A Flock of Students
(“As New Zealand’s summer draws its last golden breath, something remarkable is about to happen – one of nature’s strange miracles. A migration that goes in an odd direction… South for winter.” – from A Flock of Students)
Each year, 25,000 university students descend on the sedate southern city of Dunedin, transforming an otherwise slightly-sleepy hollow into a crowded, raucous nesting site unlike any other in the country. And if the phrase “nesting site” seems an unusual term to apply, it won’t seem so after viewing A Flock of Students, the quirky documentary study of student life.
Filmed over the 2003 Otago University year, the Greenstone Pictures documentary is the brainchild of writer/producer Colin Hogg, who decided to take a bird’s eye view of student life, making the programme in the style of a wildlife documentary and viewing student life in terms of nesting, feeding, mating and display. Utilising the talents of gifted director Rebecca Mellor and a topline wildlife film crew based in Dunedin – cameraman Swami Hansa and sound recordist John Patrick – A Flock of Students watches in strictly-observational wonder as these wild young birds take part in New Zealand’s strangest annual migration.
The documentary divides its curiosity between first-year students, or “freshers”, safe in their supervised accommodation, and the more mature students, who prefer the wild life, out alone, in rented houses and flats, centered round the city’s infamous main street of student life, Castle Street. Life for the learner birds seems, at first, to be one long party, as they congregate at the popular student watering holes, but eventually they settle down to study and to concentrate on the challenges of surviving a long, hard winter away from home – and on passing their exams, of course.
Featuring a soundtrack of original music by Dunedin-based Kiwi rock legend David (The Clean) Kilgour and some of the most uninhibited scenes ever featured in a wildlife documentary, A Flock of Students is no ordinary documentary – an intimate look at wildlife that talks our language.
Promotional TrailerComing soon
Producer: Colin Hogg
Consulting producer: Stephen Campbell
Conceived & written by: Colin Hogg
Exec producer: Tony Manson
Network exec: John Wright
Director: Rebecca Mellor
Researcher: Barbara Rogers
Script writers: Rebecca Mellor, Colin Hogg
Editor: Margaret Kelly
Online editor: Daniel Habedank
Production manager: Lornelle Henry
Production assistant: Nellie Butler
Camera: Swami Hansa
Sound: John Patrick, Ian Masterton
Sound mix: Graham Wallace
Titles/graphics: Ralph Wilkin
Music: David Kilgour (from his CD “A Feather in the Engine”)
Production accountant: Jeanette Wiles-Crombie
Funded by: TVNZ