Preston, who got into the film industry in 1977, says she is passionate about seeing young people pursue film-making.
“Through my experience in film, I want to inspire young people in any way I can to get into the film industry.”
Six young people from ages 11-17 had the privilege of sharing their interest in film with Preston and were given the opportunity to ask questions about her career.
My Year With Helen, a documentary-style movie about former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark’s unsuccessful bid to become the United Nations’ first-ever female Secretary-General, screened at the Empire Theatre last night in what was billed as its South Pacific premiere.
“The film was edited 49 times before we got the one we screened. That is months of work,” she said.
When a youngster asked about the process of editing films, Preston said it required a lot of patience.
“But you just keep chipping away at it.”
Preston told the students that when she gets an idea for a film, she tries to make it go away, but if it doesn’t, then she “gets cracking”.
“I find the money and if I am lucky, I manage to create the film and then I spend months and months supervising the edit.”
Making films can be quite lonely, Preston says.
“Sometimes some people don’t understand what you’re on about. But if you have a whole group around you, someone to help, someone to laugh with, someone to support you, then it makes it much easier.”
Preston says she is excited about seeing the next generation of young film makers come through.
She advised the young students, to not “muck about” but to enjoy life.
“Make the most of it, because life is short.”
Preston says creating original films or clips is really important because it keeps the culture of the people strong.