Ex-pats film novel Land Rover tour
01 Oct 2009
An aged Land Rover lumbering over a rugged farm track with a yapping sheepdog on the back is a familiar sight in New Zealand but that image is being given a new twist by a couple of intrepid ex-pats.
Rather than farm tracks, Kevin Double from Colchester in England and Rich Castillo from Calgary, Canada, will be heading down main highways and instead of carrying dogs their cargo will be camera equipment and luggage.
They’re embarking on a journey from the top of the North Island to the bottom of the South in a 1962 Land Rover called ‘Rebecca’ on a mission that will hopefully produce an international film for the big screen - all because of a recession-based redundancy.
The two friends decided on the unusual journey when 35-year-old Double was made redundant from his IT job in Wellington.
He moved to New Zealand two years ago when a friend "raved about it" and was seeking a better lifestyle as well as a change from his safe Essex existence in the UK.
Deciding to turn the redundancy into something positive and use the unscheduled time off, Double bought Rebecca the Land Rover and decided to pursue a dream of combining a New Zealand adventure with his other passion - producing videos.
Now he’s teamed up with experienced film maker 36-year-old Rich Castillo from Calgary and with an assistant will this week set off from Cape Reinga at the tip of the North Island to journey south.
The idea is to capture the New Zealand people and environment on film from the novel perspective of Rebecca the Land Rover and her crew.
Double says they’ll be looking for real New Zealanders, local heroes, craftspeople, grandparents, mothers, fathers, farmers, kids - capturing everyday people on camera telling otherwise untold stories.
With no fixed plans they will rely on locals and people they meet to point them in the next direction.
"We have confidence in the adage that New Zealand is a small and friendly place, and this will be integral to our film," says Kevin.
The group has just 40 days to make the trip - the deadline being set by an important date - Castillo is due back in Wellington for his honeymoon, which he delayed to take part in the Land Rover film journey.
He’s been in New Zealand just seven months having moved here in support of his Kiwi wife’s job and to pursue his love for New Zealand and rock climbing.
Castillo had a film company in Canada and last year made a film in New Zealand about the best rock climbing spots in Castle Hill, Canterbury.
The Land Rover journey will not register on the luxury scale - the group will be camping and the old vehicle has hard, uncomfortable seating. Passengers will have to wear ear protection and they’ll need to cover 100 kms per day to ensure the honeymoon deadline is met.
They say the success of the trip will depend on the health of the 47 year old Land Rover - more used to short field trips rather than long haul travel.
"The landie really is an icon of New Zealand's farming industry and rural life. It's been important to many a New Zealander. She is as much a part of the film as the people and environment we will be capturing," said Double.
Double says he’ll be posting regular progress on Twitter and Facebook and has set up an official website, kiwi2x2.com. He says they’re hoping people will check out if the Land Rover is coming to a town near them and if so, share stories and be part of the adventure.
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