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Archive for May, 2009

Dining Out

Updating from Hong Kong on my way back to NZ. Yesterday was something of a gathering of the clan. First up it was a get-together over lunch near the National Theatre, which involved Rawiri Paratene, Pip, Rob and moi. Ra is looking good and clearly enjoying life in London. It was good news to clarify his availability for a November shoot, though it’s a narrow window of opportunity as after that he’s unavailable again. He remains as committed as he always has been to the film. We discussed such vital issues as the speed of growth of his facial hair 🙂

Later on we trekked across to Soho to meet up with Gillies Mackinnon. We were joined by David Ball, Welsh producer, and David Cawley who will come out to NZ to camera assist. We had a good dinner at a funky little Indonesian place (Nusa Dua, see above) suggested by Gillies. Once again we needed to nut out schedules, this time with our director. It was tight, but we believe we can fit in preproduction for the November shoot. We also clarified who he wants to bring out with him (DOP, editor) for the shoot.
But mostly we just enjoyed hanging out together and swapping stories. Later on a few of us, including Gillies and Ra, retired to a cellar bar where we carried on the banter over a few more drinks. All in all a bloody good time, and a high note on which to end my short UK sortie. We raised the odd glass to the making of the film.
Next time I see them all will be for preproduction in Auckland…
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Distractions

Had an unexpected sidebar to my time in London when the opportunity arose to attend a football game. The friends I’m staying with in Holloway had access to a spare season ticket for Arsenal. The game, in the spectacular Emirates Stadium just 5 minutes walk from their house, was against Stoke.

It turned out to be a festival outing, with Arsenal winning 4-1 in gorgeous sunny weather. A great experience to hear 60,000 footy fans in full voice. The Brits do take it all very seriously.
Later on it was dinner sitting outside around a fire pit, in the mild evening. Having food and wine with good friends – it doesn’t get much better than that.
Today is a bank holiday Monday over here, so no chance for meetings. Tomorrow it’s Rawiri Paratene at lunchtime, and then Gillies Mackinnon in the evening – looking forward to it.

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From Brum

Good meeting yesterday with one of the execs from Screen West Midlands. He remains an enthusiastic supporter of the film, and has been of great help in promoting it. We talked through the various scenarios of how we might proceed in the next few months.

Later on I attended the UK premiere of a film which had been shot in Birmingham and was partly financed through Screen West Midlands, Tormented. It was a comedy horror teenage high school splatter zombie film. Not my cup of tea, but no doubt there’s an audience for this sort of thing. Good to see something shot on Red which blew up nicely on screen.
Another round of discussions tonight to sort out some more details before heading off down to London. It’s worked out to be the ideal time to be over here in terms of the development of Moon. Working toward making critical decisions which will affect the work I need to be doing for the next few months.

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UK Partners

Well here I am in Birmingham, sitting in the office of Blue Hippo Media, our UK coproducers. The trip over wasn’t too bad, though took about 36 hours to complete. Managed to stay upright and had a good sleep last night. Fortunately I’m remarkably free of jet lag and straight down to work.

We completed a detailed rejigging of our finance plans yesterday, and spent this morning working out an action plan for the next few months. Pip has had a productive few days in Cannes, and the general feeling remains one of optimism. Meeting with Screen West Midlands this arvo, who in turn met with NZFC in Cannes.
A lot more planning to be done yet, including a comprehensive timeline. Meanwhile, I’m off to the pub for something to eat…

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Moon Rising

One of the flow-on effects from the recent investors meeting has been a buzz of people thinking of ways in which they may be able to help, including putting us in touch with other potential investors. Great to have this level of support and enthusiasm.

Things are hotting up as we push toward securing a sales agent for the project. And of course the usual razzmatazz associated with Cannes, which usually produces more hot air than substance. Still, the prospects for Moon are brightening steadily.
I begin the long trek north this morning – albeit with a day in Auckland before flying out tomorrow. The blog may be interrupted for a few days as I burn the time zones, but will resume in a jet-lagged fashion once I reach the UK. Until then…

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England Bound

Bit of a mad rush getting ready for heading over to the UK. The first part staying up in Birmingham with our UK producers Pip & Rob. A lot to sort out including copro applications, tweaking budget and schedule, script issues, finance plans, sales agents etc. Also a script session on another project that I’m co-writing with my UK friend Dom. Then down to London where we meet up with Rawiri Paratene, who’s currently acting in Romeo and Juliet at the Globe.

Next up is a meet with Gillies the director, sorting out plans for preproduction and talking through some of the details. There may be the odd drink along the way, and I’m also catching up with friends in London.
Meanwhile Pip is off to Cannes tomorrow for a couple of whirlwind days meeting sales agents etc. Since the meeting (here) on Thursday night, there’s a real sense of momentum building. The mojo flows…

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Bring It On

A cracking good night last night with potential investors, friends and associated gate-crashers! The odd glass of bubbly put us in the right frame of mind for an overview of the movie, kicked off by veteran producer Tim Sanders, double BAFTA winner. He compared Moon to Whale Rider which he produced, and talked up the international prospects of our film.

Then it was over to moi to run through a sampler of Gillies Mackinnon’s directorial work, the DVD promo for Moon and a powerpoint presentation of the way the film and its financing is to be structured. After a time of questions, we gave opportunity for people to register their investment interest. We received indications for about $250k, which is half way there.
A good result given that we’ve still got quite a few months to go to get the target. Perhaps more important was the huge sense of encouragement coming from the 50 or so gathered there as they caught the vision and excitement of the project. Afterwards we ducked out to a very good Italian restaurant with friends for a celebratory meal.

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