October 2005: Sophie Moleta, Streetwise Scarlet, Tha Feelstyle, The Phoenix Foundation, The Sneaks, Tyna & JB

Best use of $5000 video funding ever, a punk house, petrol crimes, at the movies with the boys, and an ode to a girl.

Sophie Moleta “Te Atawhai”

This is unlike anything I’ve come across so far. Sophie has a delicate, semi-spoken way of singing and the song is a simple, poem-like ode to a girl named Te Atawhai. The video is just as simple – a combination of photos, home video and footage of Sophie performing the song. It’s so unlike the kind of songs that typically get NZ On Air funding. It was the only song by Sophie Moleta to be funded, but I’m glad it was.

Streetwise Scarlet “Don’t Say I’m Easy”

Punk-pop band Streetwise Scarlet featured drummer Scotty Rocker, who would soon star in the best New Zealand television programme of the ’00s – Treasure Island: Couples at War. “Don’t Say I’m Easy” is a surprisingly heartfelt song, delivered by the band playing in an old house (is this that legendary punk house in Parnell?) Looking on is Dave from Elemeno P, like a punk-pop elder passing the torch to the next generation.

Director: Jonathan Gerard
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Tha Feelstyle featuring Mareko, Flowz & Lapi Mariner “I Do Believe”

This was the theme song from Sione’s Wedding (directed by frequent music video maker Chris Graham), but I’m not sure if it ended up having NZ On Air funding (maybe not, because it’s kind of a trailer for the film). The video is set in a cinema where the song performers and the main cast of the film are assembled to watch themselves. The most authentic New Zealand touch – there’s a shot of the credits rolling at the end of the film, a vital part of seeing a New Zealand-made film. Hey, I know him!

Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

The Phoenix Foundation “Hitchcock”

The amazing animation of “Hitchcock” takes place in a dystopian world suffering from “petrol crime”. The solution is the “electric petrol cars”, which have a fast and wobbly but precise style of hooning. We get to know their ability before a rogue pickup truck turns up and has to be chased to a very apt conclusion.

Director: Reuben Sutherland
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

The Sneaks “I’m Lame”

Well, this is meta. The premise of the “I’m Lame” video is that The Sneaks have taken their $5000 NZ On Air music video grant, gone to Ellerslie and put it on a horse. And it’s a real bet, complete with a close-up of the betting receipt. They win (!) and spend their takings on a proper music video finale, starring fancy dress and massive fireworks. The first part of the vid is proof that you don’t need $5000 to make a good video as long as you have a good story, the second part, though, is proof that money does help with making things a bit more interesting.

Director: James Barr

Tyna & JB “High Noon” – missing

Tyna from the Dubious Bros teamed up with Wellington pal JB and released that album Unbreakable. “High Noon” was one of the singles. The video was made by Offramp Productions.

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