Based in Central Hawke’s Bay, Allan Ennor follows the work in the film industry by using a motorhome to travel around.
Having gained a Diploma in Screen Production at EIT, Allan was lucky enough to secure a studio assistant’s job with New Zealand film production company Starz Evil Dead.
Working on the comedy horror series Ash Versus the Evil Dead, he lived in his motorhome at a camping site in central Auckland, just a seven-minute drive away from the set.
When that shoot wrapped up, Allan moved back to the family farm at Flemington to help out on This Town. He is working on the movie for director, producer and writer David White, who is shooting in Central Hawke’s Bay.
“It’s word of mouth,” Allan says of gaining further work in the film industry. “Film crews want people they can trust and work with to get the job done.”
As a final-year student at EIT, he decided he would need a motorhome to pursue work in the industry – “it’s my mobility and it’s my car.”
He started with a one-day a week casual position on the comedy horror series the Evil Dead, but that quickly ramped up to an almost full-time job.
“I did everything,” he says, “from sweeping floors, building walls, shifting stuff around to getting a set ready or pulling it apart, as well as a lot of swing driving, mostly at night.
“It gave me six months of really interesting work, during which time I got to meet and work with a bunch of great people in almost every department, on and off set. And I gained a foot in the door.”
Suggest to Allan that he has had an interesting life and he will tell you it isn’t over yet.
After leaving Central Hawke’s Bay College, he joined the army as an apprentice motor mechanic. Nine years later, he went on to work as a maintenance engineer in Waipukurau and followed that with 4½ years in London and Europe on “mature OE”.
“Then I was a safari driver for nine years, working in south-east Africa.”
Returning to Hawke’s Bay, he spent time back on the farm and worked as a maintenance engineer at Silver Fern Farms’ Takapau plant. Then, after studying a full-time photography course, he drove intercity buses and, for a honey season, shifted beehives around at night.
Having thought about a future in the film industry, he was 53 when he enrolled at EIT and he found, as a mature student, he was able to engage.
“There was a good range of students and the two years of study was time enough to assimilate. You split up into film crews,” he says of the programme structure, “and rely on other people to do their jobs to get a great end result.
“No one person knows everything and we were able to draw on our individual skills and life experiences to benefit others. If you can do that with a team then it will set you up for real life in the industry.”
Allan says studying the diploma gave him the confidence to approach the industry and the basics for working in that environment. And he remains positive about opportunities for further filming work.
“Follow your intuition and do what feels good rather than worry about what the head tells you,” he says of changing career later in life.