by Olivia Creamer
July 16th, 2014

The name alone gives you a sense of the riotous journey that Zoe McIntosh takes her audience on in her docu-comedy, “The Deadly Ponies Gang.” She follows Clint and Dwayne, who are “the bestest of friends” and the sole members of their gang, who use their pimped-out ponies as their main method of transportation around their hometown in rural New Zealand. We talked to director Zoe McIntosh about creating a film that is part documentary and part narrative comedy, and how fun it was to make a movie about two people as hilarious as Clint and Dwayne. Join us on Wednesday, July 16th, at Socrates Sculpture Park, for a free screening of THE DEADLY PONIES GANG.

Rooftop Films: Was it easy to get them to agree to the movie? How did you approach them about it?

Zoe McIntosh: It was very easy to get them involved. They’re both warm, friendly guys who conveniently didn’t have jobs at the time. The perfect kind of talent, if you’re making a low budget film.

RTF: How did Kody come in, and was it the plan from the beginning to use him in the YouTube video format or did that come about during filming?

ZM: Kody introduced himself early during the filming process. I adored his imagination and his off beat approach to life. His inclusion in the film is a touch random and sporadic, with all the YouTube gang auditions etc, but hey. Kody was always uploading films on YouTube so it just seemed relevant and right to reference the YouTube format with in the film.

RTF: How did you go about creating the strong narrative that we see in the film? Did it take a lot of editing or were Dwayne and Clint a story within themselves?

ZM: The narrative evolved simply by following the simple thread of one mate doing all he can to get his best mate a set of teeth. I had never seen this ‘quest’ in a film before and thought it’s pretty crack up. Hanging off this core narrative thread are a series of little vignettes that look at the life these two boys live in their alternative horsey world.

RTF: The movie is described as a docu-comedy–what does this mean to you? Is it more feature film or documentary?

ZM: People are always asking what’s real and what’s not. The core story is real; Clint and Dwayne are best mates, Clint did raise money to get Dwayne some teeth, those DPG lip tattoos are real and no matter how unbelievable the Rhymestone cowboy sounds- he’s real! In saying this, there are ‘embellishments’ along the way.

RTF: Was this different from other documentary’s you’ve done? How so?

ZM: This was different to other docos I have done because the two main characters are very very funny. Lots of my other films explore pretty dark/ serious subjects. It was a joy to laugh so much on set!


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Rooftop Films is a New York based non-profit whose mission is to engage diverse communities by showing independent movies in outdoor locations, producing new films, coordinating youth media education, and renting equipment at low cost to artists.


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