Accolades for Southland filmmakers

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Members of Southland's Super Furious Ninja Dragon cast and production team, including director Matt Inns (second from left), sound design Nick McGrath (fourth from left), cinematographer James Wilkinson (second from right) and producer Steve Woller (far right). Photo: Supplied

SOUTHLAND filmmakers Super Furious Ninja Dragon’s short film Office Fighter took out two awards at the HP48Hours Film Competition grand final in Auckland last Saturday.

Super Furious Ninja Dragon’s Nick McGrath won the Best Sound Design category and producer/art direction Steve Woller won Best Production Design.

The team was also a finalist in the Best Use of Door Slam category.

“It was great to be able to get something on the national stage,” Woller said.

Super Furious Ninja Dragon made the final after winning the same categories in the HP48Hours Dunedin regional final last month. The team also received one of three wildcard entries into the national final in the overall top film category, the second year in a row the Southland filmmakers had received a wild card nomination.

“This year we really pushed the limits of what we could do in the time required and I feel like everyone did really amazing work just getting the film completed on time. To be nominated on top of it is testament to the skills of the crew.”

Woller attributed the group’s success to hard work and having a really good team.

“They are an awesome bunch of people to work with. They are multi-talented and cover the spectrum of [filmmaking skills].”

The work of digital background artist Vicky Rae Schmidt, cinematographer James Wilkinson and director Matt Inns in creating the fight scenes also contributed to the film’s success, he said.

“The quality of that and the way that the team worked together gave the film a strong foundation, added a lot to the production value and got everyone excited about it.”

HP48Hours is a New Zealand guerrilla filmmaking competition in which filmmakers make a short film which must be written, shot and edited within a designated 48-hour period.

Filmmakers don’t know what genre or what elements must be included in the film they will be shooting until the start of the competition.

The genre for this year’s competition was splatstick, blending slapstick style comedy with splatfest blood and gore-filled horror.

Super Furious Ninja Dragon’s entry Office Fighter is an office drama in which each time a character is faced with an office stressor the shot reverts to an old-school blood and gore fighting game.

The team of 15 to 20 involved in the film consisted mainly of past and present students of the Southern Institute of Technology.

Woller said the team appreciated the support from sponsors and the organisers of HP48Hours for providing a great opportunity for people to make short films.

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