FIGWIT and The TONGAN NINJA
Revelations that Figwit has had a role in the production of a new movie have fuelled an already burning interest in the latest New Zealand martial arts feature film - The Tongan Ninja.
Bret McKenzie aka Figwit is one half of the song writing team Flight of the Conchords. They have written the theme song for a new low budget feature film. Later in the year the duo are off to Edinburgh to perform their show Folk the World. I caught up with Figwit, in Wellington at the Hilton Motel and asked him about the film:
Figwit: “Me and Jemaine [author note: Jemaine in this case refers to Jemaine Clement fellow founder, along with Figwit, of Flight of the Conchords] wrote the theme song `The Tongan Ninja’".
"Jemaine was working on the film. He plays one of the lead roles. One day we came up with an idea for the theme tune and Jason Stutter, the director, liked it. So he got Plan 9 studios to arrange the song and Jemaine ended up singing on it.”
“I haven't seen the film yet but the little bits I've seen are hilarious. I love the way they made a feature film on next to no money.”
“We wrote a few other songs for the film: ‘Nunchuka lover’ and the rock anthem ‘Love is the Weapon of Choice’ which I don't think was used in the final cut.”
As reported in a previous article, Figwit choreographed some of the Film’s dance routines, but why?
Figwit: “I'm not sure. Somebody had to do it. I knew a few dance moves from dancing at parties and at school discos but I thought about movies like Fame, Footloose and Flashdance for inspiration.”
“We made the dance up in the morning and filmed in the afternoon. So it was all very quick. We didn't have any time to fine tune it. And the dancers, who were mainly friends and family of the crew, had to learn it immediately.”
“My favourite bit is where the dancers peal back to reveal the Chef surrounded by three dancers from the Wellington samba club. Supa booty action!”
When asked if his future lay in choreography, Figwit revealed a secret that should have all you
fantasy sci-fi-musical fans quivering:
Figwit: “I 've made up a dance routine for ten thousand dancing Uruk Hai celebrating Sauron's birthday. I haven't spoken to Peter Jackson yet, do you know what his email is? Anyway the idea is strong. It would show a side to the Uruk Hai that we haven't seen, make them more likeable.”