This week at my new Radio New Zealand (sorry, RNZ) gig, we started posting some actual content.
First up we started our “Best of the web” feature, featuring links to interesting online articles about “what ‘cinematic’ means in relation to TV”, an essay about Spielberg and ‘fathers and sons’, and the origins of Del Toro’s Crimson Peak.
And this afternoon, I put up our “Best of the week” featuring a couple of articles about Daniel Craig as Bond, Andrew Todd on Andrzej Zulawski’s Possession, just in time for Halloween, and a fascinating article on how to get silent film frame rates right in the digital age.
As an added bonus, if you can name all the films and TV shows featured in the above clip, email the list to email@example.com and go into the draw to win a DVD prize pack featuring half a dozen of those included.
You can also contact us with suggestions and comments at the same address, or you can give us 140 character feedback at @WidescreenRNZ on Twitter.
As most of you probably know, back in May I decided that FishHead — Wellington’s best lifestyle magazine — and I had gone as far together as we were probably going to and I quit. There were no plans or other offers on the table but I had confidence that somehow the universe was going to provide. In my experience it usually does.
I was conscious that, despite the many pleasures of working on diverse stories about a city that I love, every minute I spent working on a fashion or recipe feature was time I couldn’t spend talking about movies and TV. I was feeling increasingly disconnected from the screen media and, even though Rancho Notorious was (and is) a whole bunch of fun to do, it was increasingly relegated to a spare time hobby rather than the mission that I imagined it could be.
Reviewing for Nine to Noon every fortnight is fun — and challenging broadcasting — but reviewing three films in 12 minutes can sometimes feel unsatisfying. I also really missed writing. I would read some of the stuff being produced by my contemporaries and feel left behind. There was an itch and no time for me to scratch it.
Sure enough, the universe came through.
In the same week that I announced I was leaving FishHead I got a call from Christian Penny, director of Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School, asking if I’d be keen on a short contract looking after their marketing and communications. That three months has been tremendously stimulating and I am learning heaps, so much so that when the offer came to stick around on a permanent basis I jumped at the chance. At some point I will write up my thoughts about what how my Toi Whakaari experience is growing me as a professional, and as a person, but it deserves a post of its own and will have to wait.
At the same time as Toi came calling, I was approached by Radio New Zealand to discuss ways we could work together to improve their online coverage of film and television. Those discussions were, shall we say, productive and today I signed my letter of offer to join the staff of RNZ on 14 September as Features Producer — Audio/Visual.
A complicated, exciting, busy future awaits. Half my time I’ll be managing communications for Toi Whakaari. The other half of my time I’ll be producing content for RNZ’s digital platform on the topics of film (theatrical, direct-to-video, new, old, whatever takes my fancy) and television (narrative TV rather than reality TV; boxed set reviews rather than media commentary). That content is going to take the form of audio, video, written features and a podcast which I hope is as close to your heart as it is to mine.
Yes, Rancho Notorious (or something very similar) is coming to RNZ — the naughty stepchild of Radio New Zealand screen coverage. With Kailey.
We’re not sure exactly how much of what we are going to try is actually going to work. I’ve been asked to innovate and the only way we can really do that is by trying stuff and seeing how audiences react.
There’s so much that I am looking forward to, not least working with At the Movies’ Simon Morris to grow the reach of RNZ’s film programming and try things online that there’s no room for in a broadcast schedule.
And after years of pushing Funerals & Snakes and Rancho Notorious (almost) singlehanded at the same time as working competing day jobs, I am really looking forward to working with the RNZ digital and community engagement teams to generate some attention for the material we will be producing. Oh, and using the power of RNZ to get some cool guests for Rancho and other features.
I have always wanted to work for Radio New Zealand. The week I arrived in Wellington in 1986 I cold-called someone at Broadcasting House asking about internships! Arriving at the organisation now, while there is so much change and so much potential, is a massive thrill and a huge opportunity.
Dan Slevin is a New Zealand-based writer, broadcaster, editor and consultant. He was cinema reviewer for the Capital Times weekly newspaper from September 2006 until its demise in April 2013, seeing and reviewing every film commercially released in Wellington in that time (except, for some reason, Flicka or Beverly Hills Chihuahua).
Dan is a regular contributor to Radio New Zealand National’s Nine to Noon programme, produced and co-hosted the movie podcast, Cinematica, once edited Wellington’s premier lifestyle magazine, FishHead, and now co-hosts and co-produces Rancho Notorious, a podcast about movies and other cool stuff.
In addition to being the finest swordsman in all France, he is also the meanest hombre west of the Pecos. He tweets here.
Why Funerals & Snakes? In Jean-Luc Godard’s Contempt (Le Mépris; 1963), Fritz Lang said of CinemaScope: “It’s only good for funerals and snakes.”
Reviews by Mail
Sign up here to receive a weekly movie review bulletin straight to your inbox.