A Coromandel couple scored six awards for their musical entry into the 48Hours film competition, despite having actors who "can't sing".

Alison Titulaer and James Muir, whose film Manawa Bay took out the Bay of Plenty City Winner award, said the musical was considered the "most dreaded" genre to receive in the competition but their team had to "suck it up and rise to the challenge".

And rise they did, in not so pleasant weather. "We were up really early, five in the morning and out there for sunrise," Muir said.

He and Titulaer found a beautiful "secret location" which was about a 30-minute four-wheel-drive to reach.


"We set that location, we loved it, we were going to film there, then we realised it was going to rain all weekend.

"We were like, 'oh man, it's going to be raining, do we still want to go there?' We decided we'd still go there and use the rain as an element in the film and that worked quite well."

The actors had to get in the water on a cold, rainy day.

"The story involved a surfer who gets slammed by a wave and knocked out by his board, but on the day, there were no waves, no swell, so we had to figure out how we could shoot it with no waves."

Despite those challenges Muir said the biggest was the actors' lack of singing ability.
He said it was tough for them because they were not comfortable singing.

"They're good actors but it's not just that they 'can't' sing, but they have a fear of singing," Muir said.

"Musical was certainly our most dreaded genre. Of all the genres we could have got, we just didn't want to get it, and we got it."

Their team, named Tinker Tailor, took out the awards for Best Director (Titulaer) and Best Cinematography (Muir), as well as Best Editing, Best Original Score/Song and Best Use of Required Elements.


The annual competition, held from May 11 to 13 this year, required filmmakers to create a short film from concept to final edit in just 48 hours. Genres were allocated on the Friday at 7pm, where three random required elements were also released. Titulaer is now working on a short film, and Muir on a documentary.