Saturday, March 29, 2014

"Brave Love" post 01 - our indie feature length movie is in production

We are on the great indie adventure - living the dream - making our no-budget feature movie.

Shooting started 09 Oct 2013.  I have held back from public discussion until now when completion is looking good.  We have been taking on an ambitious mock epic. Time and time again we have faced impossible barriers then dramatically, ingeniously and heroically have rescued the production.  Or putting it another way, a normal indie no-budget collaborative experience!

Aimed initially at film festivals. Experimental in its extensive use of green screens to shoot most of the scenes in one borrowed classroom over our New Zealand(NZ) summer break.  Has "green screen" technology trickled down far enough that we can make it work for this? Let's do it to find out! [Later, Jan 2015, Yes! it is working.]

Working titles:

"Katherine Mansfield Retold: Brave Love"

"Brave Love"

"The Secret Desert of Your Mind"

IMO this story, written then lost 100 years ago, on rediscovery scores remarkable hits on issues that are relevant today. Katherine Mansfield (KM) is big on The Gap Between Rich and Poor. I also bring in the global warming debate as sparking conflict between the characters. This is mainly achieved by taking KM's banker villain and changing his occupation to oil company chief.

The script is my adaptation of classic literature into a present day setting. Inspired partly by the "Shakespeare Retold" TV Plays from the BBC a few years back. Includes material mainly from Katherine Mansfield (NZ, UK, Stories and notebooks, 91-107 years ago), also Jonathan Swift ("Gulliver's Travels", 300 years ago) and William Shakespeare (400 years ago). What emerges is a satirical big-business mock epic set in the imaginary oil boom city of Lagado, 300 years after its appearance in "Gulliver's Travels".

Why make a feature when it is so difficult?  Because it is so difficult?  Partly!  Also the democratisation of film-making is now giving us a flood of short films.  eg The Winterthur Short Film Festival recently had over 5000 entries chasing only 41 screening opportunities. Features need a big human organisational effort regardless of how accessible the tech gets, so there may yet be time to stand out from the smaller crowd going the feature way.  Also we have had some film festival successes with short films.  To us that means that growing and developing means taking on the monster challenge of the feature.

To creative enthusiasts in Auckland, NZ - we are now moving into "second unit" filming where we need supporting role actors and extras and more crew help.  We mostly hold day jobs and film at night so to all you enthusiasts with day jobs, here is your big opportunity.  For info, audition or interview, find me via

IMO most no-budget narrative movies are either 2-actor intense unusual-relationship dramas or horror-zombie-vampire attempts to repeat the breakthrough success of Peter Jackson in the late 1980s. Time for something different.  In The Guardian article "The Burning Question" -  Robert Macfarlane asks "where is the literature of climate change?"  OK so modern writers are not up to this challenge so let's bring in the power of classic literature - who you gonna call?  Katherine Mansfield!

TPPA Protest March - Auckland, NZ, Sat 28 March 2014

My placard photos below from the TPPA Protest March.  I found myself focussing on the placards as representative images.

My concerns come from following the "Electronic Frontier Foundation" website
eg proposed copyright restrictions that could make it even more risky for emerging film-makers to include elements of criticism, review and current events commentary on popular culture in their movies.  

EFF TPPA page is here:

The EFF article has, based on the TPPA leaks, some positive comment on the NZ negotiators.

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) is putting fair use at risk with restrictive language in the TPP's IP chapter. US and Australia have proposed very restrictive text, while other countries such as Chile, New Zealand, and Malaysia, have proposed more flexible, user-friendly terms.

The secrecy of the negotiations mean that we cannot give NZ more than a small pat on the back for this.  It is therefore good to keep the pressure on NZ to push for fairness, public interest and open democratic discussion of the TPPA.  I would like to see more criticism of the Australian Government, our near neighbour which seems to act too much like an unquestioning follower of US policy.

Good to see us marching.  IMO increasing apathy in NZ so far this century so it is reassuring that people can get out in enough numbers to make a good show down Queen St.

News website "" report here: