Wanaka teen Ollie Larkin admits his introduction to the film industry was initially just child’s play.
At 11 years old, Ollie armed himself with his estimated 20kg Lego collection and basic camera to shoot stop-motion animation videos.
Now, at the age of 18, the up-and-coming film-maker has sold the Lego collection to help fund a new camera.
He now shoots with a Sony FS700.
“I like that camera,” he said.
“I’m very lucky to have a camera like that at my age.”
Ollie said he first decided to take his love of film-making to the next level by placing an ad in a local publication, calling for work – paid or unpaid.
His call was answered by Ahuriri River Lodge, which wanted him to illustrate the proximity of the lodge to the river to potential customers .
“That was my first paid job and what got me in to it [on a professional level] and it just carried on from there, really.”
Ollie also door-knocked in the hope of increasing his opportunities.
The Kiwi Birdlife Park in Queenstown and Wanaka A&P Show committee were also among those who welcomed his talents.
He has also filmed the Wanaka Trail Ride, an annual fundraiser, which he captured from a helicopter.
Ollie has adopted another skill over recent times after writing a script to go with a film he has been shooting with the help of his friends, set at Paintball Central in Cromwell.
He was also recently called on to act as an assistant cameraman for John-Jo Ritson, of Flashworks Media, who was filming New Zealand rally driver Hayden Paddon at Cardrona.
Ollie’s most recent addition to his repertoire came just last weekend, after being selected to film the music video for Anna van Riel’s song Echo, which will be on her new children’s album, Fishing for Stars
She praised his work and was not the only one impressed by his talents.
Three years ago Ollie entered the photography section of the NZ Mountain Film & Book Festival.
He won the youth category prize of $200 and entered again the following year, when he won again, securing himself a camera.
His entry in the 2017 event also caught the attention of Milano Montagna Italian Mountain Film Festival organisers, who asked him to to submit his video about a bike ride in Sticky Forest.