THE KING IN THE RING

Māori Television, NZOA, 2017

In an attempt to escape from his self-imposed isolation and overcome his addictions, Wilbur McDougall, a former pro-wrestler, agrees to let his best friend J. Ollie Lucks make a documentary about his gastric sleeve surgery and subsequent transformation. As Wilbur shrinks to literally half the man he was, will he find the strength to create a new wrestling persona that encapsulates all the qualities he wishes he possessed? Can he attain the personal happiness and self-acceptance that has eluded him for so long?

The King in the Ring is a confrontational and humorous portrait of a man and his dream brought to life through the highs and lows of an intimate male friendship. Combining a buddy quest film with observational documentary Ollie explores the obesity plight in New Zealand head on. Throughout the journey Wilbur tells it like it is and doesn’t sugarcoat reality and although his story is unique, we have all experienced the desire to be someone other than who we are.

Everyone battles inner demons, and we all need friends along the way.

THE CURSE OF THE CHILLS

Currently in Development

“If I had of read more rock history
I would have known more about the pitfalls.”
– Martin Phillipps

At the height of their fame The Chills shared a stage with Bjork, competed for the spotlight with R.E.M. and performed at festivals for over 60,000 screaming fans. Lead singer Martin Phillipps has been called a lyrical genius and inspired local legend Neil Finn to ‘sing like a New Zealander’. Even with these accolades the average Kiwi can barely recall The Chills or their anthemic indie pop hits.

A raft of bad luck and consistent line-up changes plagued the band culminating in Martin collapsing into depression and heroin addiction. Now 25 years after their last record, Martin Phillipps has reinvigorated the music and released a new album said to be the band’s best.

Listen to the songs that personify 1980s New Zealand, when people loved their leather jackets, and lived through the doldrums. Learn about a man who came so close to conquering the independent music world that those who did, all know his name. Join the wave of supporters who recognise the genius of creative integrity.

This is the story of Martin Phillipps and his band The Chills.