Maria McKay, artist, writer and now classics student, is one of my dearest friends. Thanks to the lovely Gail Wright, long ago I interviewed Maria for Art New Zealand and we’ve enjoyed each other ever since. We’ve pooled our last coins to buy bread. We’ve filmed a matakite (shaman) on Gavrinis, wondered at a menhir on a roof in southern France, walked many times on Warrington beach. I filmed her among the gannets at Doctors Point. She photographed me when I was in love. Although her life had changed by then, I included her work on my very first website, almost a decade ago. Her bath is my old bath. You know the kind of thing.
And I’ve missed her in cyberspace. Not her world. Until today. Suddenly she arrived on Facebook, eager to crowd fund The Hobbit. It looks like Maria has picked up that Sir Peter’s away trying to get The Hobbit greenlit (and to buy MGM for New Zealand?) and that there are problems. She wants to see The Hobbit onscreen asap, and has offered to help with funding—$100 is a lot for a student and a mother. And she’s set up a Facebook page, I Would Pay To Make The Hobbit Movie. Is this the first time a crowd member’s set up a filmmaker’s crowd-funding appeal?
Until now I’ve been more interested in Sir Peter Jackson’s review of the New Zealand Film Commission than in The Hobbit. It’s been a year now since people sent off their submissions, and we still have no result.
Last week, Scoop reported a Parliamentary question as follows
Hon Steve Chadwick: On what date can we expect the Minister to release the Government review of the New Zealand Film Commission?
Hon Christopher Finlayson (Minister for Arts & Culture): I understand from Sir Peter Jackson that he is heading off overseas on 23 June, and it will be available on or before that date.
And I sighed. ‘Release’ and ‘available’ are not the same thing, and who knows whether the review was available before Sir Peter left? Not me, that’s for sure. In the meantime, I’ve joined Maria’s page, hoping that if The Hobbit moves forward, so too will the release of the review.
And I’ve included a couple of Maria’s paintings here, a satisfying visual end to a very long day. I like these nearly as much as the one on the wall behind me.