Tag Archives: short film

Short Films Short-listed by NZ Film Commission “Fresh Shorts”

A few weeks back I was delighted to learn that two of the three films I applied for production funding for have been short-listed by the New Zealand Film Commission. The short list can be seen here on the NZ Film Commission’s website.

The films were ‘On the Day I Love You More Than my Phobias’ written and directed by Sam Gill (left) to which I’m attached as producer

and ‘The Last Moa’ directed by Alan Parr (right), written and produced by me. (Alan Parr and I share the story credit as the initial concept was his wonderful idea.)

Alan (Parr) and Sam are two enormously talented guys and I sincerely hope we get the funds so we can shoot these terrific films. We eagerly await the final decision which will be announced on August 30th.

Sadly, Alan and I missed out making the shortlist with another film project we submitted – that one, an animated project. However, we believe in its potential absolutely and are working away on it so that it’s ready for the next funding round.

More Great Feedback on our Short Film Be Careful…

While rejections from film festivals are always something of a kick in the guts, it’s gratifying to continue to get awesome feedback on the quality of the film.

This, a handwritten note from Kyle McKinnon, Lead Programmer for the Alabama Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival:

“This is a strong film with a very clever twist ending. Thank you for sending it our way.”

And remember: Keep an eye on the blog next week for an exciting film festival announcement… 🙂

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!”

“Excellent!”

“[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!

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!

Photos from the 2nd weekend

BREAKING INTO HOLLYWOOD WITH A SELF-FUNDED SHORT FILM? IMPOSSIBLE!!

It’s in the can! Here are some shots from the 2nd weekend’s filming.

1000 bonus points for anyone who guesses who the Academy Award winner is in one of the stills below…

Next, it’s onto postproduction…

And the Oscar goes to…. (went to) MILTON JUSTICE!!! For producing the documentary “Down and Out in America” in 1986. See: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090965/

Craig Hall from King Kong & World’s Fastest Indian

BREAKING INTO HOLLYWOOD WITH A SELF-FUNDED SHORT FILM? IMPOSSIBLE!!

And of course, where would I be without my fabulous leading man?

Craig has worked with Peter Jackson and Roger Donaldson.

 He’s starred opposite actors of the caliber of Sir Anthony Hopkins, Jack Black, Naomi Watts, Adrien Brody, Josh Hartnett, Dougray Scott, Saffron Burrows, Flight of the Conchords’ Jemaine Clement, Kerry Fox and Melanie Lynsky. (To name but a few.)

And he was brilliant. I’m constantly reminded how lucky I am to be able to work with people like Craig and Lisa (and Lynette Forday, Narelle Ahrens, Mike Edward) who’ll support “small” projects like this and give it the same energy and commitment that they give the big budget films and TV series that they regularly appear in. It’s a credit to their giving nature and their incredible professionalism and I salute and thank them for it.

Alan discusses an upcoming scene with Craig Hall

Alan discusses an upcoming scene with Craig Hall

Lisa Chappell from McLeod’s Daughters

BREAKING INTO HOLLYWOOD WITH A SELF-FUNDED SHORT FILM? IMPOSSIBLE!!

Can’t believe we’ve wrapped! What a feeling (to be dancing on the ceiling). It was a privilege to work with actors of the caliber of Lisa Chappell who has a reputation around the world after playing Claire McLeod for 70-something episodes of the popular Aussie drama McLeod’s Daughters. She was incredibly professional and it was a pleasure working with her.

The last time we worked together (apart from a brief cameo I did on a series where she was in the core cast, namely City Life) was when she played Portia and I played Shylock in a high school production of The Merchant of Venice!

I’d like to think we’ve both come a long way since then… 🙂

Alan liaises with Lisa Chappell and 1st AD Tony Forster

Alan (L) liaises with Lisa Chappell and 1st AD Tony Forster (R)

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