Congratulations Lisa Chappell – finalist in 2010 NZ TV Awards

Lisa Chappell a finalist for Best Supporting Actress in 2010 Qantas Film & TV Awards

Exciting news today that the lead actress in our short film, Be Careful… has reached the finals of the 2010 New Zealand Qantas Film & TV Awards for her great work on the prime-time drama series, The Cult, made for TVNZ.

We wish Lisa all the best, and have our fingers crossed that she’ll also reach the finals (announced tomorrow) for Best Actress in a Short Film for her role in Be Careful…

Premiere Screening a Great Night Out

Alan Brash

Alan Brash at premiere screening of Be Careful…

Nearly 100 crew, colleagues, friends, family, film students and industry-ites braved a miserable mid-winter night in Auckland to be the first in the world to see my short film up on the big screen.

Four lucky members of the audience also scored bottles of 26000 vodka from McCashin’s Brewery, and Cable Bay Vineyards Chardonnay and Rose in a draw on the night.

The staff at The Academy did a great job and I thought the film looked (and sounded) awesome. The crowd enjoyed a drink beforehand, and many stayed on for a drink and chat afterwards.

Personally, I wasn’t drinking – mainly because I’d spent much of the previous night throwing up due to a stomach bug… (But, hey, “the show went on!”)



The Auckland audience who braved a cold, wet night to see Be Careful...

The Auckland audience who braved a cold, wet night to see Be Careful…


Here are some comments about the film from people who’ve seen it:

“A treat of subtlety, layers of innuendo upon layers of expose…”

“Really enjoyed your short – it was slick!”


“[My wife] and I loved your film, the ride home we kept on picking up on little allusions that you have made throughout the story. Very nice… Congratulations on a superb effort.”

“I really enjoyed your film last night. Hopefully it’s the first of many.”

“[My wife] and I very much enjoyed the premier of your first film. It was a thoroughly professional movie and was an excellent script with interesting twists in the presentation. Many thanks for allowing us to be part of the evening.”

“Very well done. You have every reason to be really pleased with yourself.”

“I liked the film immediately… the actors were great. Good direction and editing. Good job.”

“Well done, it’s cool! I really liked it!”

“The look of the film was great, but the story really stood out – loved the twist! What I admired the most is you had a script that wasn’t overly written, pretty minimal dialogue-wise, didn’t feel the need to waffle on and explain everything, good sh*t.”

“I was delighted with the way the film hung together on the big screen. As well as the quality of the sound and images.”

“A strong film… intriguing. The storyline concise and mysterious. The cinematography, acting, sound design were all very good.”

“Loved the twist in the story.”

“Big congrats… You must be thrilled with it. If I was more expert I could offer specific comments – but I just know it looked bloody good!”

“Congratulations on a great accomplishment!  I really liked the film – everything was top notch: the writing, directing, acting, cinematography.  It looks really good.  It seems to me that it would be a great calling card for future work.”

“It’s everything a short film should be, and more.  Well crafted, superbly acted, tightly scripted, and just the right length.  Technical elements and casting are top-notch.”

“Thanks for the absolute pleasure of your film. Your story was unique, surprising, different.  Your look and sets suited the story well.  The pace and performances were very good.  And there was a wonderfully bizarre and ironic and smart humor to the piece.”

“I loved your film. It looks fantastic.”

“One ticket to Be Careful… please”

Now we just have to get that response from some film festivals… and the judges of the New Zealand Qantas Film & Television Awards!

Premiere Friends, Cast, Crew, Industry Screening of my Short Film


If you’re in Auckland, come check it out on the big screen:

Date: Monday, June 28, 2010
Time: 8:00pm – 9:00pm
Location: The Academy Cinema
Street: Auckland Central Library Bldg, 44 Lorne Street
City: Auckland
An independently-funded short film, ‘Be Careful…’ is my directing debut. It’s a cautionary modern fable starring Craig Hall and Lisa Chappell, Lynette Forday and Narelle Ahrens. (Cameos from Mike Edward, Michael Saccente, Elizabeth Hawthorne & Milton Justice.)
8pm drinks; 8.30 screening. 13 minutes long. Stay for another drink after.
For cast, crew, friends, family, & industry. Get there early to ensure a seat!
A koha/donation (gold coin or orange bank note…) to cover costs would be hugely appreciated. “Ticket holders” will go into draw for wine from Cable Bay, vodka from 26000 and other goodies.
If you can’t make it but are interested, here’s the URL for the relevant website page. There’s a link at the bottom of the page to the shooting script in pdf:
And here are some stills:

It’s in the Can!

Sigh… the road to hell is paved with good intentions about keeping this blog up-to-date… c’est la vie.

In news since December (date of my last post)

1. Eddie and I parted ways and the music was brilliantly done by Rhombus. They brought real creativity to the job and also an incredibly diligent, reliable and professional work ethic – thanks guys!

2. Lisa Chappell came in and post-synched some dialogue and recorded the vocals of our Paul Kelly song, Be careful what you pray for. Despite being knackered from a full-on theatre show (The Importance of Being Earnest) in which she played a leading role.

3. Matt Aickin, working out of Ant Nevison’s sound studio, did a truly awesome job of the sound design and sound mix. The whole project has been given a huge lift with the addition of music and sound FX, including foley, room background noise, etc, etc.

4. The titles and opening credits were finalised. Big ups to Brenton Cumberpatch for his work. Simple, but very effective titles!

5. The colour grade was done, tweaked, and tweaked again. Thanks to the invaulable input from Dan Wagner, DP, and of course to Paul Lear, the fantastic colourist working out of Images. Again, the often subtle work he did with colour, contrast, light, etc all added up. Taken together it really adds to the emotional impact of the film.

