Not even the '81 Tour compares with this riding roughshod over so many people. We are tired, but not so tired that we want this flattening to go unanswered.
There speaks a writer, that writerly concern for the core of the story just seems to be missing from Hope and Wire . What on earth is it all about?
Although the quakes were the death-knell for an already terminal acting career, I can never shake the feeling that I’m only ever one job away from a return to earning a crust. So even though I’m deeply absorbed in new activities that have become radically life altering, in the ill-wind sense, I wanted at least a look-in at the auditions. No such luck. On the evidence of last night there was only ever going to be day rates for Christchurch actors anyway, and we’re used to the South being a scenic backdrop for overseas and Auckland based actors in the leads. I did half a day as an unpaid extra, and as an experienced actor with thirty years in the biz, I knew how to work the unit, so I at least got fed and watered for my time.
A lot of local professional film crew were passed over for work, and I think that was extremely poor, especially when Ms Preston is well aware of the positive economic effect for local film when this is observed: Perfect Strangers is the example I’m thinking of. So for all practical purposes, Hope and Wire was like an overseas production using Christchurch as a location, only with much less local involvement than that. We produce great entertainment in New Zealand. I saw the best comedy I’ve ever seen last weekend, made by people who are mavericks in this business that is moribund in the mediocre: have a guess.
Hope and Wire may be many things, but a show with subtext, real characters, a sense that there is something in jeopardy, or much verisimilitude it is not. It’s a great job of editing and filming, however there is little heart, and obviously from the paucity of local input, there is much less emotional investment. I found it frustrating to watch perfectly competent actors emoting instead of engaging with the inner lives of actual characters. I put that down to a dull script, lack of rehearsal and direction that looks like the actors didn’t know from one shot to the next what it was they are meant to be conveying. It may have been intended as a postcard to Auckland, but it reads more like a txt frm a 1990s Nokia.