Six months tomorrow since the cameras started rolling in the half light of dawn at Costley Park in Ponsonby. In a recent article in Onfilm magazine, I described it thus:
It’s 5.30am on a Monday in mid-November. A small crew of people gathers in a park in Ponsonby. The slate is marked up. There’s around $300k in the tank. Five clean weeks stretch out in front of us. Lead actor Rawiri Paratene offers a karakia for our safe journey. He looks beyond the city to where the skyline brightens. The first rays of sun strike his face. Somewhere a dog is barking. The slate falls. We’re under way.
After seven years of development; after false dawns and abject despair; after negotiations and the rumours of deals; after notes both insightful and insufferable; after several small forests have given their lives for funding applications; after meetings, meetings, and more meetings; after desertions, defections and derision; after stubborn and irrational pig-headed determination; after all of that, here we are. Located, crewed, cast, and ready to roll.
So what’s happened since then? Well, we shot the film on schedule and on budget. We got superb performances from our cast, and our crew went the extra mile to give us the raw material we needed. Our director developed shingles on the day of wrapping and spent the next couple of months out of action. Editor Paul Maxwell took to the footage and started cutting it into shape. We wrestled and wrangled together, and with Paul’s deft touch on the Avid and his refined air for music, we produced a first assembly which seemed pretty damned good to us.
We screened it in Auckland and Birmingham toward the end of March. Great responses gave us huge encouragement. Some further investment came in for post production. We began talking to potential distributors and other interested parties (watch this space). Maile Daugherty, who had brilliantly handled line producing for the shoot, came on board as post production manager. We found a great composer, Neville Copland, who has begun work on the score for the film. And here we are, on track for delivery by the end of June as scheduled. A little short of money, but full of confidence as this magic ride continues.
Where will we be six months from now?