Production Lamingtons: The Hunters Club

Dave Shaw's a NZ local with many, many talents. An outdoorsman who's also a hunter, cameraman, producer and editor of The Hunters Club, Dave spends most of his time going to some of New Zealand's most secluded and beautiful places.

His approach to filmmaking is to show the rest of the world his incredible backyard. Respect is a big thing for Dave - for both the animals they hunt and the land they hunt on - and he views his team as ambassadors for the sport, earning every shot they make while educating the hunting and non hunting community on topics about conservation and correct hunting practices.

In this episode, the guys took to Fiordland, New Zealand to capture Dave and his team in their natural habitat doing what they do best.

Fiordland's an unforgiving place, packed full of sketchy terrain and even sketchier amounts of sandflies (for those of you not in the know, these are tiny flies (surprise) that are like less noticable mosquitos that suck your blood and happiness and leave you with itchy reminders of why you hate them so much). It's also one of New Zealand's most stunning landscapes that's worth the trip, sandfly bites and all.

What makes Dave's show different to all the other classic hunting and fishing shows out there is his attention to the cinematic. Sweeping drone shots showing the expanse and isolation of the land and time-lapses showing the passage of time helps Dave give viewers the experience of what it's like to really be there.

It's also a really great opportunity to educate people on hunting as a sport and a conservation tool. You see, the only native mammal we have down here is a bat, meaning everything else has been introduced by early settlers - mostly to the detrament of the native flora and forna, because unlike Australia, we have no predators.

Some of the most popular meet to hunt - Sika deer - eat native ferns, while the Himalayan tahr that live in the South Island like to dine on snow tussock like it's going out of fashion. So it's pretty important to keep these populations under control for the sake of these plant species.

That said, treating the animals they hunt with respect is of utmost importance too - nothing goes to waste and all rules and regulations are followed to a tee. Dave and his team make sure of it - they also only hunt on public land and take the safety of the crew as a non-negotiable.

New Zealand has gun safety laws and hunting regulations coming out of its ears, and making sure all hunters follow these is really important for the everyone who wants to get amongst all the cool scenery we have to offer. A show like The Hunters Club is the perfect platform to promote the proper way of going about things that's best for everyone - particularly the land we get to call our backyard.

It's just an added bonus that Dave's got some mad filmmaking skills too...

We learnt a lot of lessons from Dave and his crew on this trip and we all agree that it's important to remember one vital thing when spending a week in Fiordland. 

Be prepared - make sure your boat has a spa. 

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The Production Lamingtons series aims to show creatives in their natural habitat. It covers everything from equipment, planning, and creative direction, to alternative processes and gives insight into the workflow of filmmakers, photographers and other creatives who are pretty bloody great at what they do.

Sep 20, 2017