So happy to finally be set up in my new studio at the Nautilus Creative Space in Ōwhiro Bay.
Though it was a heart wrenching mission discarding heaps of my old props and set dressing items from my storage locker in Newtown, its been great to shed some weight out of my life and make way for new possibilities.
It's cool to be part of a multi disciplined artistic collective and I look forward to the creative collaborations ahead.
If anyone needs any old books, lamps or curtains for an upcoming production give me a bell!
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.
I have been involved with the Black Sheep Animal Sanctuary since its formation back in 2007, and my role within the sanctuary group has predominantly been as the media person / designer. I’ve always enjoyed visiting the sanctuary and taking photographs of all the animals that reside there, so it was a natural progression for me as a video maker to make a documentary about the sanctuary. This video about the goats is a short except from what will eventually be a longer documentary about the sanctuary.
People always say not to make films with kids and animals, so making a documentary on an animal sanctuary definitely put that theory to the test! Between roosters crowing and goats attempting to eat the cables leading to the camera, trying to get a good interview in the can certainly had its challenges.
The goats were a mischievous bunch of characters to film – I definitely had a number of behind the scenes butt bunts to contend with. But despite their naughtiness, they were always keen to be a part of what was going on and willing to put on a show for the camera so I really enjoyed filming them.
The Black Sheep Animal Sanctuary is a safe and sustainable space to rehabilitate and re-home abused, injured, and neglected animals. Located in the Ōtaki forks, an hour’s drive north of Wellington, New Zealand, the sanctuary is home to around 200 animals as well as four live in caretakers.
I think it’s so important that places like the Black Sheep Animal Sanctuary exist so that animals in need can live out their lives free from abuse and exploitation. It takes a lot of hard work and monetary input to care for all of these animals, so I hope that through promoting the great work that the sanctuary is doing, funds can be raised to keep the animal residents happy and healthy for the rest of their natural lives.
Check out The Black Sheep Animal Sanctuary website I have been updating and help support the goats at the Black Sheep Animal Sanctuary.