Six-month movie shows at fes­ti­val

Kapi-Mana News - - ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT - By RE­BECCA THOMSON

Three Welling­ton film-mak­ers have stalked their way into the New Zealand In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val.

Dean Hewi­son, Richard Falkner and Sam Dick­son won the in­au­gu­ral Make My Movie com­pe­ti­tion, for which they re­ceived $100,000 to turn their script of How to Meet Girls From a Dis­tance into a film.

It is the story of Toby, who stalks fu­ture part­ners by gath­er­ing as much in­for­ma­tion about them as pos­si­ble so he can turn him­self into their per­fect man.

The movie pre­mieres at the film fes­ti­val on July 29. The trio en­tered the com­pe­ti­tion in Novem­ber and were an­nounced win­ners in Jan­uary.

Hewi­son, the film’s di­rec­tor, said since then they had been work­ing ‘‘ridicu­lous hours’’ to write, shoot and edit the movie.

‘‘The film fes­ti­val wasn’t even on the radar. It wasn’t some­thing we were even think­ing about. We were just try­ing to fin­ish the film,’’ he said.

‘‘At the wrap party the pro- ducer asked for a cut to show to the fes­ti­val.

‘‘It’s great to be cho­sen, but hav­ing a pre­miere just six months af­ter com­ing up with the idea, that’s in­sane.’’

Hewi­son was also work­ing on a Fringe Fes­ti­val pro­duc­tion and a re-write of the play Live at Six, as well at his day job with Weta Dig­i­tal.

‘‘It was pretty in­sane, quite hec­tic. We were still writ­ing [the script] while we were shoot­ing. The shoot took 17 days and we were al­ways be­hind the eight ball.

‘‘Thank­fully, work gave me a cou­ple of months off. It was pretty cool of them to do that.

‘‘Even so, I had my cal­en­dar colour-coded for each project, so I knew what I was do­ing when.’’

The fi­nal touches are be­ing added to the film, but Hewi­son said it would def­i­nitely be ready for its fes­ti­val screen­ings.

‘‘I’m quite keen to go to a screening where no­body knows me. It will be in­ter­est­ing to see what they say.

‘‘ We’re aware of our lim­i­ta­tions, how fast we wrote the script, how fast we shot it, and the mi­cro bud­get, but hope­fully it doesn’t scream low­bud­get when peo­ple are watch­ing it.’’

Film Fes­ti­val di­rec­tor Bill Gos­den said the film was cho­sen be­cause it was gen­uinely funny.

‘‘It will stand out be­cause it’s a pop­u­lar com­edy. It has a real ad­van­tage in that re­spect,’’ Gos­den said.

‘‘ Ev­ery­one says it’s sur­pris­ingly good. They proved what they set out to prove, re­ally.’’

Al­though the com­pe­ti­tion and shoot­ing a film in such a short time had been a good ex­pe­ri­ence, Hewi­son said he prob­a­bly wouldn’t do it again.

‘‘Win­ning the com­pe­ti­tion is not so much a prize as an en­durance test.

‘‘Do­ing a film in 17 days is not a par­tic­u­larly good way to do it, but hope­fully things will look up from here.’’

Af­ter the fes­ti­val, How to Meet Girls from a Dis­tance will screen at an in­dus­try fes­ti­val in Mel­bourne.

Photo: STEPH KUT­TNER

Hec­tic sched­ule: Richard Falkner, left, and Dean Hewi­son run through lines dur­ing the film­ing of How to Meet

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