Minty on the farm
Minty Van New Zealand
Minty at the waterfall
The Minty Van
Minty Films is a collection of stories, about people, about life, about human nature, captured on film.
I’m not an academic, nor am I an artist, or analyst, but I am a person, privileged to have met a wildly diverse bunch of other “persons”. I’d always assumed this privilege came to me primarily through the course of my day job. But circumstances have ensured I do a bit less of the day job now, however I still seem to encounter odd, inspirational, joyous and not so joyous people and their narratives when I have a camera to hand. So, here I’ve tried to collate some of these films, past and hopefully future, I’ve produced outside the conventions, or maybe that should be, constraints, of mainstream film making. This blog serves no purpose other than to share these stories and contain a portfolio of my alternative work and contributions in one happy compartment.
But, why Minty Films? One of the first films I made outside the constraints of the day job, on a Sony handy cam with only the in-built mic for sound on the camera, could be described as self portraiture, semi autobiographical even. But in truth it was home movie with a target audience of 2, intended for display nowhere other than the four walls of my own home.
Yet part of that film made it to the television screens in thousands of homes across the other side of the world. The original film captured the very personal adventure of life in a 1958 VW campervan called Minty, in which we travelled to the glacial peaks in the south, and the bubbling geothermal lakes in the north, of New Zealand in 2010-2011.
Then, somehow through some internet wizardry, Volkswagen happened across my very intimate, somewhat embarrassing – technically speaking – little film.
And so impressed they were, they used, (with permission) some of this footage in a television advert aimed at celebrating VW’s 60 year existence in New Zealand.
And so it struck me never has the phrase, adopted by photographer Chase Jarvis, “The best camera is the one that’s with you” been so apt.
VW long ago washed their hands of any direct links to actual manufacture of camper vans but the legacy of their imagery and its inextricable link to the VW brand hold a value that would be imprudent and rather foolish to shake off. If VW had commissioned me to shoot some material for their modern day ad, my approach would of course have been wildly different and would have definitely lacked the intimacy, spontaneity and character that made it so attractive, so useable.
Here the advert VW created using hundreds of clips from individuals with archive just like my original Minty film.
So to me, Minty Films seems a right and proper title, the Minty Film experience sums up nicely my intention with this site, it’s a collection of stories, filmed or recorded for reasons not always obvious and not always conventional and not always intended for broadcast. But important in their own right and worth a share I believe.