Six Dollar Fifty Man

Mark and Louis

How did you get into directing?
I started at Arts school and Louis started at a local cable TV station where we grew up. A coastal town called Kapiti in New Zealand.

What is your most recent project?
We are writing a feature film about a boy who runs away from home and joins a shoplifting gang led by a 50-year-old man. It’s based on a moment from when Louis was a teen.

What is the best part of being a director?
Louis: working with Mark.
Mark: working with my kids.

Have you a mentor and if so, who is that person (or persons)
and what has been the lesson learned from that mentoring which resonates most with you?

Louis and I have learnt a lot from each other, but we are both big fans of Pans Labyrinth, and I love The Devils Back Bone–Del Toro. The Coen Brothers are right up there too. Having Peter Jackson, a New Zealander do so well on the world stage is very inspirational. Sir Peter also went to our college, which was known for being really crap at everything, even rugby–so he stood out.

Who is your favorite director and why?
Answered in previous question.

What is your favorite movie? Your favorite commercial?
We don’t have favorite movies there’s too many to choose from. Every time you see a different take on movie making it’s refreshing.

Tell use about your background (i.e. Where did you grow up? Past jobs?)
We grew up in a small coastal town called Raumati Beach, going to the same primary school. I went to art school to paint and ended up doing film. After dropping out of film school I went overseas playing rugby before returning home to treat timber, where Louis was working at a cable TV company. He scored me a job and we started making community television, doing stories on grown men with toy train collections and dogs that snored in Church. We started writing movies together and the scripts were really bad. We threw them away and I left for the UK to make docos while Louis studied acting at the New Zealand Drama School. I returned to set up my own production company called Sticky Pictures and started making arts/creative culture TV. Louis got me to work together on his drama school end of course short film. We had to fit 26 actors into 15 minutes, all needed a moment for their reel. It was a load of fun but the brief was a little limiting. Our next two films were based on each of our lives respectively growing up on the coast. Run and The Six Dollar Fifty Man…and here we are writing a feature.