1) The idea and bringing the Tribe to television screens
The Tribe officially started as far back as 1980 (!) when Executive Producer Raymond Thompson had the original idea.
It was not until 1997 that the actual series came to life after Raymond Thompson along with his co-creator Harry Duffin structured the characters and storylines.
The scripts were commissioned in March 1998, and pre-production for series one commenced in June 1998, with official filming commencing in August that year. The six-month production continued until March 1999.
The 1st episode of The Tribe was shown on Channel 5 in the U.K on 24th April 1999.
2. The Tribe`s shopping mall was a purpose built massive set that fills up a huge studio.
The mall was the biggest single set for any television or film production ever made in New Zealand - bigger than sets used in films like The Piano, and television shows like Hercules and Xena Warrior Princess (all filmed in New Zealand).
editor’s note: LOTR sets were probably bigger
There were actually 37 sets used in the production of series one of The Tribe.
There were about 400-500 people involved in making the first series of The Tribe
This includes writers, actors, art and set designers, costume designers, make-up, lighting, camera people, directors, production crew, editors, music editors, sound effects, and administrative staff
5) Bluebell the cow’s best friend is Bob the dog
Bluebell the cow in real life started training with the animal wranglers at three weeks old in order to learn to recognise sound and body language signals. Bluebell was used to living with Bob the dog and the other animal actors in the series and the cow actually enjoys being in the company of dogs!
6) Music On average between 12-15 minutes of music are used in a half hour episode of The Tribe. And there are up to 30 different pieces of music used in one episode.
The library of music available for The Tribe is quite large at around 12 hours worth of music to choose from.
It takes around 5 days to match all the music to an episode. Around 250 different pieces of music are used in The Tribe.
7) How many actors are used for a series of The Tribe?
There are around 20 main actors used throughout the series. Guest Cast- there are 11 or so of these. In any one day there can be up to 100 extras. That is nearly 1400 extras per series.
8) Tribeworld’s website as it existed back in 2001: Tribeworld site is about 150 MB. Downloading the site at 3kb/sec would take 13 hours.
editor’s note: Aren’t we all happy that we’re living in the future?
9) Over the time of filming, Series I-V have been shot at many different locations, for example the roof top of the Duxton Hotel, Mall carparks, ex-Army Base, ex-Naval Base, railyards, railway stations, hospitals, the seaside and hills at Breaker Bay, Hutt Riverside, Regional Parks, various Lower Hutt and Wellington streets, Gas plants, Metal Yards, and a Farm (where the tree house of Pride and Eagle is located). Some scenes have even been shot in old war tunnels and gun emplacements from WWII which are high in the hills overlooking Wellington harbour.
There was a special set created in Whitemans Valley (a rural area of the Hutt Valley), and is a complete village consisting mainly of building exteriors.
The furthest that the team had to travel was to the countryside sets of Liberty and the Eco camp which were about an hours drive away from the studios.
10) Between 8-12 minutes of footage was about average for a days shooting on The Tribe. The scenes were scheduled for the day and the duration of each scene was accounted for and fitted into the schedule. 8-12 minutes a day is around 23 hours of footage that needs to be filmed.
11) For Tribe Tour 2003,the cast had a special “Tribe Coach” that they were using to get around Germany - it had leather couches, a TV, video player, CD, fridge and loads of comforts!
12) Tribe Tours could get pretty intense: The most interviews the cast did in one day was at Cannelot Studios where they had 12 interviews one after another.
13) There have been many live cast chats with the stars of The Tribe. The first ever cast chat was with Caleb Ross in January 2000.
14) The first ever member of the Official Tribe Fanclub was Sophie Webber of the U.K.
15) There were 12 zulu knots in Amber’s hairstyle
16) The filming and cast:
- Cast were expected to get up at around 6am (sometimes even earlier!) to travel to work
- Days were usually 12 - 14 hours long plus travel time!
- Lunch time was the only break of the day (45 minute break)
- Tom Hern and Caleb Ross were good cooks!
- Meryl liked to pamper herself with baths and facemasks and early nights
- Tori loved music and movies and she adored ‘Friends’
- In series 1 the boys house made dinner for the girls house
- Dwayne set up an art studio in the garage
- There was a pool table in the garage of another house and the boys could always be found in there!
- There were some woods behind the back of one of the houses and some of the cast filmed their tribute to the ‘Blair Witch Project’
- The house cat swallowed a cicada one night and was chirping for hours. It then threw up in a cast member’s bag and went to the toilet in his shoe!
- Favourite brunch was pancakes or French toast with maple syrup
- Favourite meals were pastas, salads and roasts