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Trolley King (Photo: Blood and Bone)
Trolley King (Photo: Blood and Bone)

Pop CultureMay 21, 2021

VF48Hours 2021: All hail the Trolley King

Trolley King (Photo: Blood and Bone)
Trolley King (Photo: Blood and Bone)

Christchurch team Blood and Bone talk us through their disqualified VF48Hours musical, Trolley King.

Most Vista Foundation 48Hours films follow a pretty similar production schedule: you brainstorm and write the film on Friday night, film it on Saturday then editing and post-production on Sunday. But what if most of the team has to work on Saturday?

“Initially we just weren’t going to enter,” says Blood and Bone member John Ross. “But then some of the core crew decided life was too short not to.” The Christchurch team got together on the Friday night – when they were given the dreaded genre of musical – then spent all Saturday planning the shoot while working. Nothing was filmed until Sunday, with the deadline looming.

“There was no pressure and no panicking,” says Ross, “but also maybe a little bit less urgency than required.” Not for the first time in their 48Hours history, Blood and Bone missed the deadline. “We’ve been friends for a long time and this ain’t our first rodeo, or our first disqualified rodeo,” says Ross. “We were all just stoked to be hanging out and making a film together.”

And even though it wasn’t eligible for the official competition, the film is too good not to share.

This film is about…

Lij, a supermarket trolley boy, is the self-proclaimed Trolley King. One day a wallet is left in a trolley, with a photo revealing the address of a mysterious woman he dubs “Wallet Girl”. While looking through it to find the owner, his boss accuses him of stealing, and the only way to clear his name is return the wallet before the lunch break is over. Lij embarks on a quest to return the wallet, meet the mysterious “Wallet Girl” and make it back to work in time to save his job and retain his place as the Trolley King.

The biggest challenge we faced…

Going in knowing that we had very limited time, we tried to keep everything as achievable as possible. The biggest physical challenge was mounting the camera on top of a trolley for the top-down shot. Lij had to lie there with about 5kg of gaffa taped camera above his head (safety catching hands were at the ready). We were quickly running out of time at that point and were YOLOing through the shots like crazy.

The highlight of the weekend…

Gathering on the Friday with the crew. It’s always such a fun vibe and even though we often do serious topics, we all leave every Friday of 48Hours with sore cheeks and sore abs. Although this Friday we experienced a particular rollercoaster of emotions: joking about getting musical when the first genre was announced; the realisation that musical is an annual staple as they announced the fifth team’s genre; the unrealistic hope after the tenth team when musical still hasn’t been given out; the collective crushing of our souls when our genre was announced as musical.

The lowlight of the weekend…

Telling our city manager, AJ, that we didn’t get it in on time. It’s like telling your dad you weren’t hired for that job you spent all day writing the CV for. You feel like a failure, for about three seconds, then the decision to get a souvlaki instead of submitting an almost finished film just feels so good. Maybe we made a great film, had a mean feed, and will retain the national title of Best DQ? Maybe there’s a bit of Trolley King inside all of us?

The VF48Hours 2021 Grand Final is on May 22 in Auckland. For more information visit

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