The Goodbye Pork Pie remake has shot its final scenes. Russell Baillie was there.

Dean O'Gorman is looking the worse for wear. He's in a charcoal suit and white shirt but his tie has departed his collar.

As he walks down central Auckland's Parliament St he has an elbows-out swagger. It's a walk with purpose. He turns a corner to a parked mustard-coloured 1970 Holden Kingswood HT, also looking a little the worse for wear.

He opens the driver's door, attempts to start it, gives up, gets out, starts pushing it down the slope. The car fires and he's away.

James Rolleston stars in the remake of Goodbye Pork Pie.
James Rolleston stars in the remake of Goodbye Pork Pie.

And cut ... and go again. After driving around the block, getting out, walking back, adjusting his askew tie, he does.


Welcome to Goodbye Pork Pie, 2016, day 39. It's a fine Friday morning and the last day of the shoot. Crew in hi-vis vests stand out of shot, wielding stop-go signs on the street or gently guiding pedestrians out-of-shot.

Also out-of-shot is a yellow Mini, which, like the camera gear being used, is many generations on from the one Geoff Murphy employed in the original. That movie was a runaway hit - and bit of a generational rebel yell - way back in the day, in 1981.

Down the road and several floors above, director Matt Murphy - son of Geoff - is calling the shots behind a camera tracking O'Gorman, his elbows, and his dodgy Holden's progress. Three or four takes and it's all over at this location.

Next the Holden is off down the Southern Motorway with a helicopter tracking its progress. Or lack of it. The morning won't be the last time O'Gorman is expected to get out and push ... .

So, actor guy, what's your motivation in this complex, walking, push-start scene?

"My real motivation is it's the last day and we all want to have that beer," laughs O'Gorman.

"The character's motivation is to get his fiancee back from Invercargill. He doesn't know that at this stage, but that is ultimately where she is."

Matt Murphy smiles wryly when TimeOut points out that surely a Holden Kingswood is more reliable than a BMW-made modern Mini.


But it seems both movies don't like the big old Aussie tanks. The original put a police Holden into Lake Hawea. It got a big laugh.

That sequence was replicated in a 2014 Mini ad shot by the younger Murphy, now a seasoned commercials director. He's had plans to remake his dad's best-loved film, one he crewed on as a teenager, for years.

The remake finally got some traction when he hooked up with producer Tom Hern, whose Four Knights Films was behind The Dark Horse and other arthouse fare.

James Rolleston and Ashleigh Cummings in the remake of Goodbye Pork Pie.
James Rolleston and Ashleigh Cummings in the remake of Goodbye Pork Pie.

It's Murphy's first feature. It's Hern's first action movie. It's the first remake of modern New Zealand cinema. It's also a film that fans of the original might already have an opinion on.

"I am totally fine with that," says Hern in between brisk calls on his walkie-talkie about the chopper.

"We can't buy into that pressure, because for us it's about creating something fresh and new, for a new generation. We've tipped our hat plenty to the original of course. I think fans of the original are really going to enjoy it.

"For me it's less about comparing ourselves to the original and more about making something that has the same adventurous, rebellious experience for a generation of young Kiwis. That was who was packing out the cinema in 1981.

"It's definitely got that Murphy DNA in there."

The previous 38 days have been spent mainly heading south, taking that bloody car to Invercargill. In the smaller places, says O'Gorman, it was like the circus had come to town.

"As soon as people saw the car they would start honking.

"We would have a convoy of police cars with us too, because we were using them as part of the story but it looked like we were turning up in these small towns with, like, seven cops and all the locals were looking out the blinds thinking 'oh shit'. It was really rock 'n' roll. Long hours and crazy schedules and it just became a blur of driving and stopping at local pubs."

The shoot used four Minis. Three survived.

One of the vehicles was rigged with a stunt driver in a pod on the roof, allowing the leads - O'Gorman, James Rolleston and Aussie actress Ashleigh Cummings - to concentrate on acting.

O'Gorman: "I kept expecting them to brake and to shoot out the front like a catapult. But we got quite used to being driven by an invisible entity."

Though Rolleston, as the young petrolhead character, did plenty behind the wheel. And yes the 18-year-old does have his full licence, just.

Remake of Goodbye Pork Pie movie in the Wellington Railway Station.
Remake of Goodbye Pork Pie movie in the Wellington Railway Station.

"He's actually an amazing driver," says Hern. "The stunties were blown away by him. We thought we would have to have stunt doubles do most of the driving but he's ended up doing quite a lot because he's a natural talent and a cool head."

The cars, on the other hand, had some complaints.

"It was like we put the Mini in a complete anxious spin," says O'Gorman about the vehicles' modern warning systems.

"It was always telling us off: 'Put the bonnet back on', 'stop, you've got no brakes'."

With day 39 over, that's a wrap. The new Pork Pie goes into the oven to be baked in the editing suite and post-production for probable release in late summer.

Or a more suitable metaphor might be found in today's scene - it's an old vehicle. But with a decent push, it might roar away, all over again.