Tucked Away in Remote New Zealand, a Local Fisherman Makes a Living

There are a few ways to get to Warrick Mitchell’s secluded home in north Fiordland. in the southwest corner of New Zealand’s South Island. Surrounded by mountains it takes three or four days to hike. The next best option is to fly in with a small helicopter, an experience that promises views of mountain peaks, glaciers and sea landscapes but is not for the faint of heart.

Filmmaker Ben Weiland, who was set on capturing what it was like for Mitchell to live that far, opted for the second option. He rode with pilot Roger Monk, who has been delivering supplies to Mitchell and his family before him for the past 35 years. “I wanted to show how simple daily tasks can be such a crazy venture,” Weiland says. “But it also traverses some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet.”

Weiland’s film, Still As It Wasprovides an intimate picture of Mitchell’s life. When Mitchell grew up, his family was main source of income came from hunting. But they also picked up fishing for white bait, a major industry in New Zealand. Today, it has become a way of life for Mitchell. “The excitement of white boss is to never know what you are going to catch and to live hand in hand with the surrounding conditions and the environment,” he says.

While Weiland learned from Mitchell’s story when he studied abroad in New Zealand as a university student, he says his film research typically includes hours of google searching for unique, remote places to cover. “It feels like we are in a time and era where everything has been done and every place has been explored and documented,” he says. “But the more I do it, the more I realize that this is not the case at all.”

Still As It Was was produced by Fielder Studios, the production company Weiland which was founded with Brian Davis.

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