuaded the board to have a loveable monster fronting the campaign, Aramoana, the serpent of Lake Wakatipu. But when the monster becomes more aggressive and less loveable, the trouble begins… The film is a comedy with a serious edge; Max has an apocalyptic life changing experience on the shores of Lake Wakatipu.
Amiri & Aroha then took over and Max and the Monster went onto the back burner. The time feels right to resurrect the project. After the rigours of the trilogy, a short film is particularly appealing. Especially if sales of the film help to finance Hīkoi!

Calling all budding singer-songwriters!

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I am looking for a talented musician to write a song to promote Hīkoi!
Hīkoi is my new film project, a gritty New Zealand drama inspired by the child poverty debate. I am planning a music video to promote the project and the song will also feature prominently on the film’s soundtrack.
Ideally, I am looking for a song in the style of Streets of London, with an urban New Zealand setting. The lyrics should convey vignettes reflecting child poverty and related issues including unemployment and Māori health inequalities.
This could be an amazing opportunity for an up and coming musician/singer-song writer. My previous films have won numerous awards on the international film festival circuit and music from these films has been acknowledged at the Global Music Awards.
If you are interested, I would love to hear from you. If you know someone who is waiting for their big break in the music industry, please forward this post to them!

Inspiration form the Child Poverty Debate - My Next Project Hīkoi

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Child poverty was a major issue in the recent New Zealand general election and watching some of the political debates stirred memories of a script I wrote some years back. Updated with an urban Māori setting, Hīkoi promises to be a gritty, hard hitting drama with an important message.


With the completion of the Amiri & Aroha trilogy, my thoughts have been turning to my next project. Whilst my publishers constantly remind me that I need to get to work on the novelisation of Amiri & Aroha, film making is so deeply engrained in my DNA that I a get very restless when I am without a film project.
Under the working title Hīkoi, my next film will be an emotive and uncompromising look at some profoundly troubling issues, wrapped up in a deeply affecting story.