A Shortland Street event
Shortland Street fans - stand by! We're about to bring you Shortland Street's first ever feature length episode.
New Zealand's longest running drama series, Shortland Street, is set to break new ground with a series of firsts during an epic feature length episode this August the 2nd.
For the first time in the show's history, Shortland Street will screen a special 90 minute episode that will also feature the show's first ever use of green screen cinematography.
Featuring several action-packed storylines, the drama will unfold as we see popular bad-boy Kieran Mitchell (Adam Rickitt) fight for his life against a group of Thai gang members who have returned to seek vengeance against him for his past betrayals.
Unwittingly dragged into the furore against their will, several other of Shortland Street's much-loved characters, including Gerald Tippett (Harry McNaughton) will be forced to make life and death decisions in order to save themselves and the life of Kieran Mitchell.
"It was a challenge at times, but we had a great time filming it," says McNaughton. "I think one of the most interesting things about the episode is the way the characters are forced to respond to the extraordinary circumstances they find themselves caught up in."
The episode will feature a host of exciting guest stars including Matt Sunderland (who previously played mass murderer David Gray in the movie Out of the Blue) as White Dragon, the head of the gang intent on capturing and torturing Kieran.
And well-respected New Zealand actor/writer and director, Ian Mune (OBE) as a family member of Chris Warner (Michael Galvin) who arrives with a family secret that will wreak havoc on Chris' life.
The storylines for the 90 minute feature that were shot on location were filmed over seven gruelling days during the recent weather bomb and filming most definitely took its toll on the cast and crew involved.
"It poured with rain for most of the time that we were filming and it was absolutely freezing in the bush," says 1st Assistant Director Jimmy Scott. "On top of that, we had limited light to shoot in and some of the trickiest scenes logistically and technically that the show has ever had to execute. Needless to say, the entire cast and crew were pretty exhausted at the end of filming."
The use of green screen technology for some of the action scenes proved particularly difficult for director Richard Barr and his team to execute, but the results were well worth the effort.
"The use of green screen is not something we use in a general week for filming at Shortland Street, so to get our heads round all the technicalities that were required and shoot everything in such a short amount of time was pretty full-on," he says. "However, I don't think we could have done justice to the storylines that the story team created without the use of this technology. I think the results are something we can all be proud of."
Don't forget, we're bringing you exclusive behind-the-scenes video from the making of our special episode.
Check our TVNZ Ondemand page each night until Tuesday August 3rd (scroll down to Video Extras) as we build up to our 90 minute event.