Trailer for movie made in the Bay
The trailer for new Kiwi comedy This Town — filmed largely in Central Hawke’s Bay — has been unveiled ahead of the film’s nationwide release on April 30.
Written, directed by and starring David White, This Town features Robyn Malcolm, Rima Te Wiata and Toi Whakaari graduate Alice May Connelly in lead roles, but CHB residents will recognise not only the locations but also quite a few locals.
In the film Sean (David White) has been charged but acquitted for a terrible crime. He’s now the most infamous person in the small town.
But his attempts to move on with life are made difficult by ex-cop turned petting zoo and adventure park owner Pam (Robyn Malcolm), who’s convinced that Sean is a guilty man walking free.
“This Town has been a wonderful journey to take with some of the most talented and most recognisable faces in the NZ film industry,” David White says.
“It was such a pleasure to take all of the cast and crew back to my home town to make this film.
“It started when I was driving along a back road from Waipawa to Takapau where my parents have a farm and where I grew up.
“I had just been to see an old friend who is now an ex-gang member. I had taken my camera and started asking him
questions about the prejudice he felt while trying to get his life back on track.
“As I drove home I thought about the judgement my friend stills feels, and the persecution of people that exists, especially in the smallest of rural communities.
“In that moment the main character of what would become This Town was born. What would that be like? What happens several years after you have become one of the most infamous people, not only in your town, but in the whole of NZ?
“How do you start to date people? How do you get a job?
“I then started writing, my main inspiration being my love for the people I grew up with and the place I called home for 18 years of my life.
“When production funding was secured we had to make a decision about where this should be filmed. It seemed only logical given the movie’s origins that we need to head back to Hawke’s Bay.
“Taking the film back to my hometown was something I will forever
be thankful to have been able to do.
“The open arms in which we were embraced was amazing. It was like everyone cared about the film. “This piece of work was as much theirs as ours. Anything we needed — the community where there.
“Extras — they arrived with bells on. Drivers to be in the demo derby — all my mates obliged. Metal detectors, signs, wardrobe, props — everything was just a phone call away, and if one person couldn’t find it, they knew someone who could.
“It wasn’t a certainty that I would play the main character, but I was writing from my heart and about my hometown.
The script contained — just to name a few — guns, motorbike and tractor driving, a demo derby where Sean is hit a few times (I am in a demo derby team with my brother in law), huge fires, chainsaws and some alpacas.
“It started to dawn on me / us that possibly I had written a part for someone who happened to me.
“Did I really understand what I was signing up for? No — writing, acting, directing, producing is an amount of work that is not advisable for anyone.
“However, with the budget constraints and the huge amount of stunts I had written the only way was to cast the cheapest guy who happened to know how to do the things…it was sort of the only way that we were going to be able to make this film, and though my work load would eventually take its toll on the bags under my eyes (that’s what make up is for) we got through it and we were able to pull of something that is pretty amazing.
“This Town was a labour of love, inspired by a friend and a drive through the roads of Hawke’s Bay looking at the mountains of where I grew up.
“I was just very fortunate that the crew, cast and community of This Town came with me on this crazy journey and I hope they are as proud of the film as I am of them.
‘It was such a pleasure to take all of the cast and crew back to my home town to make this film.