“Creepy….Spine-tingling….HIDDEN has a spirit that draws you in and keeps you thinking well beyond the last frame.” – RICHARD TAYLOR Academy Award Winner THE LORD OF THE RINGS Year of Production: 2001 (released 2005) Genre: Mystery/Drama Budget: $7000 NZD Format: mini-DV / DVCPRO Shot and edited in 2001, and released in 2005, “Hidden” was the brainchild of Murray Hutchinson, the late artistic director of the drama department at “The School of Performing and Screen Arts” in Auckland, New Zealand. One of Murray’s many dreams for the school was to make a feature film starring the 3rd year acting students. He wanted to give them a more intensive “on set” experience before they graduated and entered the industry at the end of the year. In 2001 he was able to make this dream a reality. With a budget of just $3500 allocated for script writing, pre-production, production and a first edit, “Hidden” began shooting in and around the Auckland and Waikato regions during the wet winter of 2001. With no crew, minimal equipment, and working around the students busy schooling schedules, the film was shot over many months, shooting scenes well out of order. Although the budget was low, the concept was high, leading to many ambitious sequences involving dangerous stunts and complicated camera set-ups. 18 actors, 2 kids, numerous stunt people, animals, insects, wind, rain and freezing cold water all collided together until the final shot was completed in late November. With a mid-2002 release planned, the film was fast tracked through editing in time for the final colour grade, FX and sound design which was scheduled to begin in January 2002. After a tough but virtually smooth-sailing shoot and edit, the dark clouds suddenly began to close in on the production. It took a further three and a half years trapped in post-production purgatory before “Hidden” was wrestled into submission in time to premiere at the “Rebelfest Film Festival” in Toronto in late 2005. In a bittersweet moment befitting the bittersweet film, Murray Hutchinson, the man behind the whole four and a half year adventure, passed away back in New Zealand during the Canadian screening. The film was later dedicated to his memory. After appearing at 8 international film festivals, winning several awards along the way, “Hidden” was finally released back home in New Zealand to lukewarm and sometimes hostile reviews. The film’s obvious budget limitations, lack of dialogue, and unusual storytelling format alienated audiences for the most part and it was quickly forgotten. Now 10 years on from the release (nearly 15 years since the film’s initial inception) “Hidden” is being uploaded to Youtube for the first time in honour of Murray Hutchinson and the wonderful legacy he left behind at “The School of Performing and Screen Arts”. He was an exceptionally talented, warm hearted and patient man, and was an important mentor to many well-known actors and filmmakers. His generosity of spirit can be felt throughout this film. Much love to you Murray.
Music in this video
Hirini Melbourne & Richard Nunns with Victoria Kelly
Te Whaiao (Te Kü Te Whë Remixed)
Licensed to YouTube by
Kontor New Media Music (on behalf of Rattle)