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Producer's Diary - Winter 2016

Producers Diary winter 2016

The hot summer and autumn was very tough on some farmers and kind to others but from Country Calendar's point of view, it was ideal for filming.

Because we've stepped up to 40 episodes this season, we needed a 33 per cent increase in the amount of time we spent on the road. That meant we had to get on with the job quickly and the good weather certainly helped.

So heading into winter, most of our footage is already in the can (to use the old film expression) although we still have to shoot seasonal activities to finish some of our stories. The main merino shear on most high country farms, for instance, doesn't happen till August.

We also have a mountain of footage still to post-produce, but that's all part of the fun and a lovely reminder of the shoots we did when the weather was still warm and the days were long.

We have a couple of other interesting events happening that are linked to Country Calendar's 50th birthday celebrations.

Potton and Burton will publish a book in September looking at farming families the show has visited.

I'll talk more about that in a later blog. Meanwhile Waikato Museum is staging Country Calendar: 50 Golden Years, an exhibition tracing the programme's history.

It runs from June 11 till September 11, coinciding with the Agriculture Fieldays at Mystery Creek and it's definitely worth a visit. The museum has assembled an impressive collection of memorabilia and old film and sound equipment, sourced mostly from our crews and post-production people, past and present.

Theyre also playing video excerpts from a whole bunch of our shows, old and new.

And while we're in history mode, I can also recommend our latest three-DVD collection, Country Calendar 50th Anniversary, It's a great collection of old shows, including the original visits to the people featured in the one-hour special programme that we ran at the start of our season in March.

And for those who missed that show, it's on the DVD as well, along with the tribute programme to the late Frank Torley that we repeated in April after his death.

Meanwhile I hope you keep enjoying the show on Saturday nights and if you miss it, don't despair. It's available on TVNZ OnDemand immediately after it has gone to air and for early risers, each episode is repeated the following Saturday at 6.30 a.m. on TV ONE.