The Gathering documentary 97/98

The making of the movie


Two weeks before the start of The Gathering 97/98, Alison Green thought it might be cool to make a documentary of the event. It was an idea whose time had come, because a few days later she bumped into her old friend Kylie Plunkett (who was working at TV3 at the time). Kylie took the idea and ran with it - and made it happen, spending many hours of her own time editing it after the event. The documentary cost under $1,000 to make.

Ali and Kylie put together a team of friends who worked in TV and film, and persuaded Rocket Rentals to lend us a Beta SP camera for 2 weeks - for free. How craazy is that! Thanks a million, RR!


Our film crew of Kylie, Zef Fugaz, Weston Owen and Sarah Gregorowski worked pretty much non-stop before, during and after the event to create a record of TheG 97/98. They recorded behind-the-scenes views of the setup and running of the party; the wild and crazy days and nights of the party itself; interviews with the crew, and you - the party animals; and interviews with "grown-ups" like the Mayor of Tasman District and the local police.

The 19 hours of raw footage was then edited down to 38 minutes by Kylie (first edit) and Nick Murray (final edit) and Katie Wood mixed the awesome soundtrack. Kog Transmissions in Auckland got together a bunch of NZ electronica artists involved with The Gathering and they produced a double CD of original tracks for us to use. Some of the tracks had been released on NZ CDs already, and others were previously unreleased and were created especially for the film. This became the precursor to The Gathering CDs, the first of which was released the following year.


The documentary premiered at the Wellington Short Film Fringe Festival the following year, on 16 July 1998, to a packed house - the first in the Festival's history - the compere got us all doing a Mexican wave to celebrate.

After the premiere there was demand from Gatherers across the country to see the movie. Ali organised an independent tour, and the documentary played to packed houses in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Nelson (as part of the Nelson Cultural Tourism Symposium). She spoke at each screening, covering all aspects of the movie and of The Gathering itself. It was a very effective communication tool - and great to get such positive feedback!


The extended version of the movie was completed a few months later. It's about 50 minutes long and includes the documentary itself, plus extra bits that we wanted to include but which had to be cut as we tried to get the movie down to half an hour, out-takes and funny sections of interviews, and more partying footage.

The raw footage, master tapes and copies of the documentary and the extended version now reside at the Film Archive, and the documentary is now part of the New Zealand National Collection.

Previews and reviews

Previews and reviews of The Gathering documentary
Evening Post, 16 July 1998 Gigs
Evening Post, 11 August 1998 Doco of The Gathering, music videos at Rialto
Havoc! August 1998 Havoc! TV interview with Ali Green
New Zealand Herald, 14 August 1998 It's cheaper than the Cook Strait ferry
Evening Post, 17 August 1998 Third bite at Frank Lloyd Wright
RipItUp, September 1998 The Gathering: The Documentary
Christchurch Press, 4 September 1998 Party documentary
Real Groove, October 1998 Come Together
The Dominion, 23 April 1999 Entries open for Fringe Film Festival

National tour details:

Date Time City Venue In association with Tickets sold
9pm, extra screening Sat 8pm Auckland The Silo Lava Magazine FULL HOUSE x3
17/08/98 6pm & 7pm Wellington The Rialto the Film Archive FULL HOUSE x2
  Christchurch The Lumiere rdu (almost) FULL HOUSE x2
24/09/98 2.15pm & 5.40pm Nelson The State Cinema Nelson Cultural Tourism Symposium FULL HOUSE x2
21/10/98 6pm Dunedin The Empire Radio One FULL HOUSE
Film crew:
Director/BetaSP-Cam/Editor Kylie Plunkett
Producer Alison Green
Assistant director/SVHS-Cam Weston Owen
Assistant producer/BetaSP-Cam/Graphics Zef Fugaz
Sound (field) Sarah Gregorowski
Editor Nick Murray
Sound Editor Katie Wood
Additional footage Matt O'Brien & Dave Joyce
BetaSP/Sound rig Rocket Rentals
Editing facilities The Dub Shop
Online editing facilities The Gibson Group
Sound editing facilities Marmalade Audio
Aotearoan Artists of Electronica coordinated by Kog Transmissions
Original soundtrack by Aotearoan Artists of Electronica:
Aethyr original track created
Baitercell original track created
Chumbwa original track created
epsilon blue original track created
FREq existing track gifted
Locust existing track gifted
Mechanism/Micronism original track created
Pitch Black original track created
Salmonella Dub existing track gifted
Scattergram original track created
Strange Attractor original track created
TriggerX original track created
Many thanks to:
Mark Batten and Rocket Rentals ...for the use of a BetaSP camera for two weeks, free of charge
The Dub Shop ...for the use of their facilities
The Gibson Group ...for the use of their on-line editing suite
Marmalade Audio ...for the use of their sound editing facilities
Kog Transmissions ...for NZ electronica artist co-ordination
The electronica artists ...for allowing us to use their beautiful music
Matt O'Brien and Dave Joyce ...for the additional footage
Our director and producer, Kylie and Ali ...for doing an amazing job - for free
Our camera crew, Kylie, Zef, Weston & Sarah ...for doing an amazing job - for free
Our editing team - Kylie, Nick and Katie ...for doing an amazing job - for free
The incredible Gathering crew who made the party happen ...for making magic
The Gatherers - whose presence creates The Gathering ...for being there

...we most definitely could not have done it without you!

The documentary was reviewed in the national press, and on RadioActive, bFM, rdu and RadioOne, and on Havoc! (TV2). We also utilised footage for The Gathering CD TV ads in 1998 and 1999.

The documentary was submitted (together with The Gathering website - which won a special commendation) to the NZ Peace Foundation Media Peace Awards; and Triangle TV in Auckland and Mainland TV in Nelson screened it in December 1998.

Our footage continued to be utilised substantially in our media coverage, having been used by One Network News, Havoc!, Pulp, TV3 news, TV3's Nightline, JuiceTV, Triangle TV, Mainland TV and Saturn TV.

It was also screened by the Film Archive as part of their Singing in the Frame: in the Tracks of the New Zealand Musical Film season, September - October 2004.

Page last updated: