Vicky Pope on Savage

Posted Wednesday 02 Sep 2020


Producer Vicky Pope maintains her latest film Savage, released in New Zealand 10 September, is about compassion, despite its rather brutal title and violent trailer. Inspired by stories from New Zealand's boys' homes and the early history of our gangs, Savage follows Danny across three decades of his life, taking a deeper look at a boy who grows into the brutal enforcer of a gang, to understand how he got there.

"When we showed the film to a test screen of older women they actually responded to the emotional side of it, to the internal conversation that's going on within him. The trailer pushes the film to the younger male audience."

In development for eight years, Savage was written and directed by award-winning filmmaker Sam Kelly. Pope admits she struggled when asked if she'd be involved with the project.

"I'm Pakeha, I come from a privileged background, and I have no experience with [the subject matter]. My last film was about a gardening nun! So yes, it took me a while to figure out the kaupapa of the Savage. "

While the film is asking many people to understand what could be a completely different life experience to theirs, Pope says many of the wider cast said they had connections to the lifestyle in the film.

Pope hopes the film will raise awareness of the roots of gang culture and of the role of the state in it.
"[The film] is trying to talk beyond ethnicity, and say anyone thrown into those situations where systemic abuse occurred - well this is what happens."

She recalls getting a phone call from someone involved in New Zealand's Abuse in Care - Royal Commission of Inquiry who was "beside herself with joy that this film is out".

The film's release was delayed by Covid-19 restrictions, frustrating not only for Pope but also because so many people were waiting on it. Casting was a "massive" experience with a lot of community involvement.

"For a lot of people the film was a big life experience and more than anything I want the film to come out for them."

Savage is released in New Zealand cinemas on 3 September, 2020

Click here to watch the Savage trailer

Next Up...

Traditional content set to take a back seat to global digital offerings � NZOA research

Posted Wednesday 02 Sep 2020

2020 looks to be the year traditional media audiences are overtaken by digital media audiences, according to NZ On Air's Where Are The Audiences? 2020 research.

The findings make sobering reading, with the global digital giants both fragmenting audiences and overtaking most local platforms, with TVNZ 1 and TVNZ OnDemand the only local platforms to shine in this year's survey. The key findings include:

Total Linear TV audiences (Free-to-air and Pay TV) have continued to fall, but Free-to-air has remained stable.

Linear TV still has the longest time spent watching at 137 mins a day, but that has declined from 156 mins two years ago. (Possibly influenced in part by a lack of live sport during the survey period.)

Meanwhile time spent watching subscription video on demand (SVOD) has grown to 95 mins each day - the second most popular media in terms of time spent.

The most popular site, station or channel is now YouTube, pipping TVNZ 1.

TVNZ 2 and Three have both declined while TVNZ OnDemand continues to grow, now reaching one in five New Zealanders daily.

The group that has moved fastest away from linear TV is Asian New Zealanders - just 28% consume linear television today (cf 62% in 2014).

Most radio stations have declining daily reach and time spent listening to radio has dropped (RNZ National and Newstalk ZB were the only exceptions - possibly related to higher consumption of news due to COVID.)

The rapid change in the way New Zealanders consume music continues with 44% streaming music each day.

TVNZ news updates were the most widely used and trusted source of information during lockdown.

Online gaming has 36% daily reach overall but 53% in the 15-24 age group (measured for the first time).

The agency is planning a review of the content strategy for the children and youth audiences.

Click here to read the full NZOA report

Click here to view the NZOA Zoom presentation