In late 2018 / early 2019 I did the Production design for the feature film REUNION. This film is now about to be released in cinemas on November the 5th 2020. The location we utilised for the film was Balgownie house and, though the film was set in present day, we redeorated the house to resemble more closely it's former years. It was a stunning historical place to work within and I feel proud to have contributed to a moment in time upon it's walls.
Check out the trailer and watch the full release at a theatre near you or online when possible.
My wonderful assistant Philip Gibson and I painting some of the old pressed tin we found up in the attic.
This year has been a very busy year, with the Production Design of three Feature films under my belt and a smattering of other more minor art departments roles slipped in between.
Rolling over from the year before saw the odd but beautiful feature film REUNION completed. Then straight into some set dressing on the Feature film Low Down Dirty Criminals and Maori televisions's Colonial Combat Season 2. A short break and then a painting stint on Avatar, followed by a fantastic holiday in Tasmania attending the Dark MOFO Festival – which I can thoroughly recommend. Then back into the Production Design of the road movie feature thriller COMING HOME IN THE DARK with a slight cross over into the next feature Production Design for the lovely film COUSINS, based on the Patricia Grace novel of the same name.
It's been a blast, I've learnt a lot. I can't wait to see all the films!
Patricia Graces book Cousins was orignally published 1992 and the recent screen play for this film has been written by Briar Grace-Smith and Patricia Grace.
Cousins is the story of Mata, raised by a cruel guardian who keeps her from her family, Makareta, the reluctant princess of her tribe, and Missy, overlooked but in the end the glue that holds them together. Three cousins, once thrown together and as women grown apart, ultimately sharing a connection that can never be broken.
Co-Directors Ainsley Gardener and Briar Grace-Smith guided our lovely crew through the world of Cousins, from the 1950s to the present day, from the remote streams of Aotearoa to the bustling life of our capital city.
My role was Production Designer and I feel so incredibly grateful and privledged to have had the opportunity to help bring this touching story of three Wāhine Toa to the big screen. I look forward to sharing images from the film once it has been release.
It was an absolute joy doing the production design for the Maori Television series Takes A Village.
Shot on location in Taita, my trusty assistant Kara Bull and I, turned the local rock'n'roll dance hall into the colourful and creative Whara Bay Community Centre.
Though not the flashest set I've ever created, the space became a homely hub and an entertaining base for the cast and crew for the duration of the shoot, where many laughs were shared over games of ping pong and new friends were made.
Starting each and every day with a karakia and waiata was a refreshing and galvanising change to the shoot day that I will remember and cherish.
Check out this crack up comedy on line
The show runs from the 22 July to the 22 of September, so go and check it out if you are in Wellington. You can see more about this show and Michaela's other works on her website www.mbstoneman.com
I have recently designed a logo for Manawa Karioi, a Wellington based restoration project in Island Bay. The project started in 1990 and the first seedlings were planted in 1991. Twenty five years later the land beside Tapu te Ranga Marae is now flourishing with native flora and fauna.
Nikau Palms have been planted at the entrance ways to the Manawa Karioi reserve to greet new visitors, it is for this reason that the Nikau was chosen for the logo.
A friend of mine, Ross Gardener, has been involved with the project since it's infancy. Watch a video about his involvement with Manawa Karioi on their spanky new website www.manawakarioi.nz. The video was shot and edited by a friend of mine Vanessa Patea, who also created their new website.