Trailer for movie made in the Bay

CHB Mail - - NEWS -

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

DAVID WHITE

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.

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