Road Trip, Wellington, 24 November 2014: Road Trip, an interactive part-drama, part-doco series has been launched on Stuff. This series tells the story of two unlikely travelling companions – an uptight Canadian girl and an overly relaxed Tongan guy – as they drive the length of the country telling diverse, quirky New Zealand stories along the way.
You can have a look right now: Road Trip Episode 1
The story of this rocky relationship, full of humour, tension and awkward romance, is a fictional drama in the traditional sense. But what makes this series innovative and unique is that the stories of the people our two heroes meet along the way were crowd-sourced and then selected with a voting system through Stuff Nation. It’s a series made in part by the New Zealand public.
Director Thomas Robins of KHF Media relished the opportunity to create this transmedia project, “Traveling the length of the country was something else. Not many have done that Bluff to Cape Reinga trip in one big hit and it was stunning. We Kiwis really are a welcoming bunch. Add to that the exciting experimentation of blending drama with real life interviews on a fun transmedia project and this is one gig I will never forget. I am thrilled with the results too. The team did a fabulous job.”
Over nine different regions of New Zealand, from Bluff to Cape Reinga, the real-life, local stories were selected from Southland/Otago, Canterbury, the West Coast, Tasman/Marlborough, Wellington/Wairarapa, Manawatu/Taranaki, Hawke’s Bay/Gisborne, Waikato/Bay of Plenty and Auckland/Northland. This resulted in location shoots with Jennifer and Roger Ngahooro in Invercargill, Audrey Baldwin in Christchurch, Jacquie Grant in Hokitika, Graham Snadden in Nelson, Steve Porteous and Jenny Lindberg in Otaki, Sydnie Maxwell in New Plymouth, Dean Savage in Gisborne, John and Karam Haddad in Otorohanga and Wiremu Matthews in Omapere.
A new episode will be released online each day until Thursday 4 December on the website so people can follow the journey from the bottom of the South Island to the very top. A tumblr site also includes longer audio interviews with these people.
The show has been made by KHF Media – a Wellington based production company whose previous interactive drama series Reservoir Hill received two Emmy nominations. The first season won the coveted award in 2010 making KHF Media the first New Zealand company to win an International Emmy award. The stars of the series are local Wellingtonian Nua Finau (who appeared in the highly regarded Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby and Paradise Café) and Canadian actor Meghan Heffern (American Pie, Rookie Blue, Lost Girland the Liam Neeson film Chloe).
Funded by NZ on Air’s Digital Media Fund and hosted by Stuff.co.nz, all background story information about the creation of the programme is here.