Heimbold, who directs commercials in the United States and teaches film at Long Beach City College in California, was originally self-taught in film making, but eventually studied film at the State University of New York, followed by the Pasadena Arts Centre.
“I’ve directed hundreds of things, but I’d never made anything longer than two minutes. It was really fun.”
Those wondering if ‘The Offshore Pirate’ exceeded the 15-minute time limit weren’t imagining things – it clocked in at 36.5 minutes long. But Heimbold said although Film Raro was presented as a challenge, the teams all worked collaboratively and the timing of the final product wasn’t an issue.
“There’s only one crime in film making, and that’s to be boring,” said Heimbold, who is responsible for getting the Stone brothers Rob and Webster on board with Film Raro – he has been friends with Rob for around 20 years.
Heimbold said the team worked long hours to get the movie finished – they were the last crew to finish editing, putting the final touches on the movie while other films were being screened.
“It was so nerve wracking because other films were playing while it was still being finished. The screening was the first time I saw the film in its completion. I trusted my team, and I prayed a lot.”
Heimbold said the “film bug” is spreading as a result of Film Raro.
“The real classroom was on the set,” said Heimbold, who said one of his dreams is to start a film school in the Cooks. “(Local crew members) know how to make their own films, and they began doing so immediately.”
Heimbold said Film Raro is beneficial to the local cast and crew, and the Cook Islands as a whole.
“You get a big return if you invest in your people. It develops your mind in a good way. Film making is a good industry. It exploits the most important natural resource of this country – the creative talents of the people. People are the most important thing,” he said.
“Developing young people’s talents is the surest way to create an excellent economy and society. And the skills are highly transferable – it develops confidence, organisation, working well with others.”