Garth Maxwell: Creator, Producer, Writer, Director
How did you hit upon the idea for Rude Awakenings?
"A house in Ponsonby, near where we lived, went on the market and we thought about buying it, but then I freaked out about the idea of being landlords to neighbours. Suddenly I realised this was potent premise, if someone made the mistake of buying the house next door, then all sorts of strife could ensue.
Is it a comedy or a drama?
Dimity with her mad, headlong rush towards a new life is a perfect vehicle for satire, but then we've got a family who's really struggling, who doesn't have money, and has the pressure of being drawn into crime to help support their life in the suburb.
Michele Fantl: Producer
Was it tough finding the houses?
"We put advertisements in different places trying to get houses side by side, which was our goal, but we came to the conclusion that it was an insurmountable problem to get an affluent house to shoot in for 22 weeks, plus six weeks of prep."
"So we got two houses in Wanganui Ave, off Jervois Rd, that have
become our central locations. We couldn't shoot inside our nicely
renovated villa, but we could shoot exteriors and around the back
and across the front. In the end we rented a real dump and then
built the set of the interior of the rich house on set."
Nick Bassett: Production Designer
So how did you embody the genteel shabby chic of old
bohemian Ponsonby and the steely glamour of gentrification?
"The Short house is sepia in tone, to make you feel like you were soaking in nicotine of an old Ponsonby villa of another era. It was like doing a DIY improvement show in reverse to achieve a lived-in, cosy environment."
"The Rush household was made to look like the classic renovated villa and was freshly painted with the renovation stripping whatever character the place originally had in it."
Kirsty Cameron: Wardrobe
"Dimity has clean lines, straight skirts and sexy slits; Hannah, who plays Amber, had her own Goth look originally which took some tweaking and at one stage Amber was in vintage clothing but the end result is a melding of the vintage Goth and something else which is very her; Constance isn't into teenage accessories or girlie things so it was important to get her uniform just right; and Sharon had a static look of jeans and dreary sweat shirts which hardly deviated, so at least that was one character I didn't have find more money for!"
Stephanie Johnson: Co-writer
"Dimity is fairly right wing but with new age ideals which is a pretty lethal combination and she's very sexy - a real fire bomb."
Fiona Samuel: Co-writer
"This is a satire, but based on reality - a couple of notches away from naturalism. I like the feel of it and thought that Ponsonby and the preoccupations of the people who live there were ripe for taking the piss."
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