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Interview: Alex Sutherland

Alex Sutherland comes from an artistic family. “It’s what both my parents did” he tells me. We meet at Good One, a cafe right next to his business Thick as Theives, but a modest distance away from the hustle and bustle of Posonby main street. Alex is wearing a sleveless puffa and is quite relaxed.

Alex Sutherland m

The passion for visual entertainment was borne from a young age. It just happened to be something he was always interested in. As a youngster he used to play with stop animation and filmed a few low budget films. This enthusiasm led to a graduation from Auckland University in Film and Fine Arts. He has directed many different commericals and music videos. Thick as Thieves is Sutherland’s business, which he runs with business partner Nik. “We look after seven directors at the moment.”

His Loading Docs film  Jump follows the story of Chris Sigglekow, the man who invented the Bungee Jump.”My goal was to capture the whole spirit and character of the time.” At three and a half minutes, the documentary tracks along quite nicely, although that was not without its challenges. Sutherland mentions the challenges which came with condensing everything down into such a short time frame. “I was actually amazed at how much footage I had” he says, explaining that a lot of the archive footage and interview footage as well was impressive.

The team itself was small. With Alex as director, Rebekah as producer and Joe as the go to man it was a steady work load. Deadlines were strict, with all of the shorts launching on May 10th on www.loadingdocs.net. While it was a sideline project, in a sense Alex put a lot of work into getting it right. “There were many different parts to the footage. There was the interview with Chris, the arc footage and the music.” Converting the footage proved to be a challenge, although luckily a friend of his collects one inch decks.

Jump has a great mixture of archive footage and modern day interviews. Moving through history and focusing on Chris the person and the vision he had for something enjoyable brings an excitement and enjoyment. It serves as a reminder as well about how amazing the bungee jump is as an invention.

I recommend you keep an eye out for any work which Alex is associated with. His Loading Docs short caught my interest and I’m sure his other work would capture yours.

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