Filmmaker renews focus in Wanaka

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Living locally is no barrier for editor Whitney Oliver, who from her home in Wanaka is able to edit films shot in locations across the globe.

It is a long way from her previous role living and working in Los Angeles, watching films in order to licence them for international sales.

The role was not such a creative part of the business, so for the past six or seven years she began ‘‘getting out into the world a bit more and getting back into hands on production’’.

‘‘When I first left LA, I took some time to travel, thinking I would move back after six months.’’

Instead she began finding stories all around the world ‘‘realising creativity wasn’t all boxed into LA and Hollywood and there was so much more out there that I could be doing’’.

Stories included farmers in Switzerland growing organic vegetables, and a sheep farmer growing plants to dye wool.

‘‘I really enjoyed the people and what they were doing . . .and telling their stories.’’

Eventually this led to the world of adventure filmmaking.

Oliver is one of about 40 individuals and groups that will be part of RenewArt project created by the Three Lakes Cultural Trust, opening in Queenstown tomorrow at the Queenstown Event Centre and next Friday at Lake Wanaka Centre.

Oliver was excited about the project because the theme of renewal allowed artists ‘‘the freedom to create something that expresses something meaningful to them’’.

Her piece would be an art installation ‘‘that speaks to the way that water can be a symbol of renewal’’.

She was grateful to local cinematographer Aliscia Young, ‘‘a really talented filmmaker’’ who worked with Oliver on the project.

‘‘As a filmmaker you can meet people of all walks of life who are doing experiences that I may never do, but I get to learn about what they are doing and I get to share it.’’

Film adventures . . .
Whitney Oliver, of Wanaka, enjoys filming and editing stories from around the globe. PHOTO: SIMON HENDERSON