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TV doco director/producer Deb Faith

Wed 30 Jul 2008 In: Hall of Fame View at Wayback View at NDHA

Deb Faith With 30 years' experience as a camera operator capturing countless LGBT event and stories, Deb Faith is used to being asked "where's your camera tonight?" when she's out at events! Now she's ready to roll as Producer/Director on shows for Triangle TV. Tell us about your new role. What will you be doing? Deb Faith: I recently joined Triangle TV as a Producer / Director. There are three productions that I'm currently responsible for and I'm developing two other series, which I'm pretty excited about. So I get to write and direct and can still keep my hand in with occasional camerawork: it's kind of a dream situation really! You've been working on Maori Television's Takataapui TV recently, and were also behind the camera for Queer Nation and many other queer docos and shows. Which story you've worked on are you most proud of? The bulk of my TV experience has been doing camera. Thirty years of it! I've shot a lot of queer stuff, and I'm proud that I've been part of telling our stories and honouring queer lives. I think that all of us live courageously and I never tire of hearing peoples' stories. My responsibility has mainly been that people are portrayed as truthfully and empathetically as possible. I feel proud that I have been there, as part of a queer crew, filming queer people. It's honest television. In the Takataapui series that's screening at the moment, I wrote and directed some of the episodes. I guess the one that I felt most satisfied with was June's Story [28-year-old June Nikora was arrested and charged with 'impersonating a woman' in Auckland in the 1920's]. It was a story I'd wanted to tell for two years and I'm pleased with how it turned out. I wanted to honour June and, through that, pay homage to other takataapui who lived brave lives a long time ago. What do you think of LGBT media in New Zealand at the moment? Cripes – don't get me started! Much of our print media seems driven by and geared towards gay men. Have all the lezzies got babies and live in the burbs with no voice and nothing to say anymore? I would love to see more editorial and political writing: just because we've got a few gay politicians doesn't mean the battle's over – and haven't the politico's sold out to the Helen Machine anyway? Also, when I think of early Queer Nation days and even the first couple of series of Takataapui, I think that we've lost our edge. Queer media used to be more provocative, have more attitude, be sexier. Now we're all trying to be mainstream and even appeal to straight people! Um… why? Which TV programmes have you most enjoyed recently? Well obviously I'm watching Triangle and Stratos. Apart from the excellent Al Jazeera news and documentaries, there's some really quirky niche programming, which is always a late-night delight to find. I also confess to Sensing Murder, Burying Brian, Outrageous Fortune and Antiques Roadshow. Your favourite movies at the moment? That's easy! All the Film festival movies I ticked in my programme and never got to see! I really regret missing Warwick's doco: I respect his work immensely and have a high regard for Florian Habicht. Where did you grow up? Like most people my age in Aotearoa New Zealand I had a pretty fortunate childhood, in that we 50's kids had much more freedom and easy access to 'wilderness'… Looking back, it was fairly brutish; especially for us fairy children – but you know the old saying: 'What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.' Well, I was one lucky enough to survive. When did you come out as gay, and what was it like for you at the time? My coming out happened when I fell in love with a married woman and discovered feminism, all more or less at the same time. I think that was pretty common for many of us lezzies of that generation. So it was a double whammy. Major. And like coming home. What's your relationship status? I'm in love and want to shout it from the rooftops! What do you think are the most pressing issues currently facing NZ's gay people? Look it's still the Usual Suspects. Human Rights. Shockingly ingrained homophobia, especially from within our own community. Acceptance without homogenisation. Safety for queer kids. Trannies' rights. And of course, good discounts at Kathmandu for lesbians. What's your worst habit? You have to be kidding! The only one I'll confess to here is my obsession with cryptic crosswords and my ongoing battles to find enough time to do them! Are there any books you're currently reading or recommending? Apart from the Bumper Book of Crosswords? I like to read local and queer. And of course I share the traditional lezzie penchant for whodunits with a female protagonist. Your favourite music at the moment? Listening to 80's disco compilations and schmaltzy tunes. It's an ‘in love' thing. Your favourite websites? Aw you guys of course. Despite the dearth of lezzie content, your site is up-to-date and has good info. And your regular bloggers - David Herkt is always a joy to read. I'm also pleased at how you've kept some stories going – like the Stanley Waipouri murder and court case. We did a story about it on the last series of Takataapui and I'm rapt those killers were found guilty. It was an horrific murder and not really well covered in the mainstream press. If you could have one wish granted what would it be? Apart from the usual Lotto fantasy, peace on earth and the elimination of male aggression; I'd love to see our planet from outer space… and, yeah, I'd take a camera with me…     Matt Akersten - 30th July 2008

Credit: Matt Akersten

First published: Wednesday, 30th July 2008 - 6:49pm

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