While those in the Northern Hemisphere are singing Christmas carols about snow (and taking Instagram pictures of the snowfall), it’s summertime down under. Sun, sea and sand and summer parties are all part of Australasian life.
It’s this sunny end-of-year atmosphere which provides the basis for the deliciously gross horror short Burn Time, the sixth and final short in the Ao-Terror-Oa, an anthology of New Zealand-themed horror movies, jointly funded by YouTube and New Zealand On Air and created by H2Ow Productions. H2Ow Productions is the collaboration of four New Zealand film makers and their respective production identities. Nick Burridge and Johnathan Guest of Halcyon Digital, Peter Haynes of Haynes FIlm and producer Hweiling Ow. All four together first collaborated on T is for Talk – a finalist in the worldwide competition for inclusion in Drafthouse Films and Timpson Films’ ABCs of Death. T is for Talk currently has over half a million views on YouTube.
Set in 1985, Burn Time depicts a nightmarish version of the worst sunburn imaginable, caused by a fictional rogue solar event. Heading into southern hemisphere summer, the film has a particularly important message for everyone about the importance of being sun safe, and has the support of Cancer Council Victoria to use their classic ‘Slip, Slop, Slap’ campaign song originally launched in 1981. Since 1985 New Zealanders and Australians have known they are in the firing line of one of the greatest horrors imaginable – extreme UV levels increasing risk of melanoma skin cancer.
At the same time, many Kiwi and Aussie lives were already being saved by an unlikely Australian bird – Sid the Seagull, the star of the classic Slip, Slop, Slap sun safetya dvertisement that premiered in 1981.
Produced by Cancer Council Victoria, Sid’s simple message of Slip, Slop, Slap has beene rcognised as one of the most successful public health campaigns ever created on either side of the Tasman. Variations of the campaign with added advice are still in use a quarter of a century later, and the core message is as relevant as ever.
In fact, slip, slop, slap is so ingrained in Australasian consciousness that it is not surprising that a team of New Zealand filmmakers are paying homage to Sid’s message over 25 years on. So, whether you’re in Australasia and getting ready to Slip, Slop, Slap before heading out into the sun, or in the Northern Hemisphere and wanting a break from the cold (and a scare!), Burn Time is a naughty but nice horror treat for the holiday season. The film can be seen at www.6weeksofhorror.com and www.youtube.com/h2ownz.