The Shihad documentary hits big screens tomorrow nationwide, looks bloody good from the trailer. The premiere is tonight in Wellington at the Embassy, but the director, Sam Peacocke, told the Dominion Post that "he had not been invited to speak at tonight's premiere, but would be there as a guest of Shihad lead singer Jon Toogood....
"....Peacocke was brought in to take over the reins of Shihad: Beautiful Machine at the start of last year after the original director, Graeme Tuckett, was fired [a week into directing].
Peacocke says he and producer Pacific Lightworks did not see eye to eye on aspects of the film, which profiles arguably New Zealand's biggest rock band.
"Since [editor] Cushla Dillon and I finished the edit I haven't really been involved in any of the post-production from then on. I can kind of see, I think, what Graeme may have found difficult."
Producer Grant Roa labelled Peacocke artistically exceptional but "sociably inept", and said the film had always been "purely" producer-driven. "Sam was brought in as a director for hire."
Roa said the director had in fact been invited to speak at the opening. Asked if there had been a lack of communication from producers, he said: "I think everyone is to blame but I'm not sure."
Roa reducing Peacocke's contribution to merely "A director for hire" is at odds with the official Shihad movie website where the producers extensively talk up them bringing in Peacocke, who already had a relationship with the band from directing music videos for them - "He used the trust he'd had gained and took the band out of their comfort zone and into a entirely unique space where questions couldn't be answered so automatically. This style produced a very genuine response, and from then on the story began to build in depth and honesty."
Check the Grant Roa Appreciation page on Facebook. There's the above trailer, described as a new production by Grant Roa. And from the Shihad movie FB page, this cool photo customised by David Norris...
"You're always going to have some disagreements. Sam is exceptionally talented."
He said having conceived of the idea of the documentary he and the other producer, Laurence Alexander, had "boundaries we had put in place that we wanted to work within".
"Both Graeme [Tuckett] and Sam [Peacocke] nurtured that as much as they could. And like creatives, they tried to push the boundaries. That's what you do. That's the story. So as a producer you just tap it back into place now and again."