John Weekes

John Weekes is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Online Daze of comedy

A dwarf, an unfunny comedian, a mummy's boy and a ninja are plotting their next move.

Off-beat comedy Auckland Daze was a success last summer despite its online-only format. Auckland actor Fasitua Amosa, who plays the unfunny comedian, said season two was in development.

Just as Daze's plot pivoted round a clash of two rival Auckland TV factions, the show is at the frontline of a new online battle between networks. "At the moment, TV is the standard way people consume most of their media information but everything's trending towards the net," Amosa said. "So whoever develops that infrastructure will be the winner."

With fingers crossed, Amosa said the first-season ratings gave the cast heart. Auckland Daze was one of TVNZ OnDemand's biggest hits.

Economic problems and talk of Kiwi actors fleeing to Australia hadn't dampened Amosa's enthusiasm for New Zealand. He said his hometown was at the cutting-edge of Pacific culture. "Auckland is the Polynesian Hollywood."

Amosa said a lack of funds had led to some lateral thinking. While Hollywood copped criticism for sinister product placement, the Polywood production was open about it.

"If you can get a free bottle of vodka out of it, why not? Why not use the things we use and consume in real life?"

Millen Baird, who writes Auckland Daze, is working full-time on developing the show. His co-stars have day jobs. Amosa also works at an Auckland post-production house. The ninja, Glen Levy, is a stuntman on the Spartacus set. Amosa said Fletcher, the dwarf, worked in "dwarf entertainment" in Christchurch.

The cast was waiting on funding from New Zealand On Air. Amosa said if funding was granted, shooting would start as soon as possible to keep the crew's creative momentum going.

- Herald on Sunday

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