Piki Films, RESN and FAFSWAG
in association with New Zealand on Air present
Jermain Dean as KHAOS
Cypris Afakasi as FANG
Pati Solomona Tyrell as TAMATOA, Jaycee Tanuvasa as JAYCEE BABY, Darren Taniue as ENVY
PRODUCED BY: Carthew Neal Morgan Waru
INTERACTIVE BY: Resn
An interactive documentary taking you into the LGBTQ vogue dance scene in the world’s biggest Pacific city. Choose striking characters and battles locations to the become a judge in a unique battle. The choose a winner to unlocking documentaries revealing the personal lives of five young Performers.
Our digital experience uses a gaming methodology; drawing the audience into the story through intuitive interactions, while learning about Vogue culture. These interactive elements allow users to control aspects of the experience, involving them in the story and allowing them to play an active role throughout. Through interactivity, our audience naturally becomes more engaged with the characters and will spend more time learning about them.
As an active member of the Pacific LGBTQ community, telling this story has always been important to me. I have a background in film, fine arts and community work and this project allowed these three words to come together in a creative and meaningful way.
I was drawn to the interactive format because it allowed storytellers to develop an immersive experience that mirrors the social interaction you have in real life. You invest time and emotional energy, you’re not just a passive viewer and in the end you’re rewarded with a deeper understanding of the people and the world they occupy.
Vogue as a form of movement set the tempo for the visual style and the energy of the project. In the culture there are two opposing styles that shift between eloquent and electric, these styles are known as “Soft” and “Dramatic”. Two very separate concepts that originate from the world of Vogue dance. These ultimately informed a unique aesthetic central to articulating the visceral nature of the artform and why it continues to keep a new generation of young people enamoured by Vogue as an expression of self.
With the documentaries, I wanted to take an artist approach to depicting these characters as opposed to traditional talking heads. I wanted to place the audience into people’s lives by simply dropping them in there. But the story needed to offer its characters some agency over their representation and so the process has been extremely collaborative. This creative process combined abstract imagery with linear storytelling, juxtaposed against a uniquely ‘Auckland’ urban environment.
Vogue ball culture is a global phenomenon with underground scenes established around the world. The internet has amplified the transmission of this culture on a global scale and New Zealand’s scene has been steadily growing since the early 2000’s. This culture of expression for Black and Latino LGBT minorities has been popularised through music, fashion and more noticeably through dance. FAFSWAG’s aim is to generate public and digital spaces that create positive representations of gender and sexually diverse brown identities. This is achieved through creativity, self- expression and collaboration.
Vogue culture thrives on individuality but also generates community connection through shared spaces. This is a world populated with society’s cultural outcasts. It is a space for them to belong, have power over their bodies, identities and feel connected to a community.
Many of those participating are disempowered by their difference and create striking and extreme personas to gain confidence and reclaim their power. Behind their extremities, there is a shared human need to feel understood, respected and accepted. This is the journey we will take the audience on through this interactive documentary.
FAFSWAG is foremostly a collective of artist and queer activist. There are 13 members and only 8 of which are practicing artists working within the interdisciplinary arts, with the remaining members running operations and management. Of the 13 only half of the members are active in the Vogue community and only two of the collectives artist are featured in this project, Jermaine Dean (Khaos) and Pati Solomona Tyrell (Tamatoa).
While we are an extremely visible collective of queer Pacific artist and we advocate for our community within the arts we are not spokespeople for the wider Maori and Pacific LGBTQ community. We are not experts on all the issues faced by our people and we can only speak on behalf of our own unique cultural and social experiences.
Tanu Gago is a new media artist whose practice involves film, photography, moving image and graphic design. Informed by a deep Pasifika cultural and social political motivation, Gago’s practice delivers innovative approaches to narrative storytelling within an international fine arts context. His LGBT photographic series Avanoa O Tama was awarded the 2014 Auckland Festival of Photography Annual Commission. Tanu Gago manages the LGBT Pasifika arts collective FAFSWAG which has grown NZ’s underground Vogue scene and community since 2012.
Jermain Dean as KHAOS, identifies as Takataapui and is of Maori ethnicity
Cypris Afakasi as FANG, identifies as GG and is of Samoan and Maori ethnicity
Pati Solomona Tyrell as TAMATOA, identifies as GG and is of Samoan ethnicity
Darren Taniue as ENVY, identifies as GG and is of Niuean ethnicity
Jaycee Tanuvasa as JAYCEE BABY, identifies as Fa’afafine and is of Samoan ethnicity
Akashi Fisiinaua as the CHANTER, identifies as Fakaleiti and is of Tongan ethnicity
PIKI FILMS Biography
Taika Waititi’s Piki Films brings together Aotearoa’s best storytellers.
Executive Producer, Carthew Neal is a film, television and interactive producer whose projects have won commercial and critical acclaim all over the world. He produced Taika Waititi’s ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’ and feature documentary ‘Tickled’ – both which premiered at Sundance 2016 to rave reviews, his latest film ‘The Breaker Upperers’ premieres in 2018, as well as comedies ‘Aroha Bridge’ and ‘Super City’ and two seasons of the environmental makeover television series WA$TED.
Producer, Morgan Waru successfully produced NZ On Air funded ‘Aroha Bridge,’ an indigenous inspired webseries in 2016, the series enjoyed local success and international recognition. In collaboration with Viva La Dirt League, Morgan produced ‘REKT,’ a Youtube webseries, which reached a wide online audience. Currently producing a TV series iteration of ‘Aroha Bridge’ for Maori Television, Morgan wants to continue producing online narratives and exploring ways to better engage online audiences. Morgan also works across Piki Films’ development slate.
Resn is a creative digital agency based in Wellington, NZ, that specializes in crafting user experiences that are unexpected and memorable. With FAFSWAG, Resn reimagines an audience’s relationship with film, allowing them to actively participate and control aspects of the unfolding narrative, deepening their engagement with the story and characters.
Resn has always focused on creating groundbreaking work that redefines what’s possible. With a passion for connecting with diverse audiences across the globe, Resn has always put the audience at the heart of every experience.
Fact sheet – Fafswagvogue.com
Launches 2nd Feb 2018, coinciding with the launch of Auckland Pride Festival 2018.
Celebration of launch event on the 7th February 2018, at Auckland Art Gallery as part of the 2018 Pride Festival.
Director: Tanu Gago
Executive Producer: Carthew Neal Producer: Morgan Waru
Executive Producer: Deirdre Crowley Interactive Producer: Gregoire Cortesi Account Director: James Moir
Creative Director: Wade Cowin
Design Director: Dan Mercer
Designer: Thibault Terray
Designer: Shang-Poh Yu
Creative Technical Director: Matt Halford Technical Director: Emlyn Hughes
Lead Developer: Cam O’Connell
Senior Developer: Simon Mann Developer: Mike Wojo
Developer: Benjamin McFetridge
QA Tester: Madison Lemarquand
Director of Photography: Darryl Ward
1st AC: Mike Bull
Gaffer: Karl Saunders
Lighting Assistant: Sam Britten
Sound recordist & mixer: Colleen Brennan Wardrobe standby: Jasper Powell
Safety Supervisor: Karsten Meldgaard Production Assistant: Jack Nicol
Camera Assistant: Laura Tait
Set Runner: Riley Mouat
Editors: Tanu Gago, Daniel Strang, Dan Kircher Colourist: David McLaren
Music: Jermaine Dean & Tim Checkley
Publicist: Chris Henry
Thanks to Mac Cosmetics
Made with the help of New Zealand on Air