Special Release Films 2016


We catch up with Trevor Dennis of Blenheim to talk about film-making and his documentary ‘Marlborough A&P Show 2015’. Trevor is a very enthusiastic photographer/filmmaker and an active member of a variety of groups in Marlborough, including the Top of the South Film Production Society.

When did you start making films?
I did three years media studies about 40 years ago, and belonged to the Westcliff Film & Video Club (now called the South Essex Film Makers). I was involved in two big projects (Willing Partners, and Time & Time Again) the first in charge of lighting, and the second as Assistant Director. I also made most of the props and did the artwork and storyboards. Both films won International Film Festival prizes. I eventually became disillusioned with the club when it became apparent that some the crew were worse luvvies with bigger egos than the talent. I still have a time machine, I made for the second film, sitting on my book shelf.

What inspired you to make a documentary about the Marlborough A&P Show?
I’ve worked as a photographer covering events like the A&P Show, Multicultural Festival, Marlborough4Fun etc. for the last ten years, and asked if I could do video instead of stills in 2015. They said yes.

Which elements of film-making are you most passionate about and why?
Pretty much all of it, but my passion and main skill, is the creation of computer graphics. My focus continues to move away from photography as the years go by, and I now mostly do illustration.

What are some of your favorite films?
Once Upon a Time in the West’ — that long crane shot at the station sends shivers up my spine every time I see it. ‘Three Days of the Condor’ — it looks a bit dated now, but Robert Redford was so cool in it, and Max von Sydow’s understated portrayal of an assassin easily passes the test of time. Am I allowed to say the Spaghetti Westerns? ‘The Good the Bad and the Ugly’ especially.

What do you love most about the Top of the South region?
I visited New Zealand four times for holidays before being lucky enough to get residency, and I have to admit not much liking Blenheim, but I never got off SH1 and SH6. When I stopped and visited the town center, I discovered how beautiful it was, and people recognized me for a tourist, and stopped to talk and tell me about the town. I later realized that every time I drove over Weld Pass heading north, or come round that long left bend over the railway coming south on SH1 from Picton, or when entering the Wairau plain via SH6 from Havelock, the world suddenly became brighter. It’s more than the sunny weather. It’s uplifting entering the valley, and it still makes me feel good every time I enter the valley after being away.

Tell us about some of your other interests?
I am the Secretary of the Blenheim Menz Shed, ex president of the Camera Club, and ex chair of Marlborough Citizens Advice. I have been on the Board of Volunteer Marlborough and Community Law Center, and did six years on the COGs funding committee. Every time I try and draw back from anything to give me more time to devote to my own projects, something else seems to fill the gap.

What’s next for Trevor Dennis?
I am an Adobe Community Professional, and I was proud to be asked to go to Adobe MAX in San Diego this year to assist my all-time Photoshop hero Bert Monroy. I keep telling myself I will take time to learn some of the other programs Adobe give me as an ACP, but I can’t drag myself away from Photoshop long enough to make that happen.