Pahiatua short film-maker Tim Hamilton won an international editing award at the Cannes/Tiktok Awards recently. The movie was called Zero (or Zero Gravity).
"Tim is quite outstanding and has an insane amount of talent," said former chairman of ITVA New Zealand, Warren Jones, who was on the Board of Governors, globally, for two years.
"In Cannes, they found me quite funny and seemingly charmed," said Tim. "They were amazed at my film-making quality. All my friends are the same, there are more Taika Waititis and Peter Jacksons out there. New Zealand is full of funny, charismatic and incredible artists. We're not looking for excuses not to do something.
"Being in Pahiatua where I grew up, to be creative, if you want a gimbal or a lighting crane, you just make it yourself. With plenty of space in Pahiatua, you could be destructive if need be or build your own film sets.
"My dad was a builder and my mother a painter, so for me, building was an expectation. My partner Katie's parents did glass work and built armour, they're quite creative and they never let anything stop them - that has inspired me," he said.
Tim's first job was working as an editor/camera operator for Tararua Television at Pahiatua in 2011.
"It was the most No 8 wire of all the places I've ever been. You would be given 10 minutes of footage and be asked to make a 20-minute show," he said.
His first commercial piece was an advertisement for Destination Manawatu and one for the City Library in Palmerston North.
Tim then did some vfx (visual effects) for What We Do In The Shadows, with Taika and Jemaine Clement, about eight years ago.
Changing again, he did an online travel series for "mighway" - a one-man-band YouTube series, where he got to do everything.
"I was paid to travel and learn about the world," he said. "It was a good way to cut my teeth."
He got back into film again and realised that some people have no idea how to make a movie - he says they're just one cog in a bigger machine.
Now working in post-production out of POW Studios, Tim is involved with features and helping directors finish their films.
"I get given a 15-minute short film and have to make it 'digestible'. You get fed all these unusual mistakes, it's a great way to learn with unique challenges," he said. He has worked with Awa Films in Wellington.
Since coming back from Cannes, Tim has had Covid and now the flu, but he has projects coming up he can't talk about. About a third of his income is from competitions he enters.
This can mean building a World War II Soviet-era tank from wood, with the design allowing people to get inside and turn the turret.
For his Cannes entry Zero Gravity he built a crane called the human crane, so people could fly away. It was made out of recycled timber, and had been repurposed as a film set submarine as well as a B17 bomber.
"We had a weight distribution problem with the crane. My younger brother got taken from the ground to the sky in one second - he survived it without injuries," he said.
Other accolades Tim has earned are Best Comedy in the world's largest short film competition, being placed second in a Nasa competition for a film with a small spaceship and being the first-ever double finalist in the 48Hours event.