Navigation for Standing Room Only


12:15 LOTR flies overseas 

On Friday morning workers on Amazon's Lord of the Rings streaming series were informed that future seasons of the show would not be shot in New Zealand. Amazon is moving future production to the UK where they already make several other series. it's difficult news for crews as more than 1200 people were employed in New Zealand on season one of the series. To find out how pivotal this decision might be for kiwi crews Lynn speaks to the President of the Screen Industry Guild of Aotearoa and Director of the Film Effects Company Brendon Durey.

The first image from Amazon's new Lord of the Rings TV series filmed in New Zealand.

The first image from Amazon's new Lord of the Rings TV series filmed in New Zealand. Photo: Supplied / Amazon

12:30 Designing a killer book cover 

Aotearoa is experiencing somewhat of a publishing boom, and a big part of that is how well designed the book covers are. It turns out maybe you can judge a book by its cover. The Publisher's Association New Zealand Awards for 2021 are coming up on September the 23rd and there a bevy of beautiful books nominated on the shortlist. 

Te Kani Price is the in house designer at Huia Books and has been nominated for his work on two books nominated for best Education book and series. 

Gideon Keith is a designer for digital agency Seven and has been nominated for best cover for his work on the The New New Zealand: Facing demographic disruption by Paul Spoonley, published by Massey University Press

And Time Denee is also up for the award for best cover with his work on Agency of Hope: The story of the Auckland City Mission 1920-2020 by Peter Lineham,  also published by Massey University Press. 

12:45 A history of riot in Aotearoa 

The overlooked stories of the emigrant labourers who in 1843 rose up against the New Zealand Company in Nelson, are now finally told in a new book by writer and social historian Jared Davidson. 

The History of A Riot offers us a microhistory of an pivotal event, but one that's been obscured by the tales of the region's hardy pioneers. Jared's researched the terrible working conditions of more than 70 gang-men and their wives, who'd faced and risen up against similar class discrimination back home in the UK.

No caption

Photo: BWB

1:10 At The Movies

Dan Slevin is filling in for Simon Morris and watches three new movies in cinemas. He reviews the R-rated comic book caper The Suicide Squad; Coming Home in the Dark, a dark drama based on the short story by Owen Marshall; and The Mole Agent, an Academy Award nominated documentary from Chile about a octogenarian investigator under cover in a retirement home.

No caption

Photo: Jessica Miglio/DC Comics/Warner Bros. Pictures

1:33 Vasanti Unka​ - illustrator extraordinaire

No caption

Photo: Vasanti Unka

"Riotously colourful and the creator of immersive worlds that inspire imagination" is how the judges of this year's Mallinson Rendel Illustrators Award describe the winner, new Arts Laureate Vasanti Unka. 

The Tāmaki Makaurau based designer, writer and illustrator has had a big year - her picture book I Am the Universe recently won the 2021 NZ Booklovers Award for Best Children's Book. She's also won Awards for The Boring Book, Stripes! No, Spots and Who Stole the Rainbow?

While she's illustrated for children's authors including Kyle Mewburn's multi-award winning book Hill & Hole, she's now focussed on both writing and illustrating her own books.

1:50 A bird's eye view of Otakou

Photographing Central Otago landscapes from the air offer a whole new perspective on the impact activities like mining, roadworks and hydro electricity have had on this unique part of Aotearoa. Bruce Foster's aerial images reveal land that has been scraped, scarred and indented over decades - often they look like they're of a barren planet like Mars.

You can see his work as part of the Auckland Festival of Photography's Postcards to New Zealand youtube series which launched this week. Bruce lives in Wellington but was able to film in Central when his partner, writer Kate De Goldi, took up a residency at  Henderson House in Alexandra in 2019.

2:06 The Laugh Track - Conor Dunbar 

Our picker of the comedy today is producer and director Conor Dunbar from Tāmaki Makaurau. He runs a new space in St Kevin's Arcade called The Vault. His picks include Clarke & Dawe, Rory Scovel, Mitchell & Webb and Sean Lock. 

No caption

Photo: Conor Dunbar

2:25 Morgana O'Reilly: Stories About My Body 

Actor and now also playwright Morgana O'Reilly is exploring her love/hate relationship with her self styled Mum bod in her new play Stories About My Body. But Morgana really wants to have some fun at her own expense and encourage people to look in the mirror and love themselves a little more. She came across her Form 2 diaries that documented how much she hated puberty, around the same time she was coming to terms with her adult body entering a 'new chapter' after she'd had two babies.

No caption

Photo: Morgana O'Reilly

2:40 Rosetta Allen on "crazy love" 

Rosetta Allan believes very strongly in writing about what you know, even if that means sharing aspects of your life that are deeply personal and involve those you love. In her new novel Crazy Love, Rosetta tells her own unconventional love story, though using different names, with the permission of her partner who is bipolar. 

She wrote the novel while holding the Creative NZ/University of Waikato Writer in Residence. She was also the first New Zealand writer in residence at the St Petersburg Art Residency in Russia. Rosetta also has two volumes of poetry to her name, 'Little Rock', and 'Over Lunch', and two other novels 'Purgatory' and 'The Unreliable People'. 

No caption

Photo: Penguin Random House

2:49 Bronwen Newbury: Falling Light 

Waiheke Island is a different world to paint for its visiting Australian artist in residence Bronwen Newbury. Instead of the reds, yellows, oranges and purples she often uses in her paintings back home, she's been using a lot of greens, browns, blacks and greys in her paintings of the island and its sea views. The Waiheke Community Art Gallery runs the residency and once a week people are invited into the artist's space to see them at work.

Bronwen is getting ready for her exhibition Falling Light  - while working on her paintings she heard that she'd won Australia's Cossack Art Award this year for one of her landscapes.

3:06 Drama at 3 - Jean & Richard 

Today's drama is Jean and Richard by Mervyn Thompson.

Richard William Pearse, a Canterbury farmer who lived from 1877 to 1953, is claimed by some to have flown nearly two years before the Wright Brothers. Pearse was certainly a mechanical genius, far ahead of his time. But he was ridiculed by his community and became a dour and reclusive man. "Jean" Gardner Batten lived from 1909 to 1982 and was a world famous aviatrix by her early 20's. She was probably the most famous New Zealander of the '30's but at the height of her fame, she slipped from public view and lived most of her life abroad, making only rare visits to New Zealand.  Her pauper's grave in Majorca was not discovered until 1987.

We know little about Batten and Pearse's lives, but that  enabled playwright Mervyn Thompson to create a fantasy about two of New Zealand's most colourful and enigmatic characters.