Category Archives: General news

Stacey Parks joins producing team for Truth in Advertising

Mediasparks producer, EP, and distribution guru, Stacey Parks has joined writer/producer, Alan Brash, producer, Leanne Tonkes (Sense & Centsability) and director, Monica Zanetti as a producer on the upcoming relationship comedy, Truth in Advertising. The script, written by Alan Brash from a story by Alan and Ashlyn Morris, is currently being packaged for an Australian shoot in mid/late 2023. We look forward to more exciting announcements to follow.

New Zealand’s top TV showrunner joins Bed Ridden team

We’re delighted to announce that Rachel Lang, MNZM – one of Aotearoa’s leading television writers and showrunners – has joined the Bed Ridden team! After securing a second tranche of development funding from the NZ Film Commission, writer/director, Grant Lahood and producer, Alan Brash, elected to bring in a co-writer for a final pass on the Bed Ridden script before taking it to market. We approached Rachel, co-creator of iconic Kiwi series, Outrageous Fortune, Bad Mothers, Westside, and Go Girls (among many others), and we met for a brainstorm about where to take the script next.

Over the following months, a new draft was written by Rachel and Grant and we couldn’t be more pleased with the response it’s getting. Keep an eye out for more exciting announcements about this project coming soon.

Here’s an interview from 2010 where Rachel reflects on some of the many projects she’d been involved with up to that point in her illustrious career, including Shortland Street, Mercy Peak, Outrageous Fortune, Go Girls, and This is Not My Life.

Feature film Bed Ridden gets its first table read

Writer/director Grant LaHood and producer, Alan Brash, were delighted to hear Grant’s charming comedy/drama come to life at its first ever table read at a Girl Guide hall in Takapuna yesterday.

Many thanks to the very talented Alison Quigan, John Sumner, Rachel Forman, Ryan Richards, Andrea Kelland, Adam Gardiner, and first-timer, Scout Maclachlan (brilliantly inhabiting the role of a cocky 14 year old farm girl). Big thanks, too, to Jackie Clarke who had the most to do reading the directions!

We learnt heaps and we delighted and humbled by the talent and generosity on display. We have some great feedback to take into our next draft which we can’t wait to dive into!

Thanks, too, to the New Zealand Film Commission for the Early Development Funding that helped make it possible.

Bed Ridden table read May 2019 - 1

L-R: Jackie Clarke, Alison Quigan, John Sumner, Andrea Kelland, Rachel Forman, and Adam Gardiner at the start of the table read

Bed Ridden table read May 2019 - 3

Adam Gardiner offers script feedback while Rachel Forman looks on

Bed Ridden table read May 2019 - 4

Andrea Kelland offers script feedback while Rachel Forman and Adam Gardiner listen

Bed Ridden Table Read

Clockwise from bottom left: Rachel Forman, Scout Maclachlan, Grant LaHood (writer/director), Jackie Clarke, Alison Quigan, John Sumner, Andrea Kelland

Sweet and quirky comedy gets NZFC development funding

Shoot First Productions is delighted to be working with the incredibly talented writer/director, Grant Lahood, on his new feature film Bed Ridden. Lahood is a highly experienced film-maker who has twice won jury prizes at the prestigious Cannes short film festival. Bed Ridden, a charming, quirky comedy/drama in the vein of Calendar Girls and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, received Early Development Funding from the New Zealand Film Commission in late 2018. Grant_Lahood_-_PIC_268x182.jpg.540x405

Grant brought the project to Shoot First Productions in 2017 and he and producer Alan Brash fine-tuned the story before successfully submitting it to the NZFC in late 2018.

Renowned UK-based script analyst, Karol Griffiths enjoyed the story, calling it “a charming script with strong atmosphere, engaging characters/relationships, authentic dialogue and a genuinely fun premise… it was a true pleasure to read.”

Lahood has just completed the latest draft of the work and Alan looks forward to bringing the project to market in the coming months.

Melbourne workshop & showcase for new theatrical work

Look who dropped by our incredible theatre workshop last November…

We had a truly fantastic week and were well looked after by the folks at The Alex Theatre, in St Kilda Melbourne. We learned a lot, the work improved tremendously over the course of the week, and we had a great turn-out on Saturday (21/11) when we showed an hour of material from the show to Australian theatre movers and shakers (and friends & family of course). We’re now working hard to capitalise on that buzz as we move towards an out of town production somewhere in Australia (location TBC) in late 2016 or early 2017.

Huge thanks to Paul, Jonathan, Patrick, JR, Gemma, Nick, Missy, Amanda, Jeremy, Natalie, Dan, Mark, James, Toby, Josh & everyone else – too many to name – who helped make it happen!

I can’t wait to announce details about the project as we lock down the dates and location of our first public performances.

Stay tuned…

First photos from new music theatre production workshop

An amazing day with an incredibly talented bunch of people on Friday (May 22), workshopping a new theatre project. Feel very privileged to be a part of it. A huge thank you to everyone who took part – we learned heaps. Looking forward to revealing more details as the project develops!

In the meantime, many thanks to: Amanda, Amy, Ben, Colleen, Debbie, Gary, Hamish, Heather, Jonathan, Karel (for the photos), Kyle, Mark, Patrick, Ryan, Shane, Todd. (Also Sam, Diana and Tina who couldn’t be there, and Erica and Shannon for the moral support!)

Stacey Parks represents The Last Resort at European Film Market

Sales and distribution guru, Stacey Parks, of Film Specific will be representing The Last Resort at the European Film Market in Berlin later this month (February 5 – 13). Stacey has recently come on board the “unconventional rom-com” as Executive Producer, joining Australian co-producer, Lindy Taylor. Stacey brings many years of international sales and distribution expertise to the project and her involvement has already opened doors which are paying dividends. Lindy has many years of production and development experience in Australia and the UK. We’re very excited to have them both on board. We’re looking forward to making an announcement very soon about an Australian executive producer who’ll be joining our growing team. (For those with an IMDbPro subscription, you can also follow the project’s progress on IMBd Pro)

Introducing the great team bringing graphic novel State’s Evidence to life

Cover of graphic novel, State's Evidence

State’s Evidence

I’m really proud of the awesome, talented team that’ll be bringing this action/thriller graphic novel to life over the next few months. Click the links for these guys if you don’t believe me: Mukesh Singh, Giuseppe D’Elia and Shawn DePasquale – from Mumbai (India), Salerno (Italy), and Los Angeles (USA) respectively. Given I’m in Auckland (New Zealand) we could hardly be more international if we tried. Somehow appropriate for a story concerning illegal immigration and racial tolerance!

“Sophisticated rom-com that’s fresh, funny, and subversive” – Billy Mernit

I recently approached Billy Mernit to do a script assessment on one of my current film projects – THE LAST RESORT. Billy wrote ‘Writing the Romantic Comedy’ (Harper Collins, 2001) so you could genuinely say he “wrote the book” on rom-coms. He’s also served as a story analyst for Universal Studios, Paramount, and Sony, and has taught half a dozen courses at the famed UCLA Extension Writers’ program.

Writing the Romantic ComedyHe was incredibly positive about the project, stating “I’ve told a few trusted people of its rare nature (i.e. a rom-com project that I do think will get made), and I look forward to my prediction coming true.”

And he was kind enough to say the following about it:

Alan Brash’s ‘The Last Resort’ strikes me as an exceptional entry in its chosen genre: it’s not often that one can read a romantic comedy and be genuinely surprised by how it plays out. So kudos to Mr. Brash for constructing a truly adult, sophisticated rom-com that’s fresh, funny, and subversive – it should delight a contemporary audience that’s hungry for something new.”

Billy gave me some awesome notes to improve the script which I’m currently working through. I highly recommend Billy’s services. While he’s best known for his work on rom-coms, he consults on scripts in any genre. If you’re in need of a consult, you can find him here.

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