Second screening – and last


ELT second screening - audience

Every Little Thing was shown to 30-plus cast, crew and friends on Thursday 3 August.

This was the second – and final – viewing of the film. Next year, it will be re-edited and included as part of the feature length film It’s Not What Happens.

This movie will tell the story of five people in the small town of Hazelwood whose lives are turned upside down by a tragic event 30 years before. (Website:




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Date set for Second Screening


As promised, we have arranged a second screening of Every Little Thing for cast and crew – and supporters –  who missed the premiere.

The screening will be at 7.30pm on Thursday, August 3.

Anyone who wishes to attend should email Seating is limited!

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Festival Awards for Every Little Thing

The short film Every Little Thing has been selected for several festivals – including the Chandler International Film Festival (Best short film), IndieFest (Award of excellence), the International Independent Film Awards  (Gold winner), the Garden State Film Festival, The International Christian Film Festival, WorldFest – Houston International Film Festival and the New York Short Film Competition.

“Every festival award or acceptance is an acknowledgement of the great work done by the actors and crew,” says director John Harris. “It’s also an encouragement for my writing.” He is currently writing the screenplay for a full length feature which will include most of the scenes from Every Little Thing.

As promised, we are arranging a second screening of Every Little Thing for those who missed the premiere.

wf-2017-gld-blkbg    IIFA laurel  elt-chandler-best-short-film

indiefest-excellence-words-black-1024x542   2017LAURELS_OfficialSelection  ELT Int Christian FF laurel


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ELT news – Festivals and screening

indiefest-excellence-words-black-1024x542        elt-chandler-best-short-film

Festival success.

Every Little Thing has been submitted to several international film festivals, and is beginning to have some success! It won an Award of Excellence from the IndieFEST Film Awards, and was selected Best Short Film for November at the Chandler International Film Festival in the US. It’s also a semi-finalist at the New York Short Film and Screenplay festival.

Auckland screening.

In February, we will have another screening of the film in Auckland for those who were unable to attend the premiere. We’ll announce a date in the New Year.



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Tribute to cast and crew at screening

More than 70 people attended the cast and crew screening of Every Little Thing at the Rialto Cinemas in Newmarket last night.

Writer-Director John Harris paid tribute to the many people who had made the film a success. “Right from the start I promised myself I would hire the best people I could,” he said, “and it paid off. I was amazed and humbled by their energy and dedication.”

The cast and crew all “took ownership” of the story and put their heart and soul into it. “No one fainted when I mentioned there was an upside down car with someone stuck under it … and no one resigned when I told them a key cast member was a Mexican dung beetle.”

Harris thanked his family for their support,  and audience members made particular  mention of Fred Renata’s cinematography and Karl Steven’s music.

Pictured below: John with his sisters Penny (left) and Rose, who travelled from Whangarei for the screening. 

ELT screening - John +PenRose


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Premiere next week!

ELT-MakingOf2_025 copy

The short film Every Little Thing will be screened to Cast and Crew next Thursday, 25 August at the Rialto Cinemas, Newmarket.

Anyone who has not answered their invitation should do so now!


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Signed, sealed, delivered

ELT_MAKING-OF_217 copy

Finally – Every Little Thing has been finished, and a Cast and Crew Screening will be held later this month.

“The film’s looking good,” says director John Harris, “thanks to the input of many people. From start to finish I’ve been supported by a lot of creative and generous film professionals. I’ve learnt a huge amount thanks to them. The whole process has been a treat.”

The screening will be held at the Rialto Cinemas in Newmarket. Invitations will be sent out as soon as a date is confirmed.

PICTURED ABOVE: It looks like an early morning prayer meeting, but it’s simply the crew waiting for the sun to come up for a classic shot of the upturned car. BELOW: The man who gave us the beautiful pictures – Director of Photography Fred Renata, waiting this time in the studio. (Pictures by Bridget Webber)

ELT - Fred Renata with camera


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The official poster!

Photographer Bridget Webber, who took the publicity shots of actors and crew during the Every Little Thing shoot, has created this stunning poster for the film.  Bridget is also preparing a postcard based on the same design.



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ELT - Karl plays saw

Strange sound #1: The Musical Saw. We’ve been asked about the ‘musical saw’ which composer Karl Steven (pictured above) played for the Every Little Thing sound track. Yes, it really is a regular saw for cutting wood – but it’s marketed for use as a musical instrument.

The “Sandvikens Stradivarius” is made by a Swedish company. Each year it puts aside a few dozen saws which it thinks will make superior musical sounds. (Importantly perhaps, these are not sharpened!)

Karl was given one by his mother, who is Swedish, and he’s been playing it off and on for three years. “I just love the sound,” says Karl. “It’s so elegant.” He uses a bow (on the straight edge!) and produces different notes by bending the blade.

ELT - Chris + balloons etc

Strange sound #2: The Space Drum. Another strange noise on the Every Little Thing sound track was produced by a ‘space drum’. It’s one of many items among percussionist Chris O’Connor’s fascinating collection.

The ‘drum’ consists of three balloons sitting in plastic flower pots. Chris places a steel plate on top of them to create an unnerving screeching sound. The space drum was invented by Chris’s American friend Tom Nunn.

(Photos: Bridget Webber)

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Every Little Thing recording session

(Photos: Bridget Webber)

ELT - Kar; CU control room

Composer Karl Steven stands behind the raised desk in the control room like Captain Kirk in the Starship Enterprise. Spread out on the desk, dozens of sheets of music. A few metres in front of him is his ‘Scotty’ – recording engineer Simon Gooding. Karl presses the intercom button: “That was almost perfect” he says chirpily.

Through the big window Karl has a clear view of the studio. In there, three musicians wearing headphones smile back at him: Rachel Wells (cello), Cynthia Hsu (harp) and Finn Scholes (vibraphone). Beyond, in another soundproofed room, percussionists Chris O’Connor and Tim Stewart sit among their collection of tin cans, maracas and drums. And through a narrow window to the left we glimpse violinist Siobhanne Thompson in her own booth, tinkering with a glockenspiel. Bongo player Miguel Fuentes recorded his parts yesterday.

“That was very nearly fantastic,” says Captain Karl – tall, thin, dressed stylishly in his trademark black and grey. “Let’s try it once more.”

We’re in the famous Roundhead Studios, owned by Neil Finn, recording the music for the short film Every Little Thing. The studio is equipped with a Neve mixing desk once owned by rock gods The Who – “nothing quite like it in the country,” says Simon.

ELT - Simon + desk

Simon (pictured) has flown up from Wellington for this gig. Karl rates him highly: Simon has worked with rock bands and the NZ Symphony Orchestra, and on The Hobbit sound tracks. “You’re too good for Wellington, Simon,” Karl jokes. There’s a deadline looming – they have to be out by 8.0pm – but Karl manages to keep the atmosphere light and breezy.

Captain Karl is calm and encouraging. He hunches over the long strip of music sheets cellotaped together, following the musicians from note to note, bar to bar- keeping an eye on the big picture but spotting even the tiniest imperfection. Now he’s in the percussionists’ room, arms waving expressively as he discusses a specific phrase. He emerges – “cool, excellent” – and returns to the control room. There’s no need to go back to the start: “Let’s play from bar 40, and drop in at 46.”


Karl’s percussion-heavy music score is complex and demanding. It’s just as well the musicians are some of the best in NZ: most of them play several instruments, and they’re in various bands and combinations. Chris plays drums with Don McGlashan.

Karl: “We need to allow the instruments to resonate a bit to provide a harmonic bed for the percussive stuff to sit on.” During warmup, he moves from musician to musician describing the type of sound he’s after. He urges them to use their instruments inventively. (Pictured below from left: Karl, Finn, Rachel and Cynthia)

ELT - Karl + 3 Musicians__09

Siobhanne points at her music sheet: “Those squiggly signs mean I improvise, and try to get non-violin sounds out of my violin.” Rachel is required to put aside her bow and pluck her cello strings during many of the tracks. (Correct name for this: pizzacato or pizz for short.) Karl tells the percussion duo: “Feel free to put in percussion if you see an insect on the screen.” Cynthia, taking part in her first-ever recording session, is using the extremes of her harp – the upper and lower notes – together.


Karl is almost hopping with joy at the strange sounds that drift through into the control room. Because the film has scenes with insects, a thunder storm, and even an angel, Karl’s score is an exciting mix of percussive sounds and beautiful melody. One minute he’s throwing around words like “curioso” and “pizzicato”. Next minute he’s chuckling: “A bit of Abba never hurt anybody.”


Roundhead owner Neil Finn pops in to say hi. Great excitement! But today he’s not a world-famous recording star, just a friendly muso. He leans at the door and listens a while. Has a peek at Karl’s three metre long music score. A few friendly words and he’s gone. His encouragement is a good omen for John, a Crowded House fan from way back.

We’re ready for another take. But this one falls to pieces after a few bars. The musicians keep time by listening to ‘click tracks’ in their headphones. But it’s easier than it sounds. Karl is diplomatic: “I think your interpretation of the rhythm differs slightly …”

The musicians are an honest bunch. A stream of apologies come through the intercom: “Sorry I was getting a bit lost.” “I came in too early.” “I screwed that up.” A round of laughter, then they begin again. Karl: “May the Force be with you, everybody.”


It’s going well, but Karl is missing something. “Unleash the saw!” Simon calls up the pre-recorded sounds of Karl playing the musical saw. The notes sweep from high to low like the title sequence from Doctor Who.

Plaintive violin. Angelic harp. Husky cello. Mellow vibraphone. They pause for an assessment. Cynthia the harpist: “Can we see the video please for my beetle cue?”

A mini-crisis looms. Simon: “I think I heard a chair squeak!” He and Karl listen carefully to the playback. Sure enough, there is a tiny squeak in among the sounds of cello and harp. In the studio everyone checks their chairs. But the culprit turns out to be the foot pedal on the vibraphone. “The foot of doom,” says Karl, keeping it light. Assistant engineer Ben Malone runs in with a can of CRC and the session resumes.


Percussionists Chris and Tim sit amongst their collection of musical instruments – drums, cymbals, maracas (for the rattles), guiros (for the scraping sounds) – supplemented by ‘found’ items: a tin can, and a dried pohutukawa branch Chris picked up on his way to the studio. It’ll produce a nice rustling sound for the insect shots. Life as a percussionist is never boring.

The next challenge is a sequence in the film where the hero thinks he sees an angel. “This is the track I was worried about most,” Karl grins. From next door he cues a thunderous wall of sound – cello, harp, vibraphone and violin soar above a booming bed of drums. They’re joined by the pre-recorded voice of an operatic diva. The music builds. Reaches a crescendo. Then abruptly halts. “You told me to go for broke,” Karl grins in the direction of writer-director John Harris.

Come 8.0pm, a shared pizza, and the team disperses. Cynthia waits for a large taxi to take her and her cello home. This same group of musicians may never work as a team again, but today they have left a unique legacy – a vibrant and beautiful rendition of Captain Karl’s vision for Every Little Thing.

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