Tuesday, October 04, 2016

I KNow THis To Be True

I Know This To Be True

The first truth is, this is not a celebrity book.
This is a book about New Zealanders who are living interesting lives and the things they know to be true, the things they believe in, the things they have been taught and the things they have learned. You might have heard of some of them, but that’s not what’s important. It’s about how they got to where they are and the truths they learned along the way. And the truth is compelling.

This project started with publisher Geoff Blackwell wanting to make a book about truth and television producer Ric Salizzo wanting to help raise funds for Mike Chunn’s Play It Strange, so they got together and the result is I Know This To Be True – a book and television project about sixty New Zealanders in the middle of interesting lives.

After working in publishing and television for more than 30 years respectively, Geoff and Ric had a pretty good idea of who they wanted to approach. Geoff had a vision for a ‘truth wall’ and he commissioned artist Ollie Wall to create an original painting, which became the backdrop for the project. Waihi photographers Jake Thomas and Mike Hill were persuaded to take a break from weddings for a while, and so the journey began.

“New Zealanders are amazing people to listen to. Though they are instinctively humble, when they relax there is usually an honesty that comes through – a no-bullshit way of describing things. My job on this project was to be on the other side of the conversation and to sit back and listen,” says Salizzo.

Blackwell says, “I’ve made books about love, about wisdom, and about a myriad of other subjects, and I thought it was time to make a book about truth. I think that as we get older our tolerance for smoke and mirrors reduces, and truth and meaning become even more compelling to us.”

For those involved in making the project it was an absolute privilege to sit back and listen to people like Dave Dobbyn explain what making music feels like for him. To hear Colin Meads recall that whenever he pulled on the black jersey he had to remind himself, ‘You don’t come second in this one, boy.’ To have Victoria Ransom describe what it felt like when Google handed her and her husband an offer of $400 million for their business. To listen to Dame Silvia Cartwright talk about being a judge on the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, just days after Glenn Martin recounted how he invented a jetpack by working in secret for 20 years.

With sixty incredible New Zealanders talking about the values they were taught growing up, the feelings they had when they did incredible things, the places where they find beauty and happiness, the things they are scared of, and the moments that bring them to tears, I Know This To Be True is an intimate look at ourselves, our country, our values, the things that matter to us, and what  makes us uniquely  ‘New Zealand’.

PQ Blackwell - $49.95
For me this is the ultimate Christmas gift book. Very special indeed.

No comments: