Archive for August, 2009

Production Office

We have now secured a production office in Ponsonby, thanks to the assistance of a very generous supporter of the arts. Over the next couple of weeks we will begin setting it up, and then be open for business.

The office space is great – vintage Ponsonby. And it has most recently been used for some of the post-production work on Vintner’s Luck, so hopefully there will be some good karma there which will rub off on us.
We’ve also gained both warehouse and office space for the art department, once again through the generosity of a supporter who is the proprietor of the building. It’s always thrilling to find the goodwill which exists in the community – a factor which will play a big part in this film in so many ways.

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Moon Madness

Just a note to let you know our Lotto promotion is now in full swing! I’ve put a web page up at www.moonmad.co.nz

Spread the word! It’s a crazy opportunity to participate in the making of the movie! Our target draw is full moon September 5 (tickets on sale from 31 August), but feel free to buy and send tickets both before and after…
Write your name on the back of the ticket if you like, so we can give credit in the film!
The address is: The Insatiable Moon Ltd, 46 Williams St, Cambridge 3434.

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Just been working my way through the most recent budget for the film – drastically revised after the NZ Film Commission turned us down. I’m sure there are people somewhere who find nothing better than to pore over columns of figures – but I’m not among them. It makes me want to have a drink and a lie down.

When it comes to finance, you’re either a realist or a visionary. Realists treat numbers with dollar signs in front as being concrete realities – beautiful in their specificity. They become accountants and chastise the rest of us for our frivolity. Visionaries are similar to Jewish Kabbalists – treating numbers as if they were mysterious entities which might represent something else.
On the macro scale, I’ve long been a proponent of the view that economists are the new religious dogmatists. They make grand pronouncements about ‘the way things are’, when in reality they are operating totally from a faith perspective. These people gamble with the universe, the same as the rest of us. The difference is that they cloak their magic with an aura of science.
However, when it comes to making a film, realists and visionaries need each other. The relationship is symbiotic. Just so long as financial plans remain a scaffolding, and not a substitute for the creative venture which filmmaking is.
When wielding the axe, you need to be mindful of what you’re cutting!

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When I first lived in Ponsonby (in 1985), the community was just on the point of change. For decades it had been a haven for low-income tenants, students, and Pacific Island immigrants. Because of the availability of cheap accommodation and it’s proximity to Carrington Hospital, the village also become a collecting ground for psychiatric patients.

All of these factors helped to form the vibrancy and cosmopolitan nature of Ponsonby. But already something had shifted. The oil shocks had made residential accommodation close to the central city desirable, and house prices began to rise.
There was an incoming tide consisting of trendy and well to do white people. They brought with them their culture and passions. It’s not that the area became any less interesting or vibrant, but it became a much more difficult place for poorer people to survive.
The novelist Chaim Potok says that all fiction comes from the clash of cultures. It’s that clash which generated the material for The Insatiable Moon as a novel, and also undergirds the film. Ponsonby is a crossrosads, a threshold, a creative cauldron. It is as much a myth as a reality. The setting is one of the lead characters in the film.

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The Daily Struggle

The secret of realising an artistic dream is similar to achieving anything else – it’s a matter of overcoming your inner demons and doubts. A hundred times a day you need to draw on your faith in the vision that first motivated you, to see it and believe in it.

But when you’re spending other people’s money, and particularly in the indie film world, you also have to overcome a chorus of external doubters. They’re never short of reasons as to why your project will fail, what’s wrong with it, and why the obstacles are too massive to negotiate.
Producing, writing, directing – all of them are the equivalent of walking on the water. You can do it if you don’t look down. It’s in the hour by hour, day by day struggle that the battle is won.

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Punt for the Moon

In the continuing series of crazy ideas to get funding for our feature film, comes the great Lotto weekend. On the weekend of the next full moon, we’re inviting (NZ) supporters to buy us a lotto ticket and post it to us at : The Insatiable Moon (NZ) Ltd, 46 Williams St, Cambridge 3434. Should any of the tickets strike it rich, all proceeds will be applied to the making of the film.

It’s just mad enough to be in keeping with the whole project, and our hero Arthur who makes the impossible attainable!
And in case you didn’t know, the next full moon is on the weekend of 5th September. Click on the image above for full details.
Feel free to forward this to anyone you want!

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A great outpouring of support since people have learned about our rejection by the NZFC has been hugely encouraging. Thanks all those who have written to say they believe in the film and are sure that it will be the stronger because of the process.

We need a few days to regroup but are already pursuing alternative strategies. But it is the communal love which undergirds this and makes it a special project. A friend sent through this quote:
“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved, and always will solve, the problems of the human race.”
Wise words.

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