The Breaker Upperers directors Madeleine Sami, Jackie van Beek on the realities of filming in NZ

The directors of Kiwi film The Breaker Upperers have spoken out about the challenges of making a film in New Zealand.

Jackie van Beek and Madeleine Sami's new film has just finished a run at US festival Austin's SXSW.

Van Beek says reception in the US was overwhelmingly positive, especially due to the fact the film was directed by two women.

But the process of making a feature film in New Zealand isn't as glamorous as it appears, according to Sami.

When asked by Kanoa Lloyd on Three's The Project if directing was more than just having the fancy chair with your name on it, Sami admitted they didn't even get the chairs while they were filming.

"I don't think we got one of those chairs... that's not the way low budget film happens in New Zealand," she says.

"You don't even have a trailer, you get changed in a public toilet most of the time."

The climate also didn't help with filming, van Beek and Sami shared an anecdote of weather forcing filming inside on the day they were shooting The Project host Jaquie Brown's cameo.

"[We were told] there's definitely going to be fine spells and we sat under a tent for like… hours watching rain just fall down in Western Springs Park going 'Oh shooting in [Auckland],'" Sami says.

"And then we were like, 'Okay let's just quit this, let's go and do the Jaquie Brown, the quick little Jaquie brown scene instead," van Beek adds.

The Breaker Upperers will hit New Zealand cinemas on May 3.


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