Show of Hands was filmed in New Plymouth, New Zealand, during November and December of 2007. Originally set in urban Lower Hutt, Wellington where the World Record contest was actually won, a chance cup of coffee with Venture Taranaki Film representative Peter Avery, changed all of this. He offered an array of incentives and infrastructure support from Venture Taranaki and the New Plymouth District Council to film in New Plymouth. Although at first filming in New Plymouth didn’t make sense, the impressive benefits and willingness to accommodate our filming needs outweighed any negatives.

The film was conceived under the low budget Signature Film scheme which was financed by the New Zealand Film Commission, TVNZ and NZ on Air and was initially funded for television broadcast. The onus was on us therefore to find extra funding for theatrical distribution. In order to do this we needed to secure some great cast. We approached NZ actor Melanie Lynskey, currently based in LA and starring in the US top rating sitcom “Two and a Half Men”. Melanie was very keen to be involved and even filmed her own audition in LA. She sent the tape to us because we couldn’t afford to fly her over for one. We were rapt to have her on board, especially when what we were offering to pay her was a fraction of what she normally earned. She was the complete opposite of a prima donna. She was always professional, had an amazing work ethic and coped tremendously with the high pressured fast turnaround nature of low budget filmmaking.   Filming took place over 24 days; however in reality it should have taken 35 days. Shooting on the HD Thomson Viper camera enabled us to have a second camera most of the time. In fact we shot 20 days off a second camera. We needed to as Anthony had presented us with a 1000 shot storyboard.The camera team was hugely experienced, from DOP John Cavill down, and at times we averaged over 40 set-ups a day which is nearly double the norm.
The shoot was ambitious and proved as sleepless as the contest we were depicting. Shooting HD offered the chance to work faster and go where film might not have allowed us to go. As the contestants tired and even started to hallucinate in some cases, the language of the film itself began to slip, fragment, distort and deceive, so HD gave us more flexibility to really go on that complex and visually intense ride with them.

Technical Info: 
Colour, 35mm, 2:25.1
Production Year: 
Production Company: 
Great Southern Films
Sales Agent: 
NZ Film

Key Roles

Exec. Producer

Key Crew

John Gilbert
Director of Photography
John Cavill
Don McGlashan
Sound Designer
Tim Prebble