Who the funk is Lapwing? ~ Joe

Lapwing Strikes

Lapwing is a 1977 superhero television series, filmed in November 2012.

If you haven’t heard of him before, it’s because we just made him up for Penny Black Movie.


If you reference an existing superhero in your movie, you enter a world of pain with legal copyright, particularly in New Zealand where we don’t have a law exception for parody.

THE LAPWING STORYLINE is your classic environmental-scientist-inherits-super-senses-with-nuclear-fusion-gas-and-a-Lapwing-bird story. He takes on the bird-like persona in his quest to save the world from Curem Pharmaceutical. More info on the  Lapwing Page.

Lapwing and The Viking

Above: Lapwing (Sash Nixon) and The Viking (Jeremy Mayall)

Although we are making Lapwing as a standalone short film, Lapwing is part of Penny Black Movie as the idol of Penny Black’s little sister Alex (played by Toni Garson). Alex dresses and acts like Lapwing, she watches the show on television and quotes his catch phrases.

The Lapwing CAST was completely different to Penny Black, so it was cool to work with some old friends.

Lapwing Trio

Above: Aimee Newton as “Mousegirl”, Sash Nixon as “Lapwing”, Paul Mitchell as “Dr. Curem”, pic by Dan Inglis.

Thanks to all the folks who made it out to appear in the film and do stunts without safety gear.

Desiree helped us dress our featured characters in 70’s attire, check out this scary bunch:

Viking's GangAbove: Ross MacLeod, Adam Harvey, Phill Palmer, Toni Garson, Bailee Foulds as The Viking’s Gang, pic by Tanya Barlow


We wanted a RETRO TECHNICAL STYLE for the show and quickly came to the idea of using cheesy crash zooms, whip pans, POV shots, and long slow zooms.

Ben Woollen (our DOP) had the cool idea of shooting Lapwing on an analogue format like VHS or Beta. I had a strange conversation with Fiona, where she said “we can’t afford to shoot on VHS, we have to shoot on Red”, but my main concern was how low the quality would be compared to our super high res Penny Black, so Metro Film helped sort us out with a Cinema Zoom from the 70’s which really nailed the optical feel, and with the Red camera depth-of-field we achieved the soft ‘filmic’ look.

Moehau and Ben

Abovie: Moehau Hodges-Tai and Ben Woollen with Red Scarlet and Angenieux HR 25-250mm Zoom lens, pic by Dan Inglis

The shoot was entirely based in Hamilton, using locations such as a Carpet One Warehouse (Waikato North), University of Waikato and a few scenic spots. It was fun to shoot a superhero film in my old home town, although Hamilton doesn’t look like it needs a Superhero.

We’ll try to put out a Lapwing trailer online as soon as possible, which will hopefully be next month.

Check out the Lapwing facebook page for more behind the scenes photos and updates!

LAPWING is coming soon


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