6. Having submitted ‘Be Careful…’ as a work-in-progress, I’ve officially missed out on being selected by the film festivals in Cannes, Edinburgh and London. (Including the Director’s Fortnight and the Critics Week in Cannes.) But I’ve been keeping busy stuffing envelopes and courier packs. I’m waiting to hear back from:

– Melbourne

– Dances with Films

– Palm Springs Short Film Fest

– DC Shorts

– The New Zealand International Film Fest (including the ‘Homegrown’ selections)

– Sidewalk Moving Picture Fest (Birmingham, Alabama)

– Hawaii International Film Fest

– Hollywood Film Fest

– St Louis International Film Fest

And will submit to more when I’ve run-off more of the locked-off copies of the film. Keeping fingers and toes crossed! 🙂

Next step is to lock down a date and venue for the cast, crew & friends screening!

Another overdue update

Guess it’s ‘cuz of the busy time of year, but I’ve been spectacularly remiss with these updates.

In a nutshell:

1. Got the pick-up shot re-shot that I needed. It’s the opneing shot of a child (or is it…?) drawing a picture while the lead character speaks in V/O. Nic, the editor, felt it didn’t quite work as shot, and given it’s the very first image we see, we thought we’d have anoter crack at it. Big ups to Daryl Habraken and Peter Simpson who shot it and provided the RED camera respectively. Thanks, too, to Auckland University (whose camera it was, and whose studio and lights we used).

2. Got the drive back to the editor to do the final off-line pass with the new shot.

3. Eddie’s now got a music-free version of the cut so he can start putting some music on it – including some composed by our female lead, Lisa Chappell. Can’t wait to hear how it sounds!

4. Have locked-in our on-line edit facility: Images & Sound where we’ll be doing our grade, credits, etc. I’m really hoping to get in there before Xmas, but failing that, it’ll be first thing in the New Year.

Oh, and who knew credits took so long to finalise! 🙂

Long overdue short film update


The blog has been shamefully quiet for weeks (nay, months), so here’s an update:

1. The off-line edit is looking better and better with each pass. Nicola (Nic) Smith is doing a superb job – fitting it in between actual professional, paying gigs – including a telemovie directed by Simon Bennett, produced by renowned NZ film & TV production company, South Pacific Pictures, who made Whale Rider, amongst many others.

2. I’m in talks with various postproduction houses to do the on-line edit. Details TBC.

3. I continue talking with Kahra Scott-James from Entirely Sound about the sound mix, and also using her recording studio.

4. Musician, Eddie Gaiger, has come on board as composer/arranger.

5. Last week we recorded additional dialogue from our two leads (Craig Hall and Lisa Chappell) and our 1st AD (Tony Forster) who recorded the lines of the judge.

Hope to update more thoroughly when I’m over this damn cold! (Grrr… sniff, sniff…)

Lisa Chappell will sing on our short film


Lisa Chappell

Lisa Chappell will showcase her impressive singing talents on the soundtrack of 'Be Careful...'

Lisa Chappell has kindly agreed to allow us to consider material from her debut solo album When Then Is Now for the soundtrack of ‘Be Careful…’
A copy of her CD is with the editor, Nic Smith, and we’ll try a few different tracks to see how they play under the images. I’m very excited about this idea as Lisa has an amazing voice and the idea of using one of her beautiful love songs as a sort of “siren song” (she plays a femme fatale, Fi) when she seduces our leading man is compelling.

But wait, there’s more!!

Now we’ve resolved the oustanding issues around the usage of Paul Kellys song, Be Careful What You Pray For (see earlier post) I can announce that Lisa has agreed to perform lead vocals on this track, too!

This song was a major inspiration for the script. Getting our lead actress to sing it over the end credits would be truly awesome!

Watch for updates…

Paul Kelly’s original version is available on his Greatest Hits – Songs From the South Vol I & II, available at good stores everywhere (and even a few mediocre ones), including I can’t recommend this great double album highly enough.

Here’s a link where you can hear a sample of Be Careful What You Pray For – enjoy!

Paul Kelly’s Song for Our End Credits???


I think we might! (Get use of the song. We’ll have to see about breaking into Hollywood…)

Paul’s song “Be Careful What You Pray For (You Just Might Get it)” was part of the inspiration of “Be Careful…” As a card-carrying member (metaphorically speaking) of the Paul Kelly fan club, it’s long been my desire to play this song over the end credits. A sort of homage, if you will.

Well, 10 minutes ago I got an email from his management company saying “Paul wants to make this happen” along with a request for a DVD copy of the film when it’s finished!

I think this nearly makes up for the disappointment of not getting SIPF funding for the postproduction.

Paul Kelly, genius Aussie singer-songwriter

Paul Kelly, genius Aussie singer-songwriter

Cast and Crew Photo


Long overdue update of the blog heading your way any day. PLUS!!! Explanation of the recurring subheading (you know, the one about Hollywood).

For those paying close attention, I’ve been giving not just the blog but the entire site a lick of virtual paint these last few days. Hope it feels improved in some small way.

Look out for a whole new dimension being added in the coming weeks. With video and everything. (Cue: “wow” and “Gee whiz!”)

In the meantime, here’s a cast and crew photo taken by stills photographer Karel Lorier who is absent from the photo, along with cast members Narelle Ahrens and Mike Edward. Also missing is the gaffer and his crew who were so diligent they decided to pack out of this location rather than join us for the crew photo. That’s dedication! (Or photo phobia.)

Cast and Crew Photo - Be Careful, March 28, 2009

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