There may be life for Wellywood beyond hobbits, elves and orcs.
Is there life after Rings epic?
by Tom Cardy
The Evening Post
New Zealand Film Commission is funding development projects for several possible films involving established Wellington-based directors and writers.
However, the projects are in the development stage only, with no guarantee that they will ever get the funding to be made. They include The Magnificent Magic Fingers from brothers Robert and Duncan Sarkies, behind the 1999 box office hit Scarfies. Their new project is described as a “murderous fairytale”.
Robert Sarkies said yesterday if The Magnificent Magic Fingers is made, it will be a bigger project than Scarfies, which had a $1.5 million budget. It was also possible at least some of the film would be shot in Wellington.
“It’s very difficult to say at this stage. But I’d say Wellington at least for the studio component. It’s the most likely choice because it’s got the best facilities in the country.”
Writer and director Gaylene Preston with co-producer Robin Laing is developing Perfect Strangers, a psychological drama which “explores the sheer terror of living happily ever after”. Preston’s features include Mr Wrong, Ruby And Rata and War Stories.
The Stickmen team – director Hamish Rothwell, writer Nick Ward and producer Michelle Turner – are developing a comedy thriller called Scam. Glenn Standring, writer and director of The Irrefutable Truth About Demons, and producer Dave Gibson are working on This Virtual Life.
Described as “sci-fi noir”, it’s the story of detective Lenny Minute, who lives in a futuristic city and uses virtual reality to solve cases.
Wellington director Yvonne Mackay, with writer Emma Frost and producer Dave Gibson, are developing One Moment. If the 19th century story of “love and betrayal” gets the green light, it was possible some of it would be filmed in Dunedin.
The most intriguing project in development is from the usually Hollywood-based director Vincent Ward. Ward, best known for Vigil, The Navigator and What Dreams May Come, is working on a possible New Zealand feature film with Mt Victoria playwright Toa Fraser. Fraser has become one of New Zealand’s hottest playwrights with Bare, No 2 and Paradise.