With a heavy heart I write an angel post today: it has been a sad and sombre weekend after hearing my friend and KingSt colleague Konrad Smith passed away on Saturday, aged just 38. It is one of those pieces of news that defies processing; a young man with his life ahead of him, suddenly and irrevocably gone.
Finding an angel image to suit Kon was a bit of a challenge - most of them have a lot more hair than he had, but Kon took pleasure in raising a finger to many a thing in his life, so I thought Awatere Rex was a good choice. And like Konrad, Rex marks the grave of a young man cut down in his prime.
Konrad was a hugely talented creative, with a completely devilish sense of humour and a razor sharp wit that could cut to the quick with it's accuracy. His gangster attitude was mostly successful at covering up his soft heart, but it was plain to see.
Kon didn't do things by halves, and I will always remember a filming trip down south with him and our other colleague Patrick. We were having long days on the road, filming on farms and out of the way places in Southland. I was the account director with farming knowledge and Kon and Pat were the film and script experts: aka a hip hop gangster and an Asian.
After filming at one farm, we drove along a back road and discussed whether we should take a big detour, adding significantly to our day, driving all the way to Slope Point and the southern most tip of New Zealand in order to get some extra shots. I remarked that it all depended how committed we were to getting an awesome outcome. Kon's reply came like a shot from the back of the car, "As committed as fuck!!"
We took the detour.
Now my friend and colleague has taken a detour that none of us expected. Our hearts ache for his beautiful wife Nicole, their daughter Charlie who was the apple of her dad's eye, and their tiny son Karter. The impact on them is just about unimaginable at this stage.
Konrad's absence will leave a very, very big hole in the creative heart of KingSt: walking in the door tomorrow is going to be tough, as I know it has been today for all of the team. One of the reasons I write, is to make sense of things. But unfortunately, you can't make sense of this.
Kon collected shoes.
Somewhere out there today, a very big spirit is flying. And here on earth there are some big shoes to fill. Fly well my friend. And godspeed.