Binge drinking the movie

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A home-made film about teenage boozing could launch a group of Wakatipu High students onto cinema screens across the country. 

The enterprising teens have created a 42-second movie trailer advertising the consequences of youngsters binge drinking at a house party. 

The first airing will be at Wakatipu High next Wednesday before it hits Queenstown’s Reading Cinemas next month – and there’s a chance it could make it to big screens nationwide if the Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand (ALAC) decides to make it a campaign. 

Film director Rick Gutze-witz, 18, assistant director Ashley Kirk, 18, and cameraman Caleb Dawson-Swale, 17, say they jumped at the chance to produce a film that speaks to young people about over-indulging. 

Caleb says: “Everyone knows it’s an important message and they don’t need someone to come and hand-feed it to them that drinking way too much can be dangerous. But I think the real value in what we did is that we were youth making something for youth … people could look at it and they’ll say ‘that speaks to me’.” 

Ashley adds: “Everyone has the ability to be influenced and affected by alcohol. Just because we live in a party town we still have the same opportunity to be exposed as everyone else. That’s why our film is not just for a Queenstown audience, it’s relevant to everyone if it goes nationwide.” 

Working with the resort’s Youth Access To Alcohol (YATA) group, 12 senior students came up with the concept, created the storyboard, scene script, dialogue script and organised the cast – 19 other students. They also directed, filmed and edited plus roped in free professional help for lighting, sound and makeup. 

They’ve spent about 100 hours working on the project since March this year. Costing $5000 to produce and screen, it has been funded by ALAC and the Central Lakes Arts Support Scheme. 

YATA committee member and youth worker Roanna Pine says she’s proud of the students’ work.
“The young people involved have done an amazing job, shown enthusiasm and a great deal of dedication.  It’s a real credit to them.”