Interview with

Lisa Tamati

Star of

Lisa Tamati

What was the inspiration behind making this short film?

As an ultramarathon runner for 25 years, I truly believed that human beings are made to run/walk long distances. That movement in nature is essential to health and is hardwired into our ancient biology. The idea came when I was running “The Worlds Highest Race” another documentary that I was involved in. This was a 222km race over the two highest motorable passes in the world at extreme altitude and in extreme conditions that I did. On that adventure I had a journalist in my crew who had only ever run a few kilometres around the block and he didn’t believe that he could ever do an ultramarathon and I believed and knew he could so I challenged him to just that. That I would teach him how to run an ultramarathon and that we would do it while filming a series re-enacting great feats of endurance that had been passed down in the stories of various tribes and cultures. We chose to run in the outback of Australia first and to re-enact the story of Hezekiel Malbunka a tribal leader in the Alice Springs area of Australia who had run in 1922 over 280km from a mission station to Alice Springs to save a dying friend, Missionary Carl Strehlow who had years before saved his life. Hezekiel ran this distance with no support, we don’t even know if he had shoes in a very short time. We followed in his footsteps honouring his attempt to save his friend and get help by getting a telegraph message out. Unfortunately Carl Strehlow died but this legendary story of love and endurance remains a testament to the human spirit and abilities. During the actual run my co-host Chris Ord actually suffered a tetany seizure and came close to not surviving and we had to rush him to hospital in the middle of filming. I was able to continue on to finish the journey but it highlighted the difficulty of the undertaking. I might add that Chris then went on to run many ultramarathons and became a very accomplished runner despite his frightening experience.

Was there any particular challenges you had to go through to make the short film happen?

Funding was a huge obstacle to production. We had to do it on an absolute shoe string budget. The filming and running and doing was the fun part but the post production stuff was really difficult without big budgets. There was more passion than knowledge made in producing this pilot and we learnt a lot along the way.

How has the short film been received?

We were doing this as a TV pilot for a series we pitched to the discovery channel but unfortunately we never got past the first episode. We had researched and plan episodes reenacting stories of endurance feats by native populations all over the planet from the Hiei monks of Japan to the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico, from the Maori of NZ to the Aboriginals of Australia and many more.

Do you have any other projects in the pipeline?

I’m in the early stages of planning a documentary on the story of vitamin C and its role in helping with a myriad of diseases and conditions from sepsis to cancer to pneumonia. The history of it, the clinical evidence to date, the researchers and scientists behind the studies and the stories of people who have had against the odds recoveries due to vitamin C

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to make their first short film?

Understand how you are going to market it before you make it. The distribution channels and everything that is involved in this long process and complicated process. I have produced many documentaries but had no idea for the first few what is involved. It’s not just about filming and the story but the production process and distribution process that is very complex and evolving.

Recently Featured

Interview with

Lisa Tamati

Star of

Lisa Tamati

What was the inspiration behind making this short film?

As an ultramarathon runner for 25 years, I truly believed that human beings are made to run/walk long distances. That movement in nature is essential to health and is hardwired into our ancient biology. The idea came when I was running “The Worlds Highest Race” another documentary that I was involved in. This was a 222km race over the two highest motorable passes in the world at extreme altitude and in extreme conditions that I did. On that adventure I had a journalist in my crew who had only ever run a few kilometres around the block and he didn’t believe that he could ever do an ultramarathon and I believed and knew he could so I challenged him to just that. That I would teach him how to run an ultramarathon and that we would do it while filming a series re-enacting great feats of endurance that had been passed down in the stories of various tribes and cultures. We chose to run in the outback of Australia first and to re-enact the story of Hezekiel Malbunka a tribal leader in the Alice Springs area of Australia who had run in 1922 over 280km from a mission station to Alice Springs to save a dying friend, Missionary Carl Strehlow who had years before saved his life. Hezekiel ran this distance with no support, we don’t even know if he had shoes in a very short time. We followed in his footsteps honouring his attempt to save his friend and get help by getting a telegraph message out. Unfortunately Carl Strehlow died but this legendary story of love and endurance remains a testament to the human spirit and abilities. During the actual run my co-host Chris Ord actually suffered a tetany seizure and came close to not surviving and we had to rush him to hospital in the middle of filming. I was able to continue on to finish the journey but it highlighted the difficulty of the undertaking. I might add that Chris then went on to run many ultramarathons and became a very accomplished runner despite his frightening experience.

Was there any particular challenges you had to go through to make the short film happen?

Funding was a huge obstacle to production. We had to do it on an absolute shoe string budget. The filming and running and doing was the fun part but the post production stuff was really difficult without big budgets. There was more passion than knowledge made in producing this pilot and we learnt a lot along the way.

How has the short film been received?

We were doing this as a TV pilot for a series we pitched to the discovery channel but unfortunately we never got past the first episode. We had researched and plan episodes reenacting stories of endurance feats by native populations all over the planet from the Hiei monks of Japan to the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico, from the Maori of NZ to the Aboriginals of Australia and many more.

Do you have any other projects in the pipeline?

I’m in the early stages of planning a documentary on the story of vitamin C and its role in helping with a myriad of diseases and conditions from sepsis to cancer to pneumonia. The history of it, the clinical evidence to date, the researchers and scientists behind the studies and the stories of people who have had against the odds recoveries due to vitamin C

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to make their first short film?

Understand how you are going to market it before you make it. The distribution channels and everything that is involved in this long process and complicated process. I have produced many documentaries but had no idea for the first few what is involved. It’s not just about filming and the story but the production process and distribution process that is very complex and evolving.

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