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Punters attending the newly opened All Blacks Experience at Auckland’s SkyCity are being treated to an All Blacks haka quite unlike anything seen before. Created by Augusto, the haka section of the Experience brings people face to face with the 2019 squad as they perform what was arguably the most impassioned haka in recent memory.

Filmed in 6k resolution and projected at 50 frames per second onto a curved 14-metre wide wall, the single, stationary shot places the audience in the room in the unique position of receiving the famed challenge. But creating an experience so true to life was more easily said than done.

“It was never going to be a straightforward shoot,” Augusto creative strategist, Oliver Sealy, “The All Blacks have a rule that the haka can’t be performed outside of a Test match environment which meant we would need to film in front of a packed stadium while also being broadcast live to the world. Basically, we had one shot at it and we had to be invisible.”

Having worked with the All Blacks and their major sponsors for more than a decade, Augusto is used to these types of challenges. So after multiple camera tests exploring combinations of camera type, lens choice and optimum distance from the players, the production team built a custom rig that was able to be set up and struck from the field in less than 30 seconds. Then, to add even more pressure it was decided they would shoot at Stadium Waikato in September 2019 ahead of the New Zealand v Tonga Test match – the last game before the team headed to Japan for the Rugby World Cup.

“I’m not sure who was more nervous,” recalls Simone Goulding, Head of Production and Post Production at Augusto, “But it all came together in the end. The clouds parted, Keiren Read hit his mark and we remembered to hit record. We had it in the can.”

What followed was 12 months of post-production with partners Perceptual Engineering in which every frame was tweaked, sweetened and pored over. At the same, Native Audio was composing an original soundscape to further intensify the performance and transition the audience in and out of the space.

The resulting effort is a truly immersive experience guaranteed to get the hairs on your neck standing straight up.

The All Blacks Experience, which is a New Zealand Rugby and Ngai Tahu Tourism joint venture, is open now for visitors at SkyCity, L4, 88 Federal Street, Auckland.


Creative Development and Production: Augusto

Creative Director and Strategist: Oliver Sealy

Head of Production and Post Production: Simone Goulding

Director & Post-production Supervisor: Jon Baxter

Director of Photography: Matt Hunt

Grip: Bradley Willemse

Music and Sound Design: Native Audio

Client: Workshop e, New Zealand Rugby and Ngai Tahu Tourism

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