Julia Parnell on Six60: Til The Lights Go Out

Posted Wednesday 11 Nov 2020

If you're a filmmaker, you may be familiar with this story. The one where the crew is booked, the equipment is signed for, the talent is primed  - you're just waiting on the money to pay for it all.

Notable Pictures founder Julia Parnell can laugh now but her situation was "very stressful" to say the least. She'd committed to $50,000-odd worth of camera equipment and a shoot which could not be postponed because it was a live event.

"The funding was committed, but it wasn't until the day of the shoot that it actually came though. It was a very stressful week!"

The shoot was the Six60 concert at Auckland's Western Springs, and Parnell's film, Six60: Til The Lights Go Out is about the band's journey from humble beginnings to becoming the first and only Kiwi act to headline New Zealand's biggest stadium. It will be released in New Zealand cinemas on 26 November.

Parnell met the band while making the series Anthems: New Zealand's Iconic Hits for Prime.

Parnell says the concert at Western Springs (the biggest for a Kiwi band in New Zealand history) was originally going to be the climax of the film, but that changed.

"When Six60 came in for their interview I was aware of how massive they were. We found they really wanted to talk about their story, the challenges of success and their relationships with each other. There was a sense that they wanted to share on a big scale."

In the end the concert was part of the story in the end, not The Story.

Parnell is an expert at finding and telling the deeper, emotional story behind musicians and their music. Her 2019 documentary The Chills: The Triumph and Tragedy of Martin Phillipps charts the frontman's turbulent descent into debt, drug addiction and a near-fatal disease.

She does a lot of prep so she can keep digging for more of the story, but agrees it's rare for a group of 30-year-old Kiwi males to be happy to share their feelings so publicly.

"They agreed to trust me, to allow me into their inner circle. They made themselves vulnerable. And there's lots of discussion about their past mistakes, their flaws and especially how they feel about each other."

And, the band had no creative sign-off on the film.

Filming wrapped a week before lockdown in March, and the original release date of April was postponed until October, and then 26 November. The team included Nicola Peeperkorn, and assistant directors Corinna Hunziker and Nikki Castle.

Department of Post took care of post-production.

Parnell is now working on another series of Anthems, and the third series of Arranged, along with Loading Docs 2021.

Click here to watch the trailer

See our item below for ticket